By Robert J. Tamasy

If you had a chance to talk with anyone who has been involved with CBMC for any length of time, they could tell you about the wealth of spiritual riches they have acquired, how much they have grown through their participation in the ministry. That’s been true for me. Here are three more principles I would like to share with you:

Find where you can flourish. It’s said that if you want to get something done, find a busy person to do it. There’s some truth to that, but sometimes that approach can be abused. In his devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest,” Oswald Chambers writes “good is the enemy of the best,” and “a need does not constitute a call.” In other words, just because something is good to do, that does not necessarily mean we are the persons to do it. 

This has kept me from getting distracted from what God has called me to do professionally. Psalm 139:14 says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and I’ve learned that means the Lord has created us to serve Him in unique ways, according to the gifts, talents and experiences He has entrusted to us. 

One of my best friends in CBMC was Dave Stoddard, who was instrumental in the development of the first video versions of the “Living Proof” training in lifestyle evangelism and discipleship. After serving in a staff role with CBMC for a number of years, he founded a ministry designed to reach business and professional leaders through mentoring and coaching. 

When I went to work with Dave in Leaders Legacy in 2001, he told me, “We want to give you a place where you can flourish and become everything God wants you to be.” This should be our desire for everyone we minister to – to help them discover what the Lord wants them to become, using their unique gifts and abilities most effectively for His kingdom. 

Guard your heart. We’ve seen it too often: Popular, highly regarded Christian leaders falling in disgrace to sexual temptation. Not only is his or her ministry destroyed, but many who loved and admired them are negatively affected. In the 1990s, then-CBMC President Phil Downer and others brought this issue to the forefront, challenging men not to allow themselves to fall into secret sins. 

Proverbs 4:23 warns, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”This principle admonishes us to safeguard our thoughts and actions so temptation can’t make subtle inroads that lead to devastating, destructive sins. One of the ways of building a spiritual hedge around us, I learned, is scripture memory. 

In the Psalms, King David asked an important question: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word…. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9,11). This is one of the keys – hiding the Word of God in our hearts by memorizing it, so that at crucial times, whether for important decisions, seeking guidance, or overcoming temptation, we can access relevant passages from our mind’s “spiritual filing cabinet.” 

I’ll never forget the evening I heard Pete George, a staff director from North Carolina, give a talk that included dozens of Bible passages he had committed to memory. He didn’t do this for show, but to teach how practical and relevant each of these verses was, not just for his topic but for every area of life. Building this kind of treasure chest of spiritual wisdom, trusting God’s Spirit to bring them to mind as needed, is a tried and true way for guarding our hearts. 

Spiritual growth takes time – God has all the time in the world. During my early days with CBMC, I would marvel at “spiritual giants” who seemed to have a mastery of the Scriptures, not only memorizing verses but also knowing where to find passages about just about any topic. “How do they do that?” I wondered. Then I realized their wisdom and depth of understanding had not come overnight, but as the result of a lifetime of diligence in “searching the Scriptures,” like the Bereans in Acts 17:11, and cultivating a healthy, growing relationship with the Lord one day at a time. 

In our microwave, got-to-have-it-right-now world, we grow impatient with just about everything, including spiritual growth. But God literally has all the time in the world. That’s why James 1:2-4 says we’re to consider the trials we face in life as “pure joy” because “the testing of your faith develops perseverance…so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

I could list hundreds of examples, inspiring role models of people God used for helping me through the process of becoming the person He wants me to be. Suffice it to say that through CBMC, I’ve repeatedly seen the reality of Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” 

Another powerful passage that describes the impact of CBMC is Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. It says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” 

The 90-year history of CBMC is one of spiritual legacy, men sold out to Jesus Christ – as “satisfied customers” – investing in others and leaving an impact that will last for eternity. May their tribe continue to increase. Be sure to take advantage of every resource available through CBMC. Years from now, you’ll marvel at how you and others have grown together “toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). 

To close this series, here are a few questions for you to consider: 

1)    Do you believe you are flourishing today – in your career, in your family, or in your personal ministry? If not, why not? What things might you begin doing to ensure that you become everything God wants you to be? 

2)    What steps are you taking to “guard your heart”? Have you allowed compromising situations to enter your life that seem harmless at first, but could lead you down a sinful path that you would one day regret? Who do you know that could hold you accountable to make certain that does not happen? 

3)    If someone were to ask you to evaluate where you are on your spiritual journey, how would you respond? Five years from now, Lord willing, where would you like to be spiritually? What steps can you start taking today to help you in getting there?