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Our kids gave it to my wife and me as a gift, and we had a great night together with dinner and a show. The show is in the same place as the dinner; there's this large, indoor arena with long tables that encircle the show floor down below. During and after dinner, we watched an impressive show of trick horse riding, dramatic spectacle, and rodeo style events. There's one part of the show I'm not going to forget. A rider actually stands atop two horses, one foot on each horse. They begin to gallop around the arena with the lights down, except for the torches in the middle and a giant ring of fire. Amazingly, the rider and his two horses leaped through that ring of fire together! I'll tell you, the emcee called it "a demonstration of three-way trust." I guess!
We sure could discuss whether that man and those horses should be jumping through a ring of fire, but that's not my point. The issue is the trust that made it possible; horses trusting their rider not to do anything that would hurt them, and a rider trusting his horses not to do anything that would hurt him. They did something amazing because of their great trust in one another.
If you belong to Jesus Christ, you have been called to a similar arrangement - doing things you'd never otherwise be able to do because of a powerful two-way trust - you trusting God and God trusting you. In a very real way, everything that matters in your life is riding on your Lord. The size and sanity of your life depends on how much you're willing to trust God for, to hold you up when nothing else can, to steer you right when the way is confusing, to provide for you when you can't see where it's going to come from, and to equip you to do what you feel very inadequate to do. It's supposed to be all about Him, not all about you.
But you may not realize this surprising fact: God has a lot riding on you, too! See, He's entrusted you with gifts, with influence in people's lives, with money, with the message of His Son, and with a part of His work on earth. God's even trusted you with His reputation. By becoming a part of your life, He knows that people's opinion of Him may, in part, be based on what they see in you. Yes, you're not kidding. God has called you to trust Him. But don't forget that God is trusting you, as well.
This two-way trust is wonderfully expressed in our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 4:10-11, "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." God has given you capabilities, personality, opportunities, and spiritual gifts. All that's for you to use to hand out God's grace in people's lives. Now here's where your trust in Him comes in. The Bible says, "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength the Lord provides." The words you need, the strength you need, everything you need to jump through hoops that you never could make it through without Him!
And this is all, according to this passage, "so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." Exciting things happening because you're trusting God and God's trusting you. Make sure you're using what He's given you for His glory, not for your own; for His goals, not your goals; for the good of others, not just for the good of yourself. When you've got it all riding on your Lord, using for His glory what He's got riding on you, you're going to do some amazing things together!