This month, I’d like to introduce you to Jerry McCauley, the Senior Vice President of our Communications team here at Living on the Edge. I’ve asked him to give you an update on some of the exciting things God is doing through the ministry. I trust you’ll be encouraged by his report. Your partnership means the world to us.
Your gift this month will be used to disciple believers in the US and around the globe.
When we step out in faith and ask God to use us to make a difference in our world, amazing things can happen. Nehemiah experienced extraordinary victories rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, but to achieve them he had to navigate some rocky roads. You will too…and you’ll need a Courageous Soul like Nehemiah’s to stand firm against the enemy!
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid… for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NASB 1995)
Dear Ministry Partner,
My heart is overflowing with thanksgiving as so many of you gave so generously last month for our Mid-Year Match. Thank you for your partnership! Because of faithful ministry partners like you, we are able to move forward with the plans God is calling us to.
Because of your gifts, we are able to confidently take the next steps in our three priority areas of ministry:
Discipling God’s People, Training Pastors, and Reaching the Next Generation.
In our chaotic and uncertain world, God is calling us to be Disciple Makers and Difference Makers for the Kingdom. He’s planted deep within each of us a Holy Ambition, a passion to let God do a powerful work in us and through us!
Reflecting on the life and legacy of Nehemiah, we’ve been walking through the process God often uses in our lives. It starts with developing a Dislocated Heart, experiencing a Broken Spirit, practicing a Radical Faith, and creating a Strategic Plan. I pray you’ve been challenged to step out by faith and ask God to use you to make a difference in your world.
As you do, I’d like to warn you about some speed bumps you’ll face. I don’t want them to take you by surprise. You’re going to need a Courageous Soul in order to confront them and win!
In the early days of launching your Holy Ambition, there’s an aura of fulfillment, excitement, and anticipation. It’s easy to get swept away by unconscious expectations like: life is going to be great, God is going to answer my prayers, and there’s a life of smooth spiritual sailing and blessing ahead because I’ve stepped out, made sacrifices, and committed to God’s agenda. Let me share about a time I experienced some of those speed bumps I mentioned.
It was 1978 and I had made the deepest personal commitment of my life apart from my commitment to Christ: I married Theresa. We had honored God in our courtship and engagement; we committed to leaving family, friends, and possessions to enter full-time ministry. Then, just six days into wedded bliss, I found myself discouraged, depressed, and disillusioned. How could God let me crash and burn so badly?
I actually thought that since we were doing things God’s way, our life and marriage was going to be heaven on earth. I was as committed to Christ as I had ever been, so my expectations about marital life weren’t just big; they were galactic.
And then it happened: We had our first big fight, followed by two years of conflict and struggles. I’ll spare you the details, but our great step of faith to follow God’s plan was met with pain, challenges, and confusion. I vividly remember driving alone for a couple of hours wondering, What did I do wrong? What’s the deal, God? We did it Your way. Did I make a mistake? Did I marry the wrong person? The problem wasn’t with our marriage; the problem was with me.
My expectations were skewed. I assumed our great sacrifice would result in great and immediate blessing. I actually thought God owed us marital bliss because we were doing life His way. In short, I believed a myth: If I did what God wanted me to do, if I took a step, if I made a sacrifice, God would automatically make things better.
What I’ve learned—and what the Scripture teaches—is much different. Whenever we step out and say by faith, “I am going to do things God’s way,” subconsciously we start assuming, Life will probably get better. God is going to bless me. This thinking gets us into trouble. The truth is, God does what He promises, but we often forget we’re in a spiritual battle.
Here’s the startling truth: Your greatest personal commitments and spiritual victories will almost always be followed by periods of intense opposition. Don’t be surprised if the enemy launches his offensive by jabbing you with ridicule and criticism. That’s what he did with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 4:1-2). Wherever God is at work, the mockers and doubters come out of the woodwork. The ridicule that says “There is no way you can make it” throws the first punch.
Nehemiah’s response? He prayed and turned the offense over to God. He handled opposition by handing it to God (Nehemiah 4:4-5).
When God’s agenda moves forward and when the enemy’s jab of ridicule doesn’t slow things down, he will often try discouragement (Nehemiah 6:7-12). Again, Nehemiah prayed and stood firm. Even the threat of violence couldn’t make him and his people swerve from their purpose.
I want you to pause and ponder for a moment the profound shift that has happened in America. We are living in a day when mass shootings, violence, lawlessness, and the celebration of what God calls an abomination is the norm. Things can change, and God is still very much at work. For us as believers, we must live out faith, commitment, perseverance, and active love like the early church modeled for us in their violent anti-God culture.
Don’t dispair! Fight! Fight with truth and love and priorities that put God’s agenda at the top of your list.
When you feel like it is too difficult and you want to give up, remember you’re in good company. When you feel overwhelmed, take heart. You’re not alone. I’m confident that God will equip you with a Courageous Soul to accomplish His work through you!
In the battle with you,
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Every month, we’ll share with you the top three prayer requests and praises from our team at Living on the Edge. This update is one of our favorite, as it’s so clear the many ways that God is at work in our ministry. Chip and our entire team encourage you to celebrate and pray alongside us.
We Thank God For…
- His faithfulness by supplying the resources needed through the generosity of our ministry partners during the Mid-Year Match!
- Greatly blessing the pastor trainings in The A.R.T. of Survival in Africa and Mexico in June. Thousands of faithful pastors were encouraged and trained to serve their churches and influence their communities.
- His work continuing to build on the connections made by our Global VP, Tim Innes, at the BlueMed conference in Greece to serve pastors and church leaders in the Middle East.
We ask God to…
- Speak through Chip as he teaches a new four-part series at Awakening Church in San Jose.
- Bless The A.R.T. of Survival trainings in the three regions of India this month: Hyderabad, Chennai, and New Delhi.
- Protect the Global team members that must travel extensively for the ministry work—for the Lord to guard their physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Living on the Edge helps Christians bring their faith to life by living before God, in community and on mission.