In honor of Billy Graham and the life he lived…
Billy Graham was the greatest evangelistic preacher ever to stand and preach God’s Word. He was born on November 7, 1918 in Charlotte, NC on his families’ dairy farm, and he passed away two days ago (February 21, 2018) at the age of 99 years old. There was never any indication that Billy would preach to 215 million people in live audiences over 185 countries; yet that is what God called him to do and God empowered him to do it.
Billy Graham and his ministry made it to Japan where they began a crusade in a large baseball stadium that was in the city of Fukuoka. At this time there were only 1,000 people that believed in Jesus Christ out of a million plus people in Fukuoka. As Billy Graham walked up to the platform, where he would proclaim God’s Word, a typhoon started. The typhoon continued throughout the entire crusade and 18,000 to 19,000 people came night after night in the pouring rain, the gusting wind, and the freezing cold and heard the gospel! During the invitations people were coming by the 100’s to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior!
In Billy’s life there was no indication of what he would become for the Lord. During the crusade in Fukuoka there was no indication that God was going to save hundreds of people, yet He did. We think that the environment has to be right for God to work or the music has to be perfect or the teaching must be unbelievable. Not that doing our best is bad, but God can and will work in spite of us. God will work when He wants to work not when we have executed A, B, and C perfectly. In Fukuoka God worked in spite of a typhoon, which He orchestrated, and that ultimately shows God’s power.
“One day” in 1 Samuel 14 Jonathan, who was the prized son of Saul, decided to go fight the Philistines. In the previous chapter the Philistines trapped the Israelite in a valley and left them to do one thing – hide. The Israelites hid in every cave they could find to get out of the sight of the Philistines. The Philistines also monopolized all metal working so the Israelites could not make more swords or sharpen their own to prepare for battle. The odds were definitely not in Israel’s favor.*
No one would look at this situation and say, “Yep Israel’s got this” but God did. God saw an impossible situation and made it possible. This “one day” had no indication of God moving. This “one day” had no promise for victory. Yet, this “one day” God took an ordinary day and did something extremely extraordinary. He took the odds that Jonathan had and gave Israel victory. Jonathan stepped out in faith and trusted the King of kings!
This “one day” was an ordinary day that God did something extraordinary. I am guilty of too often writing God off because I just think the task is insurmountable. If I am being completely transparent; I sometimes just think God won’t work where I am because it’s me and He works were the “big guys” in ministry are. I have learned that God doesn’t care about circumstances when it comes to Him moving. When God wants to do something that will leave people in awe of His love, power, grace, and mercy He will just do it. Billy Graham said, “The harder the challenge the greater response!” Billy Graham lived his life expecting God to work. In honor of his life, I am challenged and I am challenging you to live the same way. Live and expect for God to work! God can take an ordinary day and turn it into an extraordinary day! Billy Graham knew this and that is why he was not perfect, but faithful to what God called him to do!
*For all my Hunger Games fans “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
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