Sun, May 19, 2024

Free Access: Faith Friday: A lifelong faith walk

Steve Swanson is the former station manager of 88.3 WAFJ radio station in North Augusta.

It is a favorite quote of mine, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” How often do we grasp this truth? How often have we ventured outside of our “comfort zones” to discover we have been stretched into a new place? A new situation? A new job? A New Year?

It has happened in my life several times. My wife and I met at Bible school in Washington State more than four decades ago. A scant three months after we were married, I accepted a job in a large suburban church near Minneapolis. Susie and I did not know anyone there. We were setting out together on an adventure. We moved forward by faith. Believing that God had us firmly in his grip and that his plans were better than our own.

Eleven years later, we were ready for a new adventure. Once again, we pulled up our roots by saying yes to a career change into full-time radio broadcasting and a new chapter in our life together. This time, we headed for northern Illinois. And this time, our two children were part of the equation. Although my family lived near us, we were still starting over in a new place, with a new job, new co-workers, a new church, and a new home. If you know, you know! It is quite the process to begin again.

Six years passed when an opportunity opened for us that was again unexpected and took us further south. This time, we settled under the palm trees and into the brilliant sunshine of Florida, 10 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. I was the Program Director for a radio station there and on the air each afternoon from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Our kids went through middle school and high school there. Our daughter went on to attend and graduate from Florida State, while our son headed off to a college in Nashville.

Fast forward through another eleven years. A blur of radio events, concerts, and community connections. Again, quite unexpectedly, a door opened for me to manage 88.3 WAFJ here in Augusta. In the fall of 2006, my wife and I came to the CSRA, once again, knowing no one, but certain we had heard God’s voice, his prompting, and timing.

I share these snapshots of our journey with you because it highlights God’s hand of provision and faithfulness in our lives and experience. Walking by faith needs application in our personal and daily work lives.

God gives us tremendous freedom in making decisions in our day-to-day considerations and opportunities. However, if we choose HIS path for us, it is a path that requires faith. The Bible tells us that “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) No, we do not get all our questions answered, “up front.” No, we will not often know the impact or ripples our decision to say yes will have. I can tell you this however, God will honor your faith. He will walk with you and be sure your needs will be provided for along the way.

Hebrews Chapter 11 gives us incredible examples of people who stepped out in faith and said yes to God’s leading. Abraham is an incredible example. This is the first part of his story:

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive his inheritance, obeyed, and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith, even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 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.

In the same chapter, five verses later, we learn more of his story of faith.

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

Abraham was tested in ways that are hard for us to even imagine. Even to the point of being willing to sacrifice his only son. Yet, he walked by faith. He trusted that God knew what he was doing. He chose to believe in God and learned that this way of living, this “walking by faith” was the ultimate life that pleases God, gives life purpose, and impacts others in ways we cannot begin to fathom.

Here we are. Again today, we have the choice. We can choose to do our own thing and lead us wherever we happen to go. Or we can make the conscious decision to live a life of faith. Often a life of adventure and the unknown.

I am thankful to live by faith. I will always be grateful that God has faithfully led me. Even when I have not been faithful to Him, He has always been faithful and trustworthy. There is certainly much more to come, so I continue to hang on for the adventure!

Do not settle for the ordinary and mundane. Choose to trust God. Embrace living by faith. Moment by moment, day by day! I’ll close with this favorite quote: “God always gives the best to those who leave the choice to him.”

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