Bryan Pickard’s prophetic message for Downs Baptist Church  on Sunday, 9th July, 2023 as the members seek to be a light shining into the community of Woodingdean.

(Written from notes taken during his sermon)

In 2 parts:-

1.Hebrews chapter 12 verses 1 -3 (especially verse 2- Please read it) 

Faith in Action

Note that the book of Hebrews is written to encourage the believers (Jewish converts) not to lose heart, give up their faith or settle for a second-best experience of God.

It is written for us too, exhorting us not to grow weary or fainthearted in our faith journey.

We are exhorted to fix our eyes on Jesus:-

  • The pioneer of our faith – He is the breaker of new ground, blasting a way from death to life.
  • The finisher (perfecter) of our faith – He is the One who has run the race and now stands at the finishing post. He will see us safely there, holding us fast.

We will succeed and take the victors’ prize.

There is a danger of becoming settlers. We say that “we like it here!” Don’t tread water and go nowhere. Don’t settle for something safe, easy and predictable – Jesus has begun a good work in us – be a pioneering people – trailblazers! But, Jesus must be number one in our lives: Matthew chapter 6 verse 33 – Seek first the Kingdom of God.

He enables us to move forward again (for example after serious illness).

Example of Abraham – his call into the Promised Land. Abraham settled halfway, but God encouraged him to move on again.

We may need to stop and take a breather.  To get some rest with Jesus.

Warning:-  Rest and reflection must not become a settled state.

Some of us may be old (!!), but we are still in the race!

We stop for a while, but we must not tread water. We take a break, but we can’t settle!

2. Joshua chapters 1 – 3  Crossing the Jordan. READ the whole of chapter 3 – (it’s an amazing chapter! )

When God speaks it generates faith. Faith comes through hearing. Romans 10 v 17. When God says we can go on, we can!

Warning:-  Don’t get stuck in the past.

And faith for the future is great, but we are called to live in the here and now.

There have to be changes from our settled state.

Look at the example of Israel – they wandered in the desert for 40 years, having their faith stretched. The time to move on had come.  The Israelites were called to a new experience, to cross over, to break new ground together, to move into their inheritance, to trailblaze.

Chapter 3 verse 4 emphasises that –  “You have never been this way before.”

We are also called to a new experience, to fathom new ways of doing things. There will be new challenges and new victories. However, the best is yet to come.

Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11:-  For I know the plans I have for you…………

If God calls us, we can be brave and courageous like Joshua. We need to be people with a rucksack still on our backs.  We must be willing to pack up our things and move. And our leaders will have to step into the water first! It will be a new season. For example, things that the Israelites relied on, disappeared.  They had to plant their own crops, to manufacture their own food.

In the same way churches want to settle for a nice, secure life. Warning –  Don’t settle for the wrong reasons.

But we have to let go of past insecurities and relationships and be willing to put our feet into the water.  The Spirit of God is urging us to set out upon the waters. God will give us the strength to trailblaze.


Despite the hurts, we want to finish well.  We want to see the work in Woodingdean move forward.  We want to push on ahead with You.

To listen to the first part of Bryan’s message and to see another precis of the second part, head to our Sermons page