What makes people push themselves to the absolute limits of their physical, mental and/or emotional strength? Is it a deep, down-need to conquer the unconquerable, push back the outer limits of consciousness, explore the deepest depths all in a search to find meaning in the seemingly meaningless mundane of everyday existence? Is participating in extreme sports really just a search for purpose then, trying to find meaning in life?
The story of the clashing kings of the north and south of Daniel 11, says in verse 32, that the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. Synonyms for the word ‘exploits’ include: feats, adventures, heroic activities, daring acts. If it is true that our God — YHVH — is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, that He changes not, He is absolute, we can count on Him to hear us when we call and act on our behalf according to His will for our life, then it would have to follow that what He did for and through our Biblical forefathers and mothers He can and will do for us!
As I have been reading my Bible this year I am taking notice of what I am loosely labeling “God’s extreme sports and humankind”. Take for example Samson; Israel’s strong man during the time of the Judges. In one instance Samson pulls a city’s gates and their pillars out of the ground and carries them to the top of a mountain because he didn’t care for the way the people of that town treated him. (Jdg 16:3) Or Judges 15:14-15, “And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.”
And how about this one from 1 Kings 18, the story of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. When Elijah’s prayer was answered and all the people beheld YHVH’s Great Power and proclaimed YHVH as their God, YHVH sent rain. Verse 46, “And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” And Ahab was in a chariot pulled by horses. That was some running, Elijah!
One more example from Matthew 14; after a full day of teaching and performing miracles, Yashua had sent his disciples to go ahead of Him to the other side of the sea while He went up into the mountain to pray. But the boat, now in the midst of the sea was being tossed by the wind. At the fourth watch of the night, sometime between 3 am and sunrise, Yashua came walking toward them on the sea. Having never seen anything like this before the disciples were terrified and cried out in fear, but Yashua said to them, “Do not be afraid, it is I.”
Peter called out to this specter walking on the water and said, “Lord, if it is you, invite me to come out onto the water with you.”
And Yashua said, “Come.” And Peter got out of the boat and he walked on the water to go to Yashua.”
Matthew 14:30-33, But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God.
Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that Yahweh is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.”
It is the need of every person to live a life full of purpose. Without purpose we will shrivel up and die. But far too many try and find their life purpose within the limits of their own ability. To truly live and do “exploits” it is absolutely necessary to be born again in Yashua with the indwelling presence of the Ruach haKodesh or Holy Spirit leading and guiding us into all truth; only then will we know our real life purpose and how to live out that purpose.
As Believers in Yashua our life purpose is not about gratifying our sensual desires, but about exalting the Name of Yashua above all names! Let me share an example I write about in my book, God’s Power Lines of great exploits of the Holy Spirit in us; myself, my husband and a friend were on a prayer mission in northern China. Taking the train into Beijing from Puyang we met two Chinese men that we were able to share the gospel with and give them a “Jesus” video. They, in turn, offered to help us get through the Beijing train station and find a taxi into the city. The Beijing train station is enormous and we were thankful for their help. Once outside the station we had to navigate our way through several hundred families huddled over campfires before we finally made it to the taxi lot where there were thousands of tiny, yellow taxis, but we needed something larger that would accommodate five adults with luggage. Our new-found Chinese friend found a sedan that would be big enough and as my husband put his bags in the trunk, our friend and myself set our bags at our feet while we waited for negotiations to conclude between the driver and our Chinese friend. Without warning the driver suddenly reached in the trunk of his taxi and picked up a steering wheel club and swung it in an arc, just missing my face by a mere millimeter and with a mighty blow laid it across the back of our Chinese friend. This hit doubled him over and without missing a beat the driver then turned on our other new-found Chinese friend and punched him in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. In the blink of an eye we were in the middle of a riot with more taxi drivers than we could count surrounding us with flying knives and jacks and clubs. One second we were in the midst of that free-for-all and the next instant we were a 100 yards away, on the other side of the perimeter fence, standing on the sidewalk, all five of us with all of our bags in our hands. “What just happened?” was the immediate thought that came to our minds; we could hear the riot continuing on the other side of the fence, but here we were standing on the sidewalk, all five of us with our bags in our hands. The second Chinese man’s face was already turning black and blue, his eye swelling to a mere slit; I reached my hand to his face and asked Yashua to “take care of this for him and let him know You”. We then parted, they running one direction and we the other. One day we will know the results of this incredible intervention of Yashua to save us!
Nothing compares to the living, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in one’s life! You can climb Mount Everest, walk a tight-rope across the Grand Canyon, jump over two dozen cars on a motorcycle, run a marathon, swim the English Channel, spend the night on El Capitan; if it is all only for your personal gratification it will serve you no purpose when you stand before YHVH and He says to you, “I don’t know you.” (Mat 25:12)
Great exploits will happen when we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit! And these Holy Spirit exploits can happen anywhere with anyone! Whatever we are doing, whether it be climbing Mount Everest or swimming the English Channel or climbing El Capitan; the question one must ask is: “Why am I doing this and who is receiving the glory?” (Think of Eric Liddel in the movie, “Chariots of Fire”)
Matthew 25:34-36, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me.”
Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, in-as-much as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.