By Jim Denison
Osama was a Muslim fundamentalist working with Jabhat al-Nusra, often called “al-Qaeda of Syria.” A Christian began sharing the gospel with him. In time, Osama came to Christ. He was then seized and brutally tortured by the terror group he once served.
My friend Tom Doyle tells us what happened next. The night before his scheduled execution, Osama was told that he would be spared if he recanted his faith. He refused. His executioner was so impressed that he instructed Osama, “When we blindfold you, and when you hear the first shot, hit the ground and do not move. Pretend that you are a dead man.” Osama followed his instructions. Minutes later, he opened his eyes and found the men in the firing squad dead and the execution leader gone. Osama is now safe in a secluded location.
There is a mysterious divine-human partnership at work in the world. As we work, God works. When we work, God works. (Tweet this)
Noah built the ark, then God closed the door. Moses held his rod over the Red Sea, then God parted the waters. The priests stepped into the raging Jordan River, then God stopped the water. Peter preached at Pentecost, then the Spirit fell on the crowd. John was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” and Jesus gave him the Revelation.
Scripture promises, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act” (Psalm 37:5). Solomon noted, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
In Ezekiel 18:31, the Lord commands: “Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!” But in Ezekiel 11 he promises, “I will give them one heart and a new spirit I will put within them. . . . that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them” (vs. 19, 20).
When we do what we can do, God does what only he can do.
Dr. Adam Wright recently spoke at the dedication of Dallas Baptist University’s Nation Hall. He quoted Daniel Webster: “If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble to dust; but if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we impress on them with high principles, the just fear of God and love for their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which no time can efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.”
So work for that which is eternal, and trust that God will use your work for his eternal glory.
During one of the 2012 Republican presidential debates, most of the candidates were furiously writing notes to remind themselves of points they wanted to make. Rick Santorum noticed that Rick Perry wasn’t writing very much. During the debate, Santorum told of his daughter Bella’s tremendous health challenges. After the debate ended, the candidates shook hands. Santorum walked over the Perry, glanced down at his paper, and saw just three words: “Pray for Bella.”
For whom are you praying today?