Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Power That Backs Us

In the early 1950’s Dawson E. Trotman wrote of a visit to Germany in 1948. It is in the booklet The Need of the Hour (copyright 1957, 1975 by the Navigators):

I invited fifty German fellows to meet with me for three days, and twenty-five of them came. I talked to them every evening for three hours beginning to lay before them the Great Commission and the idea that I felt Germany not only needed to hear the Gospel, but that Germans themselves needed to obey the Great Commission by sending missionaries.

I gave them the opportunity to ask questions during the meetings and every once in awhile a hand would go up. I was trying to lay upon their hearts the very thing the Lord laid on the hearts of the disciples when He told them to go to every creature, make disciples of every nation, start in Jerusalem and go to the ends of the earth. One German spoke up, “But, Mr. Trotman, you don’t understand. Here in Germany some of us right in this room don’t even have the Old Testament; we only have a New Testament.” But I pointed out, “When Jesus Christ gave these commandments, they didn’t have even a New Testament.”

Later one of them said, “But, Mr. Trotman, we have very few good evangelical books in this country. In America you have thus and so.” I asked, “How many books did the disciples have?”

A little further on one of them asked, “Is it true that in America you can hear the Gospel any day?” I answered, “Yes.” He said, “If we had that…but we can’t get the message out on any radio.” I said, “But the disciples had never heard of a radio.”

They said, “You have automobiles, we ride bicycles.” I reminded them, “The disciples didn’t have bicycles. Jesus rode a borrowed burro.”
Now these questions didn’t come up one right after the other or they would have caught on, but they were brought up during the nine hours together. Finally one fellow spoke up and said, “In America you have money. I work twelve hours a day for sixty cents. We don’t have much money.” I replied, “The disciples were sent out without purse and without script.”

Every excuse in the books was brought up. “We don’t have this, and we don’t have that. We don’t have buildings; we don’t have facilities.” Each time I replied, “But the twelve didn’t and He sent them out.”

Then finally near the end one fellow, a little older than the rest and with almost a bitter expression on his face, got up and said, “Mr. Trotman, you in America have never had an occupation force in your land. You don’t know what it is to have soldiers of another country roaming your streets. Our souls are not our own.” I responded, “The disciples lived at the time Jesus Christ lived and their souls weren’t their own. The Roman soldiers were in charge.”

Then it dawned on me in a way I had never considered before that when Jesus Christ sent the eleven out, He let a situation exist which was so bad that there could never be a worse one. No printing presses, no automobiles, no radios, no television, no telephones, no buildings, not one single church, no uniforms, nothing for the vestry…He didn’t even leave them a little emblem.

He left them only a job to do, but with it He said, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore…” What does the “therefore” mean? It means, “I have the power to give you the order and I have the power to back you to the hilt.” He has all power in heaven and earth…not just heaven, but in the earth; all power, not part of the power, but all power, which means power over the Romans and power over the Communists.

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