Aug 25, 2015

Steadfast – an 8 Minute Message

Valerie Probasco

On Monday morning of Conference, Bill’s wife, Valerie Probasco (Shiloh SDB church) gave the first 8-minute message of the week. Here is what she shared:

It’s easy to look around and see how steadfast other people are. When given that one word, STEADFAST, and asked what it makes you picture, I picture people. I was raised by hardworking Christian people. My parents were and are steadfast in their work, in their faith, and in their commitment to helping their family. I look at the people of the Shiloh SDB Church and see STEADFAST saints everywhere. I started to write them down but there are so many it would take more than 8 minutes just to tell you their names. I am so blessed when I think of the tremendous, faithful servant leadership of my church. In travelling with Bill this year it was so clear to see that Seventh Day Baptists are a STEADFAST people. Faithful to the Sabbath, faithful to the Word, faithful to the Lord.

Bill is steadfast. Everything about him is steadfast. On his travels this year he’s only shared a few examples about what he feels he is steadfast in. Let me give you a few more from the perspective of someone who has lived with him for 18 years. He is steadfast in keeping certain routines. Every day starts with way too many push-ups and every night ends with reading the Upper Room…no matter how late it is. He

is steadfast with his work ethic from the office to the house to the church. He strives to give every ounce of his ability and time to everyone. He is steadfast in his relationships. No matter what his friends or church family need, Bill is a steady, non-judgmental, unconditional friend. He is a steadfast parent who always brings humor to the family and enjoys being with his kids. He is certainly a steadfast husband, even when life throws interesting curves at us. I think back to right after our second child was born. Being 34 at the time, my hormones took some extra time straightening out. During that post-partum time, being at home with two small children was a blessing, but a bit of a challenge. Invariably, Bill was there, trying to help…but in spite of his very best efforts I clearly remember thinking, for a good week out of every month, that I had married a complete idiot! When I finally realized I was the issue here, I tried some supplements for some help. I read that evening primrose oil was good for what ailed my husband, I mean me. So, since I was home with the kids, I asked Bill to pick some up from the vitamin store. THIS is what my dear, steadfast husband came home with…(picture 2 jumbo-sized bottles of 2,000 gel-tabs)!

It’s much easier to look around and see the steadfast qualities of others. But when the time came to turn the magnifying glass on myself and consider how the quality of being STEADFAST applies to me, the task became suddenly and exceedingly more difficult. Oh man, do I have to do this 8-minute message? That’s a lot of words. I can say what needs to be said in about 90 seconds. How can I get out of this? The battle of the flesh began.

Val - 8 minutes

Immediately following that, came the battle of the mind. STEADFAST??? You? What are YOU steadfast about? Let’s see…keeping the house much less photo-ready than Better Homes and Gardens and being perpetually 5 minutes late to everything. THAT’s what you’re steadfast in. Then came the realization of the spiritual battle. At the mere mention of being STEADFAST, the devil attempts to use condemnation and self-doubt to shake you away from that very concept of standing firm.

Romans 8:1 says “there is now NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

So, now that the battles of the flesh and the mind and the spirit have worked me over, I want to share with you what I hold firmly as the truth. My GOD is Steadfast. He is steadfast when I am not. His strength is made perfect in my weakness (II Corinthians 12:9). I start every day and end every night knowing His steadfast power rules my life. What am I steadfast about? The only thing steadfast about me isn’t me at all. As we say in Jersey, “It ain’t about chu (‘you’).” It’s about the infinite power of GOD.

There are countless ways over the years that He has proven Himself to be steadfast to me. When I was home with our kids full-time and we were on one income, God provided. Time and time again signs of provision and faithfulness would come right to our door. God used His people to show His love for us with gifts of food, clothing, diapers, furniture, and vehicles. The list is overwhelming. But the timing was even more amazing. At the very moment we were at our “last,” He sent his best. God is so good. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and he cares deeply for us.

But way beyond the physical provision, is the assurance that I am a child of the most high GOD and He walks with me daily. When I have emptied myself in service to my job and my kids and my church, I have a GOD whose strength is steadfast. He says, “My grace is sufficient for you.” He says, “Cast your burdens on me because my yoke is light”…and He carries me. Because I know whom I have believed, I am persuaded that HE is able.

I pray that this week you will receive a renewal in the steadfast spirit of our God. Thanks to the blood of Jesus He is in deep…and throughout….and all around you.

Stand firm in that truth.

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