Wonderful, marvelous, amazing! These are the words that come to mind when I think about Fountain of Life’s 31st anniversary. I am not referring a celebration, No, I’m speaking of two 32 year old kids stepping into an adventure that was anything but natural. The truth is we enjoyed being Pastor Ed Potts’ associate; to this day we have fond memories of that season in our life and being a part of that church family. It was the hardest time of our life to leave them and yet that is what the Lord asked. Elaine and I left our Pastor and home church to begin a new church in Tolono Illinois. We were after all “following God!”
I believe I know a little about what Abram must have felt when he left his father and mother not knowing where he was going. Every step Abram made was made in the midst of adversity and every step developed Abram in hope and faith. At the end of his journey Abram was a changed man, a man of God, the friend of God.
Concerning Fountain of Life, we have been on this sojourn together for 31 years and we too have been molded and changed by our experience. We have had to deal with hurt, offense, with misunderstanding, accusation and with disappointment and yet we continued to walk toward God’s plan. God has and is using our experience together to build us as his people. Looking back it all began with a Word from the Lord!
In I Kings 17, the story is told of Elijah, the Tishbite, lifting up his voice to God and to Israel and saying, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand. there shall not be dew nor rain these years. but according to my word.”
Elijah was following the Word of God. God had said that if Israel rebelled and stated after idols, He would shut up the heavens. He said if they would repent, He would open the heavens (Deuteronomy 11:13-17). Elijah saw them turning from God. He knew the Word of God in regards to this matter. He knew they had broken the covenant. When they turned back to God. he knew the rain would come. because they had restored their covenant-relationship to God.
We are living in a world filled with trouble. We are in a world of stress. We are in a world that is in chaos. No doubt the end time is upon us and our days are similar to those we read of in I Kings 17.
Elijah represents the man of God, the preacher especially leading his flock, or in his ministry. During this period of famine, in the time of drought, in the time of great distress and upheaval, it is of utmost importance that Elijah listen to God and do EXACTLY what God tells him to do.
Our business today is to tune our spirits to the Holy Spirit, to listen to God, to do what God tells us to do, and go where God tells us to go. We call it following the Lord. When we do these things, our needs will be supplied and we will be safe!
I Kings 17:2-4, “And the Word of the Lord came unto him, saying …. ” Elijah heard the voice of God. Now God told him where to go and what to do. He said, ” … Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee THERE.”
There is a PLACE for every person called “THERE.” That place called “THERE.” is where God said, “I have commanded the ravens to feed thee.”
For Elaine and I that place called “THERE” led us to a place called Rhema in Broken Arrow way back in 1979. The place called “THERE” led us to a man of God named Pastor Ed Potts, and New Life Church. Then the place called “THERE” led us back to my home town and begin Fountain of Life in a little storefront building.
The place called “THERE” is the place of obedience to the will of God. When we have the word of the Lord leading and directing then following his plan becomes the place of reward because God always rewards obedience.
I look back on those days when we were doing our best to follow God’s leading. We finished the little building and we were enjoying the fruit of our labors. Somewhere in the tenth year the Lord began putting the Big House in my heart. I knew ten years before we purchased the Big House that the Lord was giving it into our hands, yes you heard right ten years. You know I wasn’t real big on it at first. It took some time for me to catch up to the Lord’s thoughts. Of course when the Lord first spoke about the little building I wasn’t too big on that one either and it took me some time to catch up to the Lord’s thought.
We are talking about the place called “THERE” it is the place named obedience and it becomes a catalyst for blessing in our lives. For Elaine and I in the last 37 years “There” was once called Rhema and then called New Life and later revealed Fountain of Life. Now we have moved, 102 E. Main has become 111 N. Vorcey but one thing is the same we like every Christian before us take faith and patience and obtain the promises of God.
Buildings are just tools like everything we own, they are resources that God has given us to be used for His Kingdom. But when I see the building or other resources I see the call of God, I see the sacrifices of the people, I see obedience!
Again, Our business today is to tune our spirits to the Holy Spirit, to listen to God, to do what God tells us to do, and go where God tells us to go. We call it following the Lord. When we do these things, our needs will be supplied and we will be safe!