4/7/21 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –

At Christmas, Judy and I would always go with our family to my sister Susan’s house for a couple of days, to spend time with my parents, my siblings, and their kids. We could actually see the walls expand as there were times when 60-70 of us would stay overnight.

The young children would always put on a “Christmas production” and often it would be far funnier than anything you would see on “America’s Funniest Videos.” We would also play games from early in the morning until late into the night. One of those games was “Win, Lose or Draw.”

We would have two teams, usually the guys against the girls. Each team would take turns guessing a phrase, title, or thing that one teammate was drawing on a large pad of paper with markers. The team member doing the drawing could not speak about the subject in his or her drawing and could not use letters, numbers, or symbols. If you know my family you would know that it could become very competitive at times, but always fun.

I have realized that, in life, there are only two options: either you win or you lose. When I live by faith, I win; when I live by sight, I lose. When I win, I have victory in my trials and I remain true to God and His desires for me. It means I trust God and do not need to know everything God is doing in my life. I take God at His Word and just do what I should.

When I think of a person that walked by faith, my thoughts go to Abraham. Check this out…

Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

Genesis 22:1-3

Pretty amazing! Not only does Abraham not argue with God, Abraham gets up early the next morning to do what God told him to do!! If it was me, I think I might have procrastinated as long as I could, and maybe even put it off for a day or two.

I remember when our daughter Heather was 11 years old. Judy had taken her to our local health clinic because she had not been feeling well. Once the doctor saw her, they immediately rushed her to the nearest hospital which was 45 minutes away.

I remember arriving at the hospital and walking into Heather’s room. She was in an oxygen tent with numerous tubes running into her small body. When I first saw her, I thought she was dead. I want to tell you that I responded just like Abraham… but I would be lying. I fought with God, I told Him all the reasons that this was unfair. I told Him that Judy and I did not deserve this because of all the things we had sacrificed for Him. I talked, yet God remained totally silent.

I don’t remember how long I argued and God just listened, but after a while I won. Oh… Heather did not have a miraculous healing in front of my eyes, nor did the doctor come into the room and say that everything was OK. As a matter of fact nothing had changed with Heather! (There still was the possibility that she could die.) What changed was me. I finally told God that Heather was His, and He could do whatever He wanted to do with her.

At that moment, although nothing on the outside changed, I was changed. The angst was gone, and I had peace. I won because God changed me, so now I don’t hold things as tightly as I used too. Heather won too. Although she was never healed of the disease, God placed in her soul an endurance, a determination, so that she is able to take on anything that God allows into her life.

With one poor choice, Abraham could have become the loser. If Abraham had chosen to walk by sight instead of by faith, Abraham would have lost out on one of the most incredible plans that God has ever designed for one man. A plan that was designed for him, yet a plan that was going to affect many generations to follow.

Abraham walked by faith, when everything told him that it didn’t make sense. With no known encouragement from his wife or others, Abraham chose to live by faith and it got him into God’s Hall of Fame…

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

Hebrews 11:11-12

Let me ask you something: Are the choices you’re making right now making you a loser or a winner? Are you an excuse-giver, or a God-seeker? In life, there are not three options like in our game… there is no win, lose or draw! There are only two choices in life: win or lose.

If you don’t think so, maybe it is time to reread Abraham’s story, or give me a call and I would love to tell you my story. When you live by faith, you win; when you live by sight, you lose… every time!