It was in the spring of 1985, and the next start date for our area’s Intermediate Class had been set. My fellowship coordinator asked if I planned to be in the class. I affirmed that I would be fully registered that same evening. However, there was a small opportunity. At the time, I was serving in the United States Navy, and my ship, the USS John F. Kennedy, was scheduled to be out at sea during the class dates. I knew from a recent Foundational Class that James 5:16 promises “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” I let my fellowship coordinator know the need, and we agreed that our God is big—bigger than even a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier—and that I should attend the class.
On the day of the class, the ship put to sea as scheduled for a two-week deployment, but I kept confessing that I would be at the class on time. As the day wore on, the ship continued on its appointed course. Having recently graduated from the Foundational Class, I was reading records in the Old Testament that were written for our learning, especially as they related to believing God. One record that got my attention was Joshua 10:12, where it was recorded that Joshua said, “…Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.” The next verse records the results: “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies….” I figured since God did that for Joshua in that battle and I was in a spiritual battle, He would do the same for me. After all, we had been taught in the Foundational Class from Acts 10 that “God is no respecter of persons.” I kept the mind picture that I would be at the class and continued to speak in tongues as I had been taught, believing that God would come through.
A few hours later after lunch, an announcement came over the public-address system: “Good afternoon, Kennedy men, this is the captain speaking. We have experienced a small issue and will need to make an unexpected return to port this afternoon. The remainder of the cruise has been canceled and will be rescheduled for a later date. We expect to be back at the dock by 5:00 p.m.”
I never did find out exactly what happened, but I departed the ship as soon as we returned and was in my seat on time for the first session of the class!
There is a verse from the Military Outreach Retemories set that I have enjoyed over the years that I claimed that day and continue to hold close.
II Chronicles 20:15:
…Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
We serve a loving, powerful God Who never changes. What He did before, He can and will do again. We just have to believe Him and claim the promises we have been taught in His wonderful, matchless Word. I am so thankful for this ministry and how we have been taught to practically apply the Word and expect to see the results!