“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”Proverbs 18:10
NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip gave the keynote address at the breakfast where he shared his personal testimony of how God changed his life after a near deadly crash on the track in 1983.
“What if I had lost my life that day at Daytona, what would have I done? Would I have gone to heaven or would I have gone to hell?” he said in his speech. “I thought I was a pretty good guy, but folks let me tell you something: good guys go to hell.”
Waltrip then shared how he made a life changing decision to serve Christ. “I got down off my high horse, I got down on my knees, and Dr. Cortez Cooper and Stevie and I prayed that the Lord would come into my life and forgive me of my sins and be my Lord and Savior, he stated. “And that was the greatest day of my life.”
The famous race car driver later used the “high horse” phrase to encourage others. “You don’t have to walk alone. You don’t have to carry all those burdens like it’s you against the world.” He continued, “You have to do like I did. You have to get off your high horse and get on your knees and ask forgiveness. He’s waiting for you.”
He then ended his speech with the verse from Proverbs 18:10: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”
Watch Darrell Waltrip’s speech at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast:
I am already being poured out as a drink offering… —2 Timothy 4:6
Are you ready to be poured out as an offering? It is an act of your will, not your emotions. Tell God you are ready to be offered as a sacrifice for Him. Then accept the consequences as they come, without any complaints, in spite of what God may send your way. God sends you through a crisis in private, where no other person can help you. From the outside your life may appear to be the same, but the difference is taking place in your will. Once you have experienced the crisis in your will, you will take no thought of the cost when it begins to affect you externally. If you don’t deal with God on the level of your will first, the result will be only to arouse sympathy for yourself.
“Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar” (Psalm 118:27). You must be willing to be placed on the altar and go through the fire; willing to experience what the altar represents— burning, purification, and separation for only one purpose— the elimination of every desire and affection not grounded in or directed toward God. But you don’t eliminate it, God does. You “bind the sacrifice…to the horns of the altar” and see to it that you don’t wallow in self-pity once the fire begins. After you have gone through the fire, there will be nothing that will be able to trouble or depress you. When another crisis arises, you will realize that things cannot touch you as they used to do. What fire lies ahead in your life?
Tell God you are ready to be poured out as an offering, and God will prove Himself to be all you ever dreamed He would be.
By Oswald Chambers
Emotional storms within us can be as hard to handle as external physical ones. Grief, fear, and worry can cause us to be in great turmoil.
To see us through the rough times of life, God provides His protection and peace. But protection does not mean that troubles won’t occur. Jesus allowed the disciples to experience the fear and anxiety of being in a boat on a turbulent sea. He permitted them to suffer because He had something far more important in mind. He wanted to teach them to recognize their own helplessness, His sufficiency, and their need of Him.
The peace that God provides is not dependent upon the quieting of our circumstances or the removal of external pressures. Nor does it mean the absence of conflict. The promised peace comes in three ways. First, Jesus Himself becomes our peace. Through His death, He has reconciled us to the Father, and we are no longer His enemies (Rom. 5:1). In God, we can be at rest. Second, when in right relationship with the Father, we have the ability to live at peace with our fellow man (Eph. 2:14). Through God, we have the power to choose to forgive, to keep no record of wrongs, and to show love to people who oppose us. Third, the transforming work of the Holy Spirit enables us to experience an increasing sense of inner tranquility (Phil. 4:7).
The heavenly Father will provide what we need spiritually to both endure and grow stronger in our Christian faith. What challenges do you face? Are you using what God has provided?
“And it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” (Joshua 6:20)
The third verse of the hymn “Faith Is the Victory” portrays the attack-phase of the battle. The foe stands in dread array, also poised for the fight. The prepared troops attack without hesitation, with a well-formulated battle plan.
On every hand the foe we find, Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind, And onward to the fray!
Salvation’s helmet on each head, With truth all girt about:
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread, And echo with our shout.
This last line recalls the episode in our text. The entire nation of Israel had marched for six days around the city of Jericho. On the seventh day they marched around the city seven times, and then the priests blew their trumpets and the people shouted. What kind of battle plan was that? But God had specifically instructed them to do it this way. They had seen Him work many stupendous miracles on their behalf, and their faith was great. Their unwavering obedience resulted in a glorious victory.
Today’s warriors of faith have the same Commander-in-Chief and access to His mighty power. Furthermore, He provides the “whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth” (Ephesians 6:13-14). Faith must be faith in the truth. Faith in a lie will not stand. “And take [literally ‘receive’] the helmet of salvation” (v. 17). Each warrior, saved “by grace . . . through faith” (2:8), immersed in truth and obedient to the Commander, is assured of complete and overwhelming victory. JDM
Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. —Zechariah 4:6
It is possible to run a church and all of its activity without the Holy Spirit. You can organize it, get a board together, call a pastor, form a choir, launch a Sunday school and a ladies’ aid society. You get it all organized—and the organization part is not bad. I’m for it. But I’m warning about getting organized, getting a pastor and turning the crank—some people think that’s all there is to it, you know.
The Holy Spirit can be absent and the pastor goes on turning the crank, and nobody finds it out for years and years. What a tragedy, my brethren, what a tragedy that this can happen in a Christian church! But it doesn’t have to be that way! “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:22)….
If you could increase the attendance of your church until there is no more room, if you could provide everything they have in churches that men want and love and value, and yet you didn’t have the Holy Spirit, you might as well have nothing at all. For it is “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ saith the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6)…. [I]t is by the Spirit that God works His mighty works.
Oh, Lord, in whatever ministry I am involved, I pray that Your Holy Spirit would be present with His controlling power. Amen.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. Acts 2:3
Just because God cannot tell us what He is, He very often tells us what He is like, and by these “like” figures He leads our faltering minds as close as they can come to that “Light which no man can approach unto.”
Through the more cumbersome medium of the intellect the soul is prepared for the moment when it can, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, know God as He is in Himself. God has used a number of these similitudes to hint at His incomprehensible being, and judging from the Scriptures one would gather that His favorite similitude is fire.
In one place the Spirit speaks expressly, “For our God is a consuming fire.” With the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost the same imagery was continued—for that which came upon the disciples in that upper room was nothing less than God Himself!
The God who had appeared to them as fire throughout all their long history was now dwelling in them as fire. He had moved from without to the interior of their lives. The Shekinah that had once blazed over the mercy seat now blazed on their foreheads as an external emblem of the fire that had invaded their natures.
This was Deity giving Himself to ransomed men and women.
The flame was the seal of a new union. They were now men and women of the Fire!
Then said Jesus… And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. JOHN 8:31-32
Let me say boldly that it is not the difficulty of discovering truth, but the unwillingness to obey it, that makes it so rare among men.
Our Lord said, “I am… the Truth” (John 14:6). And again He said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Truth, therefore, is not hard to find for the very reason that it is seeking us!
So we learn that Truth is not a thing for which we must search, but a Person to whom we must hearken! In the New Testament, multitudes came to Jesus for physical help, but only rarely did one seek Him out to learn the Truth. The whole picture in the Gospels is one of a seeking Savior, not one of seeking men.
The Truth was hunting for those who would receive it, and relatively few did, for “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
Thank You for this truth, Lord, that You came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” I don’t want to keep this truth tucked in my back pocket. Give me an opportunity to share Your good news with someone today.