April 25, 2017 • By Ed Wrather
Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. – Acts 11:28-30 NKJV.
Then Solomon determined to build a temple for the name of the Lord, and a royal house for himself. Solomon selected seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry stone in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them. – 2 Chronicles 2:1-2 NKJV.
Huang Dafa is a village chief in the mountains of Guizhou, China. In 1959, the village was in bad shape due to a lack of water with their rice paddy barely surviving. It was then that Huang began carving a canal out of rock through three mountains for his village to have water. The canal when finished was 10 kilometers long (about 6.2 miles). It took 36 years of hard labor, and at times dangerous work on the side of mountains to complete the project. There were some setbacks; the villagers spent ten years digging a tunnel through a mountain peak only to find out that the water would not flow through their channel. It was then that Huang began to study for several years water system engineering. After completion of his studies, he asked the people of his village to once again attempt to complete the water canal.
In 1995, the water canal was finally completed. Not only does the canal supply water to Huang’s village, but also it supplies water to three other villages. Huang, who is now 82-years-old, says about his life’s work: “I was determined to bring water to Caowangba (the name of his village). People have had plenty of food since. Full stomachs mean peace of mind. If we can do something (for progress), we should. We shouldn’t wait for things to happen. Dozens of years of my life could have passed without anything happening.”
It is estimated by the Chinese government that because of the canal rice production has been increased 1600%! In the same year that the canal was completed (1995), a road to the village was completed, and they finally gained access to electricity. Huang says, “I decided to do three things for the villagers: draw water to the village, build a road and get access to electricity.” (Xinhua News)
Before the village of Huang Dafa could have water, a road, and electricity one man had to determine that it would happen. However, deciding this, determining this in his heart and mind was not enough to make it happen. Huang had to actually begin the work of construction, and lead others to follow him helping with the work. He had to be the first one to tie a rope around a tree and then climb down the rock face of a mountain hundreds of feet to where the channel for the canal was to be cut into the rock. Others would not have gone down the rope, if Huang had not led the way.
The disciples after hearing the prophecy of the coming famine “determined” that they would send relief. Determination, however, was not enough; there also had to be action, the actual sending of the help. The famine relief was sent by Paul and Barnabus. There is a non-Biblical record of famine relief being sent as recorded by Josephus.
Solomon “determined” that he would build a “temple for the name of the Lord.” Upon Solomon’s making that determination he immediately began to take action to make the building happen.
Has God placed some great vision or work upon your heart? The first step to bring that vision or work into reality is a determination of the heart. However, determination is not enough. Action is needed, unless there is action to bring about the determination of the heart, nothing will happen. Begin to take that first step, and then the next, and then the next. Often the first step is the hardest of all…have you taken that first step?