I directed a conference called Oasis for almost a decade, always held on the second weekend of October. My life ended up being all about Oasis this time of year, it was time-consuming and overwhelming. More often than not, I would go see my friend, co-worker, and pastor, Marly, with a list of Oasis problems. Without fail, he would respond with a one-word question, “And . . . ?”
In response to his one word, I would list a few possible problems, to which he would ask the same thing, “And . . . ?”
I knew he wanted me to speak about God first rather than the problems. After all, the whole conference was about God.
- And. We were seeking God. But. Also. We worked a full year and spent a lot of money on the two-day conference. Our investment of time and dollars was always a risk.
- And. I felt the pressure of the responsibility, if, Oasis failed. My focus on the problems came out of the fear of what could happen, if, the details did not work out and we were unable to break through the obstacles.
- And. I knew Oasis had only occurred because of God; however, the numbers did not always add up, regardless of how we analyzed and strategized. On paper, it did not always make sense to continue on.
The thing is . . . Marly had unshakeable confidence in God . . . refusing to be discouraged, believing there would be a way through each problem, regardless of how difficult it seemed. With one word, Marly helped me to think and speak faith, daring me to press forward in belief that God would do more than I could imagine.
- And. I slowly learned to think, speak, and act on in faith rather than in fear. My team and I began to intentionally and purposefully focus on scriptures and make them our declaration of faith:
I will go before you
And make the crooked places straight . . . (Isaiah 45:2, NKJV)
Isaiah 45 became one of my favorite promises to repeat over and over. It’s powerful to think of how God will go before us and make a way, even when we do not see a way through it all. Let’s be honest. It often does not seem logical or make sense to have faith. But. Faith is not about what we see, but believing God to be God.
- And. When you get down to it, we grow in faith when we can’t see a way through a situation but trust God will make a way.
- And. God was faithful to show us when it was time for Oasis to end and for something new to begin. Oasis ended in October 2000 . . . we had standing room only . . . over 400 individuals received Christ in one weekend. God was and is faithful.
- And. I still meet individuals who were impacted by the work of God at Oasis.
- And. God is faithful.
Stop in the midst of the stuff you’re facing today. Answer the one-worded question: “And?”
Refuse to be focused on the problems and pressures of the day. Think, speak, and act with faith first. Believe God is not only present, but has gone ahead of you and will make the crooked places straight.
Declare it: “God you have gone ahead of me. I know You are making the crooked places straight.”
Learning to Kickstart the day with unshakeable faith in God,
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)