Matthew 6:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Do Good to Please God
6 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you [a]openly.
“You are at your best when you pray.” I heard the voice of Holy Spirit speak these words to me one morning. As I carried those words with me during the day I began thinking of a time back in the early 90’s when I prayed for Robbie Knievel and his dad that went by “Evel”. It started like this: I had a vivid dream of a man jumping the Fountains at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on a motorcycle. In the dream the man landed short and was killed in a gruesome way. I sat wondering about the dream, knowing Evil Knievel made that same jump and survived his crash on the landing ramp. If I remember correctly it was that night on the news when I heard it announced, “this weekend Robbie Knievel will try to successfully jump the fountains of Caesar’s Palace where his dad crashed many years ago.” A huge prayer burden hit me…I prayed so fervently for both of them until the day of the jump. I didn’t just pray for safety. I prayed for their salvation thinking God saving a man named Evil would be just like Him. Didn’t He save us all from evil? Robbie made the jump successfully and I was well beyond relieved.
I didn’t think about this incident until years later when I saw a TV special on that jump and the days leading up to it. Robbie’s dad (Evil) wanted him to extend the landing ramp toward him several feet…so if he landed short he would not be cut in half. They argued about it for some time until Robbie relented. The landing ramp was extended. Robbie did make the jump BUT he also landed short! The landing ramp being extended saved his life. I didn’t know anything about that until watching this show with the two of them.
While watching them both over the years after that I found Robbie had come to salvation in Jesus Christ. He started to testify a little after other successful jumps. When I saw that I continued to pray for his dad. Another few years later I found that even Evil Knievel came to salvation and testified on TV at the Crystal Cathedral just before he died. All of these reports on TV blessed me so….as I remembered the Lord say, “you are at your best when you pray.” Did I really play a part in all of that? One day we will find out for sure but, yes, I believe I did.
My second story on this topic takes place in a Fire Station. I was working my 24 hour shifts at a slow station so I always had a book to read with me. I was reading “God meant it for good” by R.T. Kendall. The book was about the life of Joseph from the book of Genesis. When I came to the part of the story where Joseph was interpreting the dreams of two other men there in prison with him the Holy Spirit began speaking to me. Joseph had interpreted the dream of the butler, telling him in three days he would be restored to Pharaoh’s court. But the interpretation of the Baker’s dream was not so encouraging. According to Joseph the baker’s dream meant he was going to die in three days. When I say the Holy Spirit was speaking to me it was because I suddenly realized I worked at that station with a Captain Butler and a Captain Baker.
I heard Holy Spirit tell me Captain Butler would be promoted but if I didn’t pray for Captain Baker he was going to die. This was quite a prayer burden for me. I prayed earnestly for his safety and that he would live and not die for what turned out to be over a year. When It came to mind I prayed. I took the warning serious. The day came when I got a call from a co-worker to pray for Captain Baker. He had a heart attack sitting in the kitchen of the fire station. This is where it get’s interesting for me. We had about 450 firefighters in our dept and I think 2 were cardiac tech’s. One was Scotty Dodd. As it turns out Scotty had swapped a shift with someone who worked at our station on Captain Baker’s shift. He payed the man back the shift he owed on the day Captain Baker had his heart attack. So, Captain Baker had his heart attack on the one day out of three that he worked at the fire station AND one of our cardiac tech’s just happened to be filling in there THAT day. Scotty Dodd saved Captain Baker’s life. He lived and did not die. He went on to retire because of the seriousness of his heart issues. He now has a pace maker, defibulator… I have run in to him at the gym before a few years back. He looked well and happy, watching his kids grow up with their daddy. Did I ever tell him or anyone else this story. No, I didn’t, but I did tell a few people recently as I planned on writing about it. Captain Butler is now Chief over all Fire and EMS. So, “God meant it for good” indeed. Amen…