Last Minute God--a new book on the power of hope by Craig Walker

I have met a new friend in Craig Walker. He is the senior pastor of Upward Church in Hartwell, GA, a satellite church of his church in Virginia, that had its beginning on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013. He had reported that 110 people were in attendance, and one soul saved. In a subsequent e-mail, he states that four people were saved.

I endeavor to be accurate, and when there are inaccuracies [and they do happen], we will humbly report it, and get it right. David in Psalm 23, wrote: "He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake" (RSV). In Psalm 51:6, the psalmist wrote, "You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart" (AMP).

Senior Pastor Craig Walker is an ordained minister in Redemption Ministries (Eastern Virginia) Conference of the IPHC. He has recruited Taylor Maxwell to the be the Campus Pastor of Upward Church Hartwell. Taylor is the son of Emmanuel College Campus Pastor Chris Maxwell. Taylor is now a credentialed minister in LifePoint Ministries here in Georgia. His dad Chris is a credentialed minister in LifePoint Ministries. Upward Church Hartwell is a local church in LifePoint Ministries. Bishop Bill Jones, superindent of the LifePoint (Georgia) Conference wrote, "We are modeling a multi campus church that has local churches in one conference while the Senior Pastor is in a different conference."

Pastor Craig Walker has written a new book that has just been published entitled, Last Minute God. Below is a photo of the book cover followed by an introduction to inform you what the book is all about. Let me share with you how to purchase this book:

Send an email and make a request to delicia.jackson@upwardchurch.org. The cost of the book is $8 and $1 for shipping ($9 total).

                    

Attached to each great trial is a desperate and unquenchable desire to see tangible proof that the tide has changed. We want to somehow know that the victory will in the end be won. We plead and beg for some sort of a “sign,” that our prayers are answered, and yet very often we are left with only blind faith to rely upon. Faith doesn’t feel like a lot to hold on to when you feel like you’re drowning and there’s nothing else to cling to!

When waiting for a critical answer to prayer I’ve found that you can find great comfort in the knowledge that God seems to specialize in last-minute deliverances. When we read the recorded rescues recorded in Scripture it gives us courage to hold on when the clock is one minute before midnight and all hope seems lost. How many times has our most critical need been the very prayer that is still unanswered? Yet God often waits until the very last minute to answer our prayers. This last minute pattern leads us to ask the question “Why?” Why does God wait until the very last possible minute to deliver His people? Is it some form of a cruel joke? Is God altogether disconnected from us, uncaring and disinterested with the mortals He created? Or is there a deeper purpose for His delay? And if there is a deeper purpose, what is it? Can we closely examine those examples of last minute deliverances in Scripture and discover His purposes? I believe we can.

In this book we are going to explore the Biblical stories that reveal how God repeatedly waited until the very nick of time to provide the victory, the deliverance, or the provision that His children hoped for. This pattern of God’s last minute answers is evident in every major type of trial that life may throw your way. No matter what you are facing, I believe you will discover a Biblical precedent for your own personal deliverance, one based upon a similar case recorded within the Scriptures. If you are not familiar with the Bible, let me encourage you to take the time to go back and read the Biblical references provided. This is so critical because His words breathe hope into our souls like none other. This will renew your hope, strengthen your endurance, and reinforce your patience because He is “no respecter of persons.” What God has done for others, He has promised to do for you.

If you have ever been down to the wire, sweating bullets because time is running out with no answer to your prayer, no provision provided, and heaven eerily silent; then you know how inconsequential mere faith can seem in that moment.

It may be that you are now facing a great trial with only His promises to calm your anxious heart. You question if faith alone will be enough? So imagine that you are called to stand before a judge and a jury. You are asked to convince them that you are right to hold on to your hope that things will change for the better. You are asked to present them with your evidence. They want to know why you refuse to give in to hopelessness even when all seems lost. The bailiff is asked to bring in the evidence that you have provided, but there is one big problem; your defense doesn’t rest on tangible evidence that the jurors can see, touch, or feel. Your entire case rests upon “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV).

The jury is asked to decide whether this unseen evidence can really change the outcome? Can nations rise and fall, battles be won or lost, destinies be realized or forfeited entirely determined by this preposterous unseen evidence? For those who have been a part of the human experience for any length of time we must acknowledge that yes, faith and hope can change the course of events. Throughout history despair has given way to victory as long as hope remained; but without it, defeat proved imminent. This invisible evidence of hope is the pivotal factor that often determines our victory or our defeat.

Has this book found you facing your own “last minute” with your hope tank in a desperate need of a fill-up? Is your needle already on empty? If so you have come to the right place to replenish your hope and renew your faith. Quite an audacious claim, but one, which I believe, is still accurate. The presence of hope can alter the entire outcome. Great victories are won, fascinating achievements accomplished, and the underdogs emerge the triumphant victors, simply because one last gust of hope blew through the human soul when all seemed lost.

Our courage is summoned and faith renewed by reviewing examples of those who refused to give up or let go of their dreams in spite of their dire circumstances. These are the brave souls of which President Theodore Roosevelt spoke of when he said, “The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who, at best, know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”  When we read these Biblical stories they stiffen our resolve to continue in the face of difficulties.

While hope has the power to turn almost any situation around, it also has a fleeting and precarious nature. Just when you think you have a tight grip on it, boom! It dissipates into midair leaving you feeling like a fool for daring to believe that things could be different. But as quickly as hope can be lost, it can be found again--making the impossible possible. Indeed hope floats.

So as we begin it is important to note that there are dangers ahead. We should begin by acknowledging that our spiritual enemy targets our hope above every other prize that he can take from us. If he can rob you of hope and withhold it from you--all is lost. A hopeless man or woman is tossed about by fear and despair with nothing to keep them afloat. Hope floats but its counterpart, despair, certainly sinks. Without hope there can be no different tomorrow, the gavel has fallen and the sentence is final.

Utter eternal hopelessness is the most tragic result of being forever separated from God. The worst part of hell will not be the utter darkness or the raging fire, but the eternal dread of knowing that there is no hope for a different tomorrow. There is no reprieve, no pardon, and no chance that anything will ever change in hell. This is what hopelessness looks like.

We can all be thankful that hope remains for the living. The last minute God is possibly just one tic of the clock away from granting you your petition. I pray that the following words will tighten your grip on hope until the answer comes. Above all else this is a book of hope. So let hope spring anew in your heart. Hope what a beautiful word. Oh the unlimited power of this little, but life-changing word!

Last Minute God--a new book on the power of hope by Craig Walker