Our 40 days of Prayer and Fasting as a Teen Challenge family concluded and we have seen and heard from TC leaders around the world that participated in this prayer emphasis. I know we all understand that prayer changes things! Prayer brings revelation and focus. Prayer draws us close to Jesus and being close to Jesus brings clarity. Prayer is the foundation on which world-changing visions are built. God size faith to meet God size needs only happens when you pray! I have learned a prayer fact: when preparedness in prayer meets need, you have the making of a miracle. I love what GTC Vice President, Phil Hills, wrote in his Day 40 devotional, “Revelation is not enough to Unleash the Hope.”
With gleanings from the book of Joshua, Phil reminded us that we need to be strong and courageous!” His devotional ended with the question, “What action are you planning that has the potential to terrify or discourage you?”
If you only read Joshua’s story from the moment of Moses death, you might think of the repeated encouragements as being suited for a young leader with little experience, but Joshua’s preparation actually spanned forty years. Examining the record, we find God at work meticulously preparing Joshua for this day: We see Joshua’s faithfulness. This wasn’t Joshua’s first day on the job. For forty years Joshua faithfully served Moses. We first encounter Joshua early in the exodus when Moses asks Joshua to select a band of Israelite men to fight against the Amalekites at Rephidem. Moses stood on the hill, and with the assistance of Aaron and Hur, kept the staff of God raised so that Joshua prevailed over the Amalekites. Joshua led the army in the fight! Joshua was familiar with the voice of God! He was faithful in his service to God!
When Joshua crossed the Jordan he faced two contradictory truths:
- The land he entered was hostile—filled with strong armies and fortified cities.
- The land he entered had been promised to Moses and it was now his responsibility to lead Israel into the land to possess the promise.
At the GTC Executive Council last year Ron Brown referred to our vision as a “prophetic invitation.” That word rang true to us then and has continued to speak to us since that time. But I believe that God has more—I believe that God is going to moving us from Invitation to Inheritance. God is moving us from the dream of putting hope in reach, to the inheritance of the dream. Souls being saved around the world, lives being transformed and families united.
Walking into and claiming our inheritance requires courage—the kind of courage that Joshua needed.
- God didn’t reprimand Joshua for needing encouragement—even though God needed to repeat it often—three times in fact
- God repeatedly admonishes Joshua to have courage because Joshua had to do that for himself—God couldn’t have courage for Joshua.
You see, just having the promised land before him was not enough, He had to go in and possess it. Joshua had to get up and move forward. He had to hear God’s plan and go get it. When He crossed the Jordan several things changed that day:
- Their view changed! This is our land. This is mine and somebody is in my house!
- Their food changed! No more manna, but roasted grain, their own provision, from their own land.
Notice, provision was there as they went forward! God will provide as we press on into the vision God has called us to.
Vision without action is like a rain cloud without water! Einstein said, “Vision without execution is simply a hallucination.” The greatest obstacle to reaching our vision is the inability to grasp what God is trying to accomplish! We must move from vision/invitation to inheritance. It’s time for us to plan and get on with developing and implementing our strategies. Joshua had to lead. Somebody had to risk getting their feet wet! Joshua took the vision from Invitation to Inheritance.
Joshua and the children of Israel circled around Jericho once a day for six days and then seven times on the seventh day. What do you think was happening in the minds of the participants of this story?
More than likely, the people in Jericho thought the Israelites had now realized it was impossible to overcome Jericho. The Israelites probably looked at the wall and also believed that the task was impossible. They had all night, for six consecutive nights, to think about how big the walls were. But God had given Joshua the plan. He just had to execute it. He had to implement the strategy God had given. God was going to show Israel that they had to depend on Him to overcome such a task. The truth was that the walls in the hearts of those inside Jericho had already come down. Joshua 5:1 tells us that when the river Jordan stopped flowing the children of Israel walked across on dry ground. The battle was won, Israel just had to attack and take the land.
It takes faith to bring a dream into a reality. God is challenging us to “Reframe Possible: Hope within Reach of Every Addict. We are coming to see how it is possible one nation at a time. Dreams are emerging, collaborations are being formed, plans are evolving and God is stirring us Reframe Possible.
What do we mean by Reframe Possible? We reframe possible when we:
- Look at the need through God’s eyes
- When we move from fear to faith
- When we measure our efforts by the need instead of measuring by our accomplishments
- When we act in God’s strength, rather than delay, to cover our inadequacies
- When we recognize that God has given us His son, which should cause us to ask ourselves, “Why would he hold back anything else from us? He has already given us his most precious gift.” (We sometimes have to speak to ourselves, encourage ourselves, be Strong and Courageous and move on.)
- We reframe possible - When we are willing to be disruptive! For our vision to call for Disruptive Change!
I want each of you to know that I am humbled by God’s blessings and favor on Global Teen Challenge. I am humbled by the faith I see in you, the leaders of Teen Challenge. The TC family is coming together all over the world in prayer and in faith, believing God for the impossible.
So many of you are struggling with finances, staff, student issues and even with your boards. That is no surprise to those of us who have been in leadership. We continue to face challenges no matter how many good things are happening. We press on in faith and we overcome as Joshua did.
We are hearing God tell us to press on, press forward, and to continue dreaming of how to put hope within reach of every addict. We know this is a challenge that seems overwhelming, but we also know that God is a big God and is stooping down right now over the heavens and the earth. He is a big God who loves to see His children trust Him. He loves to see us extend our faith for the impossible.
It is time that we step from the invitation into our Inheritance! It is time we Reframe Possible!
May I remind you to ask yourself, “If money and personnel were not an issue, what would it look like to put hope in reach of every addict in my nation?” This kind of vision requires strategy, it requires dreams bigger that we have ever dreamed, it requires us to reframe possible in our minds and spirits.
Will you join me in believing God for His help to reach the lost addicts in your nation? Will you begin to think of disruptive change instead of incremental change? Will you stretch your faith beyond your own needs? Would you look up into the heavens and speak to God about the needs around and take time to listen to Him?
Then, Reframe Possible!
Jerry Nance Phd
Global Teen Challenge