An exploit is typically defined as “a bold or daring feat.” Similarly, being bold is “showing an ability to take risks, being confident and courageous.” As Christians, being bold in our own might by embarking on an exploit based on our own reasoning, motives and knowledge leaves us vulnerable to being deceived and breaking our covenant with God.
Daniel 11:32 (CEB): “By deceitful means he (the enemy) will corrupt those who violate a covenant, but the people who acknowledge God will stand strong and act.”
Exploits can take many forms and can potentially take us down many paths. Common threads to any exploit center on stepping out and being confident/bold in the sense of being brave and willing to take risks with care to not cross the line into foolishness.
God’s Word offers us complete wisdom and guidance if we take the time to study it, pray for revelation from the Holy Spirit and have unquestioned faith and trust that God will perform His Word in all aspects of our lives, including any exploit that He brings to us.
My wife Ellie and I are blessed with a wonderful son and a wonderful daughter. As I write this, they both have long since found their true loves, married and have families of their own. Back some years when they were younger and still living at home, each of them at different times were presented with and accepted opportunities (exploits) to join missionary teams.
Our daughter went with “The Continentals” and our son went with “Isaiah 6”. Both teams were centered around ministry, music and putting faith to work. I loved (and still do) the scripture that the “Isaiah 6” team is based on:
Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
Little did I know that this scripture would be personally important to Ellie and I as well!
Some years after their mission trips, in 2001 God opened the door for Ellie and I to go with “The Encore Continentals” on a mission trip to Romania to minister in churches and in particular to a group of orphans. At the time, Romania was only a few years into their new world away from communism and their economy and populus were struggling. Stepping out in faith for this mission trip was indeed an “exploit” for Ellie and I. We both knew deep in our spirits that we needed to go, but we had a very active and busy life already going at home.
I had a very consuming Information Technology career going, basically either actively working or being available/oncall 24×7. Ellie was very busy as well managing and taking care of our home and helping with the extended family and volunteering at a local pregnancy care center. How was our work and home life going to survive with us being completely out of action for a month and dedicated to the mission trip? We faced the doubt of “should we stay or should we go?” knowing in our hearts that it was the latter.
Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies (or situations), because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and He won’t abandon you.”
The overwhelming confidence we both knew in our hearts after praying and receiving Godly council resulted in peace and favor during our preparations. We soon acknowledged that the plan and path that was emerging before us was from God and although we did not truly know the daunting task that was coming…we were confident and willing to risk all knowing that we were in God’s hands. As Deuteronomy 31:6 says above….we knew He was with us and would not let us down or abandon us. Total trust in Him and faith in Him gave us the strength, confidence, stamina and focus to be bold, be strong and do this exploit! We were embarking on something that there was no way we could handle in our own power!
The mission trip was physically grueling from the moment we set foot in the rehearsal camp to the moment a month later when we set foot back on USA soil. As the opening scripture above, Daniel 11:32 promises…Ellie and I kept our covenant with God. We stood strong trusting Him and acknowledging Him…and completed our “exploit” with the faith that more like this are to come.
As a post script and to further show God’s hand in setting up the timing of our exploit…after Ellie and I were home, we reflected on the Romania mission trip…only then did we realize that God had been preparing us for this mission trip starting years earlier. We had been part of a children’s ministry that required us to bring sound equipment and instruments every Sunday. We brought the equipment, set it up, had the service, took it down then took it home. This ministry overlapped into a prison ministry we participated in here in NC, which travelled to several NC prisons and worked the same way. Then, we became part of a weekly Contemporary Christian music venue…”The Fire Escape” which involved helping local music groups setup, run and takedown their band equipment enabling them to minister to the youth community here in Greensboro, NC.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Dick Schubert is a current member of the FVC Praise & Worship team. He has been involved with Contemporary Christian music as a musician and songwriter since 1985. He and his wife Ellie toured with the missionary team “The Continentals” during the Summer of 2001, ministering at several churches in the Southeastern United States then in the country of Romania. He is a graduate of Whittier College in Whittier, California (1971) with a major in mathematics and minor in computer science.