Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rockefeller vs. the God of the universe

John D. Rockefeller (1885)
Someone sent me this story in e-mail. It might not be true - I'm not sure - but it got me thinking, and those thoughts are what I want to share with you here. First quickly read the story:

A business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out. Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him. "I can see that something is troubling you," he said. After listening to the executive's woes, the old man said, "I believe I can help you." He asked the man his name, wrote out a cheque, and pushed it into his hand saying, "Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time." Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.

The business executive saw in his hand a cheque for $500,000, signed by John D Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world!

"I can erase my money worries in an instant!" he realized. Nonetheless, the executive decided to put the cheque in his safe first. Just knowing it was there, would give him the strength to work out away to save his business, he thought. With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and got extended terms of payment from creditors. Soon he could close some big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.

Exactly a year later, he returned to the park with that uncashed cheque. The old man did not appear for some time yet the business executive decided to wait for a while more. A while later the old man came along the way but seemed to be unmindful of the business executive. He stopped the old man and was about to hand over the cheque with a few words of thanks as well as share his success story.

At the same time, he saw a nurse come running up and grabbing the old man. "I'm so glad I caught him!" she cried. "I hope he hasn't been bothering you. He's always escaping from the rest home and telling people's he's John D. Rockefeller." And she led the old man away by the arm.

The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he'd been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him. Suddenly, he realized that it wasn't the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his new found self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after. He understood that confidence is nothing but the distant vision held positively no matter what comes in between. It comes from one's own commitment and dedication and entirely internal.

When I read those highlighted words I thought of a question that I've been asking myself lately: Who would this woman (me) be if I didn't have baggage and issues; if I didn't lack confidence and didn't constantly trip over pain, rejection and disappointments from my past? What would I be capable of doing and what kind of difference could that make in the world?

Who would I be if I was totally and utterly convinced of God's love - solidly, securely - as if I had a million dollars behind me? I've been taking some time to try and imagine it.

Galatians 4:7 says that we are no longer slaves when we belong to Christ, but God's own sons (and daughters) - adopted as His very own! And since we are His children, everything He has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned. Freedom is ours. Peace is ours. Love is ours. Confidence is ours. Righteousness is ours. Boldness is ours. Victory is ours. "How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ!" (Ephesians 1:3) - not WILL, but HAS blessed us.

We have so much more than money behind us; someone much greater than Rockefeller. When will we start to truly believe it - to the point where it will change our lives?

Why not start today! Just imagine what you are capable of...

"For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power." (Philippians 4:13)

I can ~ and so can you!

1 comment:

Liane said...

An extract from a daily devotional by Joyce Meyer (It speaks to me of the confidence when we know who we are in Christ and are assured of His love and His backing us - adding to what this post is about):

Free to be relentless

Relentlessly pursuing God is not necessarily easy, but it's definitely worth it. However, you can't really pursue God until you've first experienced real freedom.

God is in the business of setting us free, and it's glorious to be free from guilt, condemnation, and always wondering what people are thinking of us.

We're set free from the concern of failing when we know who we are in Christ. This brings us the courage to be able to step out and pursue God's promises.

One of the greatest freedoms God has given me is the freedom to be me. For years I tried to be something I wasn't, feeling like I needed to be like this or like that, all the while knowing I wasn't like everyone else. Yet, I kept trying to be like others until I learned through my relationship with God who He created me to be. This also set me free from me, so I can focus on Jesus and reaching out to others the way He wants me to.

Philippians 3 says Paul was determined, or relentless, to have the things that Christ Jesus died for, to know Him and the power of His resurrection. I believe when we are born again, there is a spirit of determination that rises within us. We can call it Holy Spirit passion or zeal, and it's what gives us the 'oomph' we need during hard times to say, 'I will not give up on having an intimate, passionate, deep, personal relationship with God. I will not give up on being all that Christ wants me to be.'

Be relentless to stay in faith and receive God's promises. Remember, you belong to Him and He's given you a relentless spirit!