I was listening to Chuck Swindoll today and he told the greatest true story about the filming of Ben Hur that epic movie with Charlton Heston. I was compelled to share. ..
While filming the movie the Director, William Wyler approached Charlton about the chariot race. He told him that he felt that Charlton should be the one to drive the team of horses for the race instead of using a stunt double. Charlton agreed to do the training. A week later, Charlton approached William and said.
“Well. ..I think I am able to drive the horses. But I’m not sure I can win the race. ”
Williams reply; “Charlton, you just drive the horses, stay in the race. .. and I’ll make sure you win!”
‘… for God is the One working among you both the willing and the working for what pleases Him.’
I love stories like this. The Lord comes right in and makes it living and breathing right in my own ‘yard’. He says. ..
“You just stay in the race, I’ll make sure you win!”
He’s saying that to every one of us. .. right now. .. today. We need not worry about our own skills or if they are “trained enough” or if we can bring home a trophy! If we do as God asks of us, and trust all the reward, effort and glory to Him. .. that IS the trophy! The deed or action has very little to do with what God is really working. .. it’s our hearts coming to know Him and see His trustworthiness that’s always the goal. For some it may be just getting up to take out the trash; for some it may be for praising Him while every single place they look it may appear that God has forsaken them; for some it’s thanking Him for food and paid bills that their accounts don’t reflect the funds to do so; others to rest and be still when everything inside them wants to get up and run.
“You just stay in the race. .. I’ll make sure you win!”
That is Christ-mindedness. .. who even knows if that director knew Christ? But Christ knows and knew every single one of those who were directed by William for that movie. .. and every single one of those who would watch it and “enter the race”… God has a different perspective of winning than mankind. It’s always more like a groom wooing and ‘winning’ the hand of a bride. It’s relational. .. not educational, not skill-set enhancing, not money earning, not religious training… but making Himself known in such a way that we come to know Him and forget about ourselves. ..except that we can say
“He made me, uses me. .. what a miracle it is to be. That He makes Himself so real to me. He must be more real than anything He lets me see!”
“You stay in that race. .. I’ll make sure you win!”
Can you hear Him?
Now, to the One who can keep you from falling and set you without defect and full of joy in the presence of His Sh’khinah (Divine presence; manifest glory of God present with man) – to God alone, our Deliverer, through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord – be glory, majesty, power and authority before all time, now and forever.
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah
The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall. Pages 45-47
☆ The Reasons for Trusting God’s Power ☆ continued. ..
3. His Eternal Desire
It has ever been and always will be the Father’s will that we trust only Him. God demands to be called the Almighty; He insists we place our confidence in Him. That child is wise who does as his father bids. Man may be called wise, merciful, mighty; but only God is all-wise, all-merciful, all-mighty. When we leave out this prefix all, we nickname God and call Him by a creature’s name, which He will not answer to. His insistence on this particular is accented in several ways:
First, in the strict command to give Him glory for His power. He has made it clear in His dealings with men that all power is His, and He will not share His glory with any other: ‘Neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. .. but sanctify the Lord of host Himself’ (Isaiah 8:12-13) And not only in the midst of a marvelous display of His might. In the darkest hour, in the least likely circumstances, faith (trust) must run to the Father with praise for His greatness.
The severe discipline He administers when we fail to trust Him also shows the importance of acknowledging His omnipotence. Our faith (trust) is so important to God that He will sometimes chastise His dearest children when they stagger in this area. *He expects us to trust Him even when we come off poorly by our own standards. We are not to argue or reason; we are to submit and cling to the promise of His power poured forth for us. Zacharias merely asked the angel, ‘Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years’ (Luke 1:18). And for daring to question the vastness of God’s power, he was struck dumb on the spot. God longs for His children to believe His Word, and not to dispute His power. The distinguishing mark of Abraham’s faith was that he was ‘… fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able to perform’ (Romans 4:21)
To encourage our trust, the Lord often intervenes in mighty ways on behalf of His people. *Sometimes He allows an opposing force to arise, so that at He can raise up a more magnificent pillar of remembrance of Himself. This pillar will stand in the very ruins of that which contested His power. Thus, when He intervenes all must say, ‘Almighty power was here!’
Such was the case with Lazarus. Christ stayed away until the man was dead in order to give a greater demonstration of His power. God sometimes used the same method in the Old Testament. Remember the Exodus. If God had brought Israel out of Egypt while Joseph was in favor at court, they probably would have had an easy departure. Instead, God reserved His deliverance for the reign of that proud Pharaoh who cruelly oppressed them and satisfied his lust upon them, that His children might know beyond doubt Who had delivered them.
God’s timely intervention is a confirmation that you can believe His almighty power is yours, engaged for your defense and help in all trials and temptations. God miraculously brought Israel out of Egypt; did He then set them down on the other side of the Red Sea to find their way to Canaan using their own skill and strength? No, ‘The Lord God bare them as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that they went’ (Deut. 1:31)
*God makes the soul willing to come out of satan’s clutches, then brings him out of spiritual Egypt by His converting grace. When the Follower is on his march and the whole country rises up against him, how will he get safely past all his enemies’ borders? God Himself will enfold him in the arms of His Everlasting strength. We ‘are kept by the power of God through faith (trust) unto salvation’ (1 Pet. 1:5). *The power of God is that shoulder on which Christ carries you, His lost sheep, home – rejoicing as He goes (Luke 15:5). The Everlasting arms of His strength are eagles’ wings, upon which you are both tenderly and securely conveyed to glory (Ex.19:4).
– to be continued. ..
☆ Questions for further digestion ☆
♡ When trials come do you trust and wait to see God’s almighty power present itself?
♡ Do you, if you cannot see with your physical eyes before they close in physical death, pour forth your trust even then?
♡ Why do you think God is so insistent on us trusting what He says?
♡ What did Yeshua (Jesus) say that reflects how Trustworthy the Father is?
♡ Can you trust Him in you?
♡ Do you really believe that your only ability to trust God comes from God Himself?
♡ Where are you tempted right now to doubt that He is working inside and into your life?
♡ What promises of His power do you cling to with all your heart, all your strength, all your mind and all your will?
♡ Do you arm yourself with them at all times? Or only when you are struggling?
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah
In honor of Rosh Shoshanah and Yom Kippur. ..
For those who are interested in why and how these holidays have significance for all who follow Yeshua (Jesus) click the link after the post.
The following comes from George MacDonald Sermons: The Truth in Jesus.
What I insist upon is, that ones faith shall be in the living, living, ruling, helping Christ, devoted to us as much as ever He was, and with all the powers of the Godhead for the salvation of His brethren. Is it not faith that He did this, that His work wrought that – it is faith in the Man who did and is doing everything for us that will save us. Without this He cannot work to heal spiritually, any more than He would heal physically, when He was present to the eyes of men.
Do you ask, “What is faith in Him?” I answer, the leaving of your way, your objects, your self, and the taking of His and Him; the leaving of your trust in men, in money, in opinion, in character, in Atonement itself, and the doing as He tells you. I can find no words strong enough to serve the weight of this necessity – this obedience. It is the one terrible heresy of the church, that it has always been presenting something else than obedience as faith in Christ.
The work of Christ is not the ‘Working Christ’, any more than the clothing of Christ is the body of Christ. If the woman who touched the hem of His garment had trusted not in Him who wore it, would she have been healed? And the reason that so many who believe about Christ rather than in Him, get the comfort they do, is that, touching this the mere hem of His garment, they cannot help believing a little in the Live Man inside the garment.
Some even ponder the imponderable – whether they are of the elect, whether they have interest in the blood shed for sin, whether theirs is a saving faith – when all the time the Man who died for them is waiting to begin to save them from every evil, first from this self which is consuming them with trouble about its salvation. He will set them free, and take them home to the bosom of the Father – if only they will mind what He says to them – which is the beginning, middle, and end of faith. If they would but awake and rise from the dead, and come out into the light which Christ is waiting to give them, He would begin at once to fill them with the fullness of God.
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah
I was running errands today listening to the radio and heard the most amazing analogy. They were talking about seeds. How we can learn so much from them. The commentator first spoke of how small seeds are. Most seeds are very small. They mentioned how Yeshua (Jesus) mentioned the mustard seed as an example. (A very small seed indeed). He could have used any seed in His creation. ..a pumpkin seed for example. .. much larger in size; but He chose the mustard seed, and God never says anything without huge and multifaceted significance.
At this point the Spirit “took over” and the commentary ran in the background while He spoke to my heart. How little and tiny; almost hardly worth recognizing the mustard seed is. Yet it does grow into a huge fixture in a garden. What it takes for God to work in us amounts to what we often over look as insignificant. Or daily little comings and goings. .. duties. .. chores. The simple act of greeting someone. .. stopping to go and welcome a loved one home. And then He showed me a real kicker.
We often know in our heads how much sleeping is a “good thing”… we even look forward to a good night’s rest. But we often discount how God works in it. Namely because we do so little but surrender to our exhausted bodies! Sleep is a mustard seed. ..
Again I was drawn back into the radio program. Now they were speaking about the planting of a seed. How it goes into the dark, dirty soil and is covered up by more dark and dirty soil to start to germinate.
Again, with my mouth dropping at the profoundly new perspective I was beginning to see; the radio tuned into a back channel and the Spirit ran out in front of my car and said, “Follow Me”. I was fixed upon His knee.
We too often think God comes to a clean place. .. Instead of to come clean a place. The difference is huge. We can be so distracted by “cleaning ourselves up” or prepping our own soil. .. that we are blind to the heavy yoke we choose instead of the one Yeshua invited us to take upon our shoulders. While we were yet sinners. .. Christ died for us! He was planted into our dark and dirty hearts! The producing of fruit is all His work. Done under ground if you will, where we think He does not go. .. dark and dirty. .. buried and dead. .. yet brimming with Life potential because He died and went into that very dead darkness to “fertilize” those places where death reigned with His Work on the Cross. We must allow Him to work in those dark and dirty places… Those are why He is here. .. why He came. .. it is the Kingdom work. Just like when we sleep. .. In a darkened room without any voluntary cooperation seemingly on our part. .. but we surrender to the process. .. Christ comes into our hearts and we need only rest and watch and wait to see how He expertly turns the dark dirty soil into food and nutrients to form the new creature He is making. He takes this seemingly small seed of our trust (because we all know how “big” this seed really is) and makes such a plant, such a creation! It fairly made me want to dump all my dark and dirty parts right out into the seat I was sitting in! I was so amazed at Adonai. .. and His amazing works. I felt like David. .. unable to keep the praise and worship from rolling out of my heart! Listing from one thing to another all the deeds He does that makes Him so great! All of the sudden I was running errands of His glory instead of the silly list for my silly house and duties.
There was nothing especially new in what I was hearing today. I just leap and jump and praise and shout how God reflects everything He has purposed to do in us in everything He has ever done! There is no place we can’t find Him. .. proving, proving, proving to us His Love and trustworthiness! I love it! I went out to “run errands” and He ran one too! Right here inside my dark and dirty heart showing me where He has made a bloom that reaches up to His Light from those dark and dirty places and makes things new!
In further study and research I “stumbled” onto this blog and found the best seed study I’ve ever seen. It’s got 12 parts. .. but it’s worth every second of time! For those who live to “dig deep”… this will make you grow!
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah