Thursday, July 1, 2021

Chariots of Fire

In the 1981 movie, Chariots of Fire, 1924 Olympic runner Eric Liddell said,
I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."  He was a committed Christian who put the Lord above running on Sunday and winning a medal. He died a martyr in China in 1952. Have you ever felt the favor and pleasure of the Lord with you?  God made you a certain way in which you are unique that your divine gifts might glorify Him in heaven and give you distinction in Him. Now that is heady stuff. Yet we have a Creator God who has made heaven and earth and created us in His image and likeness. He has gifted us each with spiritual gifts to edify the church and be used for His kingdom. That is our charge and He equips us for it.

I do not have the physical gifts or courage of an Eric Liddell, but I do have gifts that have become more and more apparent to me through the Holy Spirit, other godly people and circumstances. He has gifted me with a desire to write and speak the “Good News” to others for encouragement and comfort. “But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort” (1Corinthians 14:3). I did not know that I could write and in fact when I wrote my Masters thesis in healthcare administration, I abhorred the mighty task. However, God in His grace brought a writing teacher into my life to demonstrate how to express myself more clearly and succinctly. It would be many years later that I would begin to write again while convalescing from hip surgery. The book that arose from my pain was from the psalms, Great is God’s Faithfulness. A chaplain friend from my hospital ministry told me, “do something useful with your time.” Her prophetic words brought life to a dead gift from God that He wanted used. That is how He works, sometimes mysteriously.

“Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind” (Psalm 104:1-3).

“He mounted the cherubim and flew; He soared on the wings of the wind” (Psalm 18:10).

The above passages from the Psalms remind us of His glory and splendor. The image is of His riding on the wings of the wind and bringing His strength and glory. Elisha the Prophet when under assault by the Arameans in 2 Kings 6:16 said to his fearful servant, “’Don’t be afraid,’” the prophet answered, “’Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”’ And Elisha prayed, “”O Lord open his eyes so he may see.”’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” These visions were the heavenly hosts surrounding and protecting them from the enemy. These are the chariots that propelled Eric Liddell and will us if we trust in Him to provide the way.

I don’t know about you, but I am encouraged when I read of God’s powerful presence to defend and empower. He has gifted all believers and wants us to trust and move as we are called. As a hospital chaplain I am primarily an encourager and comforter for people in crisis. I believe God has specially given me a gift of spiritual healing for people in doubt or despair as well. I see God bringing His “chariots of fire” frequently into the hospital rooms to fill the atmosphere with His heavenly host and promises of healing.

My daily writing today is filled with a sense of hope; even tough my four books are not best sellers. But my blog,  goes out around the world with many readers in Ukraine, Russia, and Israel and of course North America. I don’t know how people are translating it from English if they are. I just pray and seek to use the gifts that He has gifted me in reaching the world for Christ.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.