A powerful book for teaching us how to have strength to follow God in an ever changing world.
In today’s post I want to share a book that is an encouragement and resource to learn how to be strong for God… Whatever The Cost (by David and Jason Benham). I read this book several years ago when I was going through a trial over a new program I had been put in charge of starting in our church.
I had been laying flat on the floor praying (that is the best position for answered prayers) over this one because we didn’t have enough workers, money, or strong leadership and my personality tends to make me quiet, so people think they can run over me. And, usually they are right:)
The book did help me stand strong on my convictions of how the program should look if we purposed in our hearts to not have an offense before God (see Daniel 1:8), but it wasn’t enough because the other people I was dealing with were not reading books like this one. My husband and I ended up leaving that church to prevent divisions or disunity (see 1 Corinthians 1:10).
Recently, I picked up the book to read again with my husband as part of our daily morning devotions, and I wanted to share some points the book makes to help us stand strong for God.
David and Jason were discipled by their Dad and coach to start a strong relationship with God from an early age and to study God’s word throughout their lives for the direction that only your creator can give you. The take away points are:
1. Study God’s word deeply.
2. Use God’s word for direction.
3. Find someone to disciple you.
4. Start early.
Throughout the book, David and Jason show examples of blessings they received when they followed God’s direction and disappointment when they rushed ahead of God’s plan. They learned early to be humble men and to be faithful to do the right thing in the small things. At one point, David gave up the opportunity to follow a life long dream to play baseball and took a job as a janitor for a small Christian school.
In the book, David relates his experience with learning to accept where God places you. During a prayer time with the Lord, he felt God telling him… “be faithful in the little things” and goes on to say, “I sensed Him saying to my heart. Be faithful right where I put you. Stop worrying about where you thought I was going to get you. You’ve made that an idol in your life. Just be faithful to Me.” (page 74)
He continues, “I had made an idol out of the promise, purpose, plan, and platform God had given me for my life. So when things worked out differently than I had envisioned, I found myself reeling, trying to find my identity. All along my identity should’ve rested solely in the Person of God—not in His plan for my life.” (pages 74-75)
An idol is anything that we place importance on over God. Idols can be careers, money, food, family members, or even what we feel are the big things we think God is going to do for us. Instead of wanting the “things” from God, we should purpose in our hearts to just want God. To want to know Him better. To understand who he is. And then we are back to studying His Word, once more, because that is the only way to know Him.
The Benham brothers warn us that as we face our battles in this world we need to make sure we pick up the right weapon. Instead of a physical battle, we are in a spiritual battle and knowing this will help you “pick up the right weapon and fight it with the right weapon—truth and love.” (page 149)
As a Christian and a writer who has been told over and over in every meeting, class, or conference that I attend “you need to build a ministry platform”, I would like to examine one more quote from the book.
“God is not going to give you what’s in His hand until you let go of what’s in yours. The issue isn’t, what’s in God’s hand? The issue is, do you trust God enough to let go of what’s in yours?” (page 186)
We cannot know what the Lord wants from us in this strange new world we live in with viruses, stay at home orders, masks, riots, and food shortages. Everything has become unpredictable as we try to decipher it through past lens of experience. The virus alone changes our previous knowledge of how viruses usually work.
So as we move forward in this “Crazy World”, check out Whatever The Cost for practical application to stay strong in every situation we face and to reap the blessings God provides through obedience to Him. I would recommend this book for teen guys, adult men and due to the humor the brothers like to inject in every situation [they both seem to cry a lot:)] women will find it helpful and entertaining.