By: Richard Gazowsky
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The men who were gathered together in the dusty old mission had not taken a bath in over a month. Suddenly their rag-tag leader grabbed a stick and drew a line across the sand beneath them. Then he looked up through the sweat that was dripping from his furrowed eyebrows and spoke sternly with his gravelly voice, “This is it, make your choice. If you step across this line you’re going to die here in the Alamo. If you want to save your life then leave, and fight another day. But today is a day for a few of us to lay down our lives and leave behind a legacy that will inspire generations.”
Senator Davy Crockett smiled with his Tennessee gritty face and stepped across the line, as he helped bring Jim Bowie (the inventor of the Bowie knife) with him because he was sick on a cot. All the men that crossed the line that day became legends recorded in history books because of the glorious way they died. Those men who left the Alamo when they were given that final opportunity, also left something behind ~ a heritage of inglorious oblivion. In fact, we don’t even know who they were. As far as history is concerned, they didn’t even exist.
How you die says everything about how you lived. I first heard about the spiritual significance of the number 11 in the year 2009. Ever since then the “Wow” factor of revelation has constantly been stacking up: Earthquakes and whirlwinds on the 11th, random business appointments made on the 11th, significant marriages and birthdays, (even an asteroid passing by earth on the 11th), eleven letters in names of evil leaders, the flight numbers of the planes that ran into the Twin Towers, and so on. It’s also interesting to note that biblical passages seem to point to the number eleven as meaning, “the end” or death. You could also say the number 11 means stopping one thing so something else can begin. I feel this last explanation is a more accurate appraisal of what is about to occur today.
Many of us know, through life experiences, that stopping something can often be much harder than starting it. This is especially true when it comes to governmental agencies. They always seem so eager and willing to start a program, but never can seem to stop those that obviously aren’t working. It’s the same with our personal lives. We have created many habitual things that we feel we must do, when, in fact, they might not be in the Father’s perfect plans for us. Jesus said, in John 5:19, “The Son can do nothing on His own except that which He sees the Father doing.”
This means that Jesus had no preconceived plans whatsoever. Jesus didn’t use an appointment book, or schedule His meetings way in advance. He followed the Father’s will one day at a time. Many of you may feel this way of doing things is impractical with today’s standards of conduct, where everything must be planned in advance to be done well. But I beg to disagree. Jesus not only didn’t plan, but He miraculously changed the entire planet earth in a matter of 3 1/2 years. What great things have we really done for Him lately?
I want to briefly describe my last week and show you something that seems wonderful to me. I woke up Wednesday morning and literally had not one thing on my schedule. (I had been working towards this for quite a while, knowing I’d made a personal commitment to obey Jesus’ example as I just described to you.) During weeks of contemplation about doing only that which I see my Father doing, my schedule kept having events pop up that were planned by others and were pretty much vacuuming away my time. But now I was looking at a clean slate of a day with no plans, no agenda, and no schedule other than God’s.
After about an hour of prayer I “saw” something in the Spirit that initially made no sense to me. I saw my family and I driving to Napa, CA. So what did I do? We hopped in our car and drove there, not knowing exactly why we were doing it. But one thing led to another and suddenly we found ourselves at an outstanding farmers’ market. We filled the back of the car with the most luscious vegetables for only $42 dollars. It was then I discovered that I’d left my phone at a farmer’s home in a nearby town. The moment I picked up my phone I received an important call that ended up coming exactly at the right moment. I then went out to pray for a bit to absorb the random occurrences of the day.
Suddenly the events of the last two weeks fell into my mind like dominos, and showed me that God was pointing me into a new direction of leadership. It was so radically different that I believe it will completely change the direction of my life from what it has been over the last thirty years. The revelation seemed to take my breath away because I knew that something so unexpected was being birthed in my spirit, and ultimately my church and the company I lead. It was so dramatic that I don’t believe I could’ve received it had it happened at any other time in my life. It was at that moment I began to realize that sometimes the wind of the Spirit blows in a certain way on a particular day. This is one of the ways that God deposits great revelations into His people.
I believe this is what 11/11/11 is about. God has chosen us, and firmly declared, that today He is going to do something new and unexpected in our lives. IF WE TRY to drag across the line any agenda, church program, company plan, or other project, then we are not really willing to die. Don’t bother telling me that all this is too shocking, too expensive, too disastrous, or wonder if death really means what it says. Because, for the last eleven months I’ve been experiencing death in every part of my life, including personal plans, such as canceling my family’s very expensive vacation, corporate undertakings, and church preparations. The best way I can put it is, today marks the day when we should have absolutely no plans for the future. In every way possible, my plans for tomorrow are to do what I see the Father doing. How wonderful it will be if I’m able to live the rest of my life in this Jesus fashion…
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Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called The Voice of Pentecost, and is also president of Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.”