Reach for the Stars
former Vice President of Pinecrest
There have always been men who walked in a realm beyond the
limitations of their time and generation. While most men feel
that they have to settle for the status quo, and seem satisfied
with whatever is made available to their generation, there
are some who are spiritual pioneers, who “reach for
Enoch was such a man. The Bible says: “Enoch walked
with God; and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis
5:24). Now this may not seem like such a great thing to some
of you, but let me remind you . . . Enoch did not live in
a day when men were walking with God. It had been almost a
thousand years since Adam had walked with God in the garden.
After the fall, men had only the promise of death. The earth
was filled with violence, and the ungodliness of men was a
stench that reached to heaven. There were no churches in every
village and hamlet. There was no saviour yet who had died
for the sins of men. Saints of God were almost unheard of.
Yet in the midst of this, Enoch believed that he could reach
beyond the limitations of his generation, and walk with God.
Hebrews 11:5 says that Enoch pleased God. It also says that
he was a man of faith, and that by faith he was translated
that he should not see death. This was something unheard of.
Adam had been dead for more than fifty years. Though men lived
many years, yet no one had hope of escaping death. But by
faith Enoch believed that he could. And he did.
The First Prophet
Enoch was the first one we read of who had a “Thus
saith the Lord.” We read in Jude 14 that “Enoch
prophesied, saying Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands
of his saints, to execute judgment upon all.” Now Enoch
as only the seventh from Adam, and he lived in a day when
we can hardly find a half dozen saints, let alone ten thousand.
Yet he looked far beyond his own day, and saw into the great
Day of the Lord when the saints of God would execute a great
victory over evil in the earth.
I realize that today we are living in a time of evil, a time
of death. War, famine, and pestilence will take the lives
of millions. The outlook is very dark. But don’t hold
me down to this death realm, for like Enoch, I believe there
is a greater place in God than men are seeing in this generation.
Like Enoch, I am laying hold of the Life of God, and “reaching
for the stars.” Glory to God!
Noah Found Grace
Noah had never heard Enoch prophesy. He had never heard Adam
tell of the wonders of the Garden of Eden. He was born at
a time when the wickedness of men was so great that it was
causing God to repent that He had ever made man. There seemed
no hope for mankind. The word of the Lord had been spoken:
“I will destroy man whom I have created from the face
of the earth.” Judgment seemed inevitable. Noah had
no one to encourage him in the ways of righteousness, or a
five-fold ministry to help perfect him. He lived in a day
of wickedness and judgment.
But Noah would not settle for the lot of other men. Genesis
6:8 says: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
“But Noah . . .!” There have always been those
who stand out from others by their refusal to conform to the
ways of the world. And this man was an outstanding example.
Ezekiel 14:14 lists him as one of the three who could deliver
their souls by their righteousness. Hebrews 11:7 says that
Noah was a man of faith and that he believed the warning of
God concerning things not seen as yet, and became heir of
the righteousness which is by faith. And it was not only himself
he was interested in saving, but the Bible says that he prepared
an ark “to the saving of his house,” as well as
the inhabitants of the beast realm.
Let Me Go On in God
I know this is a day of wickedness and judgment. I realize
that the word of the Lord has gone forth against this generation
of religious and moral decay. But I have had a warning from
God; “Build an ark!” There is deliverance from
judgment. Not only for myself, but others also who have never
heard from God. For when the Ark is ready, they will come
in. I realize that even the preachers are preaching that righteousness
and perfection cannot be reached in this life. But I have
heard from God that I can find grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Let me alone. Let me reach for the stars. I refuse to be held
down to this realm of sin and judgment. I am pressing toward
the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ
Jesus. If you cannot receive such a word, walk where you must,
but let the pioneers of faith press on in God. They cannot
stop until, like Noah, they step out into a new earth, full
of the righteousness of God.
Give Me a Double Portion
Elisha was a young man, the son of a judge. He was a strong,
husky young man, and a hard worker. He had a good future,
and no doubt would have been able to have a nice farm and
a fine family. But one day while he was plowing with twelve
yoke of oxen, and he was with the twelfth, the prophet of
God came by where he was working and cast his mantle over
the boy. His life was immediately changed. He had heard the
call of God for a higher calling. He left his oxen and began
reaching for the stars.
Elijah was the greatest prophet of that day, but he was very
unpopular with the government. In the natural, it was not
an easy choice for Elisha to make. But God had chosen wisely.
He had picked a man to succeed Elijah. This was a large calling
and required a man of daring faith. Elisha was that man.
His ministry did not start in a blaze of glory. He began
by being a servant to the man of God. He washed the dishes,
the clothes, the prophet’s feet. He carried the wood
and built the fire and did all the other necessary but menial
jobs while Elijah spent his time seeking the face of God.
This is where many men fail their calling. When the ministry
turns out to be less than spectacular, they decide to go back
to their “oxen.” But Elisha kept plugging ahead
on his way to the stars. If it took humility, he would take
the low seat. If it took faithfulness, he would pay the price.
Whatever it took, he had a spiritual stubbornness that made
him determined to go all the way. He had heard from God. Nothing
Ask a Hard Thing
Elisha received no encouragement in following Elijah. Everywhere
he went the sons of the prophets tried to discourage him.
His answer was: “Hold your peace.” Even Elijah
tested him three times, but his answer was “As the Lord
liveth, I will not leave thee.” He had no elders in
the church to give him a word of encouragement or to pray
him over the obstacles. He could not run home to mother and
dad for a few days to rest up and relieve the tension. All
he had was his determination to see this thing through and
receive that which he felt belonged to him by virtue of his
call in God.
Finally they are across Jordon. He has just seen a tremendous
miracle by the hand of the prophet. It is time to get his
inheritance. The question comes: “Ask what I shall do
for thee.” Can’t you just hear this young man’s
humble answer as he stands before the great man of God? Here
was Elijah who had stood before King Ahab and judged the nation
of Israel for her sin. Here is the one who had spoken the
word that withheld the rain for three and a half years, and
then had stood alone against 400 prophets of Baal and defeated
them with a mighty demonstration of the power of God. Ask,
says the prophet. The young Elisha looks at him. What do you
think he asked for? “Let me be just half the prophet
that you have been, and I’ll be satisfied?” No,
no. His faith reached for the stars as he cried out “I
want TWICE what you’ve got!” Glory to God, what
a request! You know the story. He received so much of the
life of God that he caused iron to float, poison pots to be
nutritious, the dead to be raised to life again, and the ditches
to be filled with water. He healed the leper, fed a multitude
on a few loaves of bread and a handful of corn, and caused
the widow’s pot of oil to flow until all her debts were
paid. At his word, barren women brought forth sons, and he
captured an entire army single handed. And when he finally
goes to be with the Lord, his body still has so much of the
life of God in it that a dead corpse that is accidentally
thrown in the grave on top of him comes to life and goes running
Don’t Fence Me In!
Praise God, with examples like that in the Word, I am encouraged
to ask largely of the Lord. We are dealing with One who is
able to do for us exceeding abundantly above what we can ask
or think! Do you think you can bankrupt heaven? Well, think
again. Think with the mind of the Spirit, and come up with
a heart full of living faith. Rise above your circumstances.
Don’t be bound to the limitations of your generation.
You don’t have to stand and stagnate in the status quo.
You can reach into that which God hath prepared for them that
God has had men who have quenched the violence of fire, stopped
the mouths of lions, turned to flight the armies of the aliens,
and subdued kingdoms. He is not going to stop with that. He
is looking for pioneers of faith who dare to reach for the
stars. He wants a people who will break forth upon this world
with such a manifestation of His glory that all creation will
be set free from the curse of death that is upon it. Be that
man! Be that woman! Let faith and courage flood your soul!
Look beyond the earthly limitations. Reach for the stars!