Pastor Chuck Smith: Venture of Faith—Part 2
Originally published in issue 27 of Calvary Chapel Magazine
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 KJV
Within the Calvary Chapel movement, we have ventured out in faith many times, and God has always proven Himself faithful to guide. Several years ago, we heard that the radio station KWVE was up for sale. At that time we were being broadcast on KYMS. We were actually providing them with the financial funding and visibility needed to get them started. The station president had bought the station in order to bring Christian radio to Orange County, and The Word For Today was originally the station’s anchor program. But when new ownership took over, it decided to go to a contemporary music format, and cut off the Bible teaching programs. So we moved to KBRT, but they were extremely expensive.
Then we heard about KWVE. We decided to make an offer and see what the Lord might do. We asked Him, “Do You want a radio station in Orange County that will broadcast worship music and Bible teaching?”
There we were, willing to venture out and give God a chance. It was solely an act of faith. We were determined that we weren’t going to dicker or negotiate. We were just going to give them a figure. They said, “We have others interested, too.” And we replied, “Fine.” High pressure sales tactics won’t work when you’re committed to the Lord. We prayed, “Well, Lord, if You want it, fine, and if not, that’s fine, too.” Finally, they accepted the offer, and now we have KWVE, which is providing a glorious ministry. Interestingly, it is also showing a profit even though we charge one-third the cost of broadcasting compared to other religious stations in the area. God has blessed KWVE, and it’s because we stepped out in faith.
There was also a TV station that came up for sale, so we made an offer. We saw it as an opportunity to televise what we call “Representative Christianity,” instead of the lunatic fringe programming that was so prevalent. Our bid wasn’t accepted, so we just walked away. We didn’t push, and we didn’t get ahead of the Lord.
A while back, we realized that we needed a larger facility for our Bible College, which was located at Twin Peaks Conference Center at the time. A large, beautiful ranch property owned by the Los Angeles Rescue Mission became available in Vista. We put a deposit on it, but many members of the Vista City Council living near the property started a media drive against us. We decided, “We don’t have to fight this,” and we backed away from the deal. A realtor, who saw the notice in the paper that we had canceled the escrow, called us and said that he had a listing in Murrieta Hot Springs, which had not yet been made public. We went and looked at the property, and we could see the potential there. We made our “low ball” offer on it and said, “If the Lord’s in it, we’ll get it.” And we got it!
For many years we had been wanting the facility next door to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. This six-story office building was originally offered to us for $18 million. A few years ago we made an offer of $15 million, and they said, “No, it’s worth more than that.” Then a person came forward and put together a deal with the major tenant. The property was then offered to us for $8.9 million. We went ahead and got it for $6 million less than we had first offered! We really saw the hand of the Lord in that.
If we had bought the building next door first, we never would have purchased Murrieta Hot Springs. We wouldn’t have been in the position to buy Murrieta. So we can see the hand of God in the whole process. He wanted us to have both of these properties, and He orchestrated the timing in such a way that we were already into Murrieta when the office building became available at a price that was too good to pass up. So here we are now with both pieces of property.
We were taking baby steps, and the Lord wanted us to take a giant step. We learned that you just keep going forward, and as long as the Lord opens the door, you keep moving ahead. There is always a sense of daring in a step of faith. You dare to step out to see what the Lord might want to do. But, again, if God isn’t in it, you don’t fight Him. You don’t press. You don’t manipulate. You don’t force things. If God’s in it, it’s going to go His way. It’s going to go smoothly, and you’re not going to have to make compromises.
In our next issue, we will continue our “Ventures of Faith” series by looking to the Old Testament.
All verses above are quoted from the King James Version.
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