Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).
I can’t tell you the number of times I have tried to resolve or handle life on my own efforts. Or how I would plan and depend upon my own abilities and talents to carry me through. There would be times I would succeed, and everything would work out fine. But more often than not, my plans or efforts would be less than effective or ineffective.
As I continue to mature in my faith and walk, I more often see there are times in my life when I know I am not able to accomplish that task. I will have to trust God, lean on him and ask him to lead me—to be my Ebenezer, Stone of Help. When I have done that, when we do that, he never fails—never. It may not happen the way you expected it to happen, or with the same direction, but God never fails to answer us and to reveal his purpose.
The New King James Version uses the word “manifest” many times through the New Testament. The word means to reveal or demonstrate. God created us to do good works so that he may demonstrate his work and be revealed to all men. In other words, he will be glorified in our faith walks and our faithless walks. He is the one who helps us, takes care of us, provides for us and, most importantly, loves us.
God knows every step we take, and he knows the ways we will turn. He has great purpose for us, and he always is there to guide us. He is the one who has guided Baptist University of the Américas 69 years. He is the one who has brought us to this place and time. After being on one campus since 1965, he has moved us into one new, modern building. As Samuel took that stone and dedicated it to the Lord, so we dedicate and consecrate this new place, this new home to the Lord. “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
We are grateful for the many friends and donors who have prayed and watched and walked with us in this journey. We can say without a doubt God has done this.
We may not always recognize his hand in our lives, or we may be too busy to notice, but God is revealing, manifesting himself in you and all you are doing. Your life is to bring him glory. And here at BUA, he has been glorified.
The Lord has helped us!
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René Maciel is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and president of Baptist University of the Américas, which held the grand opening of its new home Aug. 2.