In Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament: A Creative Bible Study Experience , I share a true-life story of a vital decision-point in our lives. I was eight months pregnant when an invitation to a free marriage retreat arrived from Forest Home Christian conference center. Bill was a youth pastor at the time, so I leapt at the opportunity for a rare cozy weekend away for us. At the Saturday evening session, we experienced a God-ordained watershed moment listening to the story of God giving the covenant promise in Genesis 15:5-6: (NIV)
“Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord.” (emphasis added)
The Bible is full of promises. These promises become moments of personal choices of belief: a watershed moment that vitally impacts our future.
On the farm I grew up on, we slanted the roofs of the sheds and farmhouse to direct the rain water to travel a path for the most positive impact: to water a garden, to be saved in case of drought, into a water trough, to water a flowerbed, etc.
In life, a watershed moment is a a choice to take a side of a decision, to align loyalty, to slant your tomorrow by the choice made today.
One of the preeminent watershed moments was when God asked Abram to bring a sacrifice that was symbolic of the life and death commitment made in a covenant between two parties.
So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. …As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, …In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here…”
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram”
God knew Abram was human and would fail, so he made a promise with himself to keep the promise.
The promises in the Bible are as good as the One making the promise. God used this covenant process because it was familiar to the culture. People knew that if a person broke the promise, the other could slay him as punishment. God was proclaiming the same type agreement. Because God made this promise, if he fails to keep it, he will die.
But God cannot die.
Revelation 1:8 (NIV) says of God: “Who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Because God is pre-existent and self-sustaining, he was never born so can never die so he is fully able to keep every promise.
In our watershed moment, as we sat in a chapel at Forest Home years ago, Bill and I recommitted ourselves to be used, as a couple, to share God’s love and equip people to love wisely. In a sense, our ministry Love-Wise was born that day, even though it would be many more years until we titled our speaking and writing ministry. That day, though, we committed, as a couple, to be writers, speakers, and leaders to help others with their most vital relationships.
Many others have had watershed moments at that same conference center: Forest Home. The founder, Henrietta Mears, brought young leaders to the mountain. One of her famous quotes is,
“There is no magic in small plans. When I consider my ministry, I think of the world. Anything less than that would not be worthy of Christ nor of his will for my life.”[i]
Years later, many former students, now leaders, assembled for a recommissioning and vision setting gathering and they represented over fifty Christian organizations.
Billy Graham while a speaker at Forest Home at the start of his evangelistic ministry, in his watershed moment, laid down his Bible on a stump, and prayed,
“Father…I will believe this to be Your inspired Word.”
Christ brings each of us to a watershed moment to make a choice to believe in Him, in His Word, and in His ability to keep his promises. He brought the disciples to Caesarea Philippi, where worship of many false gods including Greek god, Pan, (half man, half goat,) was taking place. Jesus, asked the disciples
“Who do people say the son of man is? …Who do you say that I am?”
It was their watershed decision point. Peter rose and replied,
“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-18 niv).
Hebrews 11:1(ESV) calls us all to this decision point:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Faith is to have a solid conviction, to be fully persuaded, and assurance is the picture of a land deed So, faith is like the legal title to hope. The definition of hope I formed when writing Discovering Hope in the Psalms is “to wait expectantly for God to show up and show off for your good and His glory.”
Hope believes God keeps his promises—even in the waiting.
Today can be your watershed moment. Are you fully persuaded that God loves YOU? That God’s Word is a love letter of truth to rescue, redeem and restore YOU? Have you directed your talents, skills and heart-passions into a calling to be used fully for God and His Kingdom purposes? Are you choosing loyalty to God and His timeless Word over momentary trends?
Take a moment and write a declaration of your faith belief. Pen a note in your Bible that you believe each word is truth and your believe it. Then hang your heart on the God who keeps ALL His Promises.
Pam Farrel is a bestselling author of 56 books, and the co-author of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament: A Creative Bible Study Experience (this blog is adapted from this ECPA award- winning Bible study from Harvest House Publishers)
Join Pam’s Interactive Zoom Bible study on Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament starting April 5, 2022.