Monday, July 17, 2017
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I was with several members of our Team in the relentless evangelism schedule of what we called our "Make A Difference" Weekends. We were getting pretty tired and our minds were totally focused on our outreaches. In fact, so tired and so focused, that I forgot about a radio station that was calling me for a live interview that afternoon. Now, I had just awakened from a brief nap and the phone rang. Thinking it was one of our Team members, I jokingly answered, "Good morning"-at 4:00 in the afternoon. Somehow, I was able to rebound immediately and go enthusiastically into that interview and I don't think the folks on the other end knew I was even surprised by their call.
When I told my Team members about this, Esther said, "Ron, I've seen you come to life like that a lot of times. You're like a ventriloquist's dummy." That's great! I thanked her for sharing that, and then she felt maybe clarifying that would be a good idea, and we agreed. She said, "No, no. You're like this." Then she closed her eyes, she hung her head, and leaned lifelessly against the window. Then, without warning, she opened her eyes real wide, started moving her head from side to side, and said, "Hi, everybody! How ya doing?" I laughed so hard I could hardly drive.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Hand In The Dummy".
When I finally stopped laughing, I said to my Team members, "Actually, I am a lot like a ventriloquist's dummy. The Master puts His hand in me, and suddenly I'm able to do all kinds of things I could never otherwise do." I've got news for you-you're one of those ventriloquist's dummies, too.
Our word for today from the Word of God is Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through Him (that's Jesus) who gives me strength." Things I could never otherwise do or be, I can do or be because of Christ's hand in my life, giving me His strength. You might be interested in who the prime candidates are for getting major strength and power from God. Maybe you are one and don't even know it.
Isaiah 40:28-29, "The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary...He gives strength to the weary and He increases the power of the weak." Notice, if you're at a point where you're weak...or where you're really weary, then you're at the point at which God takes over! You're that "dummy", eyes closed, head down, leaning lifelessly against the wall. And suddenly the hand of God moves in, takes over, and gives you His incredible surge of divine life.
Apparently, we are all the weak or the weary at some time. He says, "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:30-31).
Have you ever watched an eagle or a hawk or any other soaring bird? They usually don't come out until later in the morning when the warm air starts rising and creating those thermal currents. They travel, not by the strength of their flapping wings, but by catching the wind beneath their wings and soaring. What a beautiful picture of someone who hasn't been able to do it, no matter how hard they've flapped their wings; someone who finally relaxes, releases, and lets God lift them where they have not been able to take themselves. Soaring like an eagle.
Some of the most powerful words you can speak are these, "Lord, I can't. But You can." You're exhausted-He's not. You're weak-He's not. You're out of answers-but He's not. It's time for the ventriloquist miracle, when a lifeless dummy suddenly comes to life because the Master's hand has taken over.
It's like the little kids sing, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me!"