In the 1994 documentary, Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic, starring actor Charlton Heston recalls his concerns about the major scene of the movie—the chariot race!
For an entire month Heston worked with secondary project director Yakima Cannut (a famous actor and stuntman in his own right) on his chariot-riding skills. But as comfortable as Heston became with driving the four-horse chariot, he realized he was no match for the other drivers who had been skilled horsemen from their youth. He expressed this concern to Mr. Cannut: “Yak, I appreciate the help you’ve been giving me, but I’ve got to confess, I’ll never drive as good as the other drivers and there’s no way I can win this race.” Yakima Cannut assured him, “Chuck, don’t worry. You just drive that chariot and I guarantee you’ll win the race.” Sure enough, Heston won the race.
Call of Moses
In a way, this incident is reminiscent of God’s assurance to Moses when the frightened prophet raised all kinds of objections to going back to lead Israel out of Egypt: Who am I that I should go? What if the Israelites do not believe me? Lord, I cannot speak, I am slow of tongue and slow of speech.
God assured Moses that he would be successful—not because of Moses’ qualifications or abilities, but because of God’s power and faithfulness. Moses’ limitations were very real. But the task to which God called him was far beyond the realm of human ability. God called Moses to do what is impossible for any human being. So Moses’ limitations were meaningless. God called Moses only to be faithful and God himself would do the impossible. As Yakima Cannut said to Charlton Heston, “Just drive the chariot and I guarantee that you’ll win.” So God assured Moses, “Just do as I command, and I will take care of convincing Pharaoh, delivering Israel, and performing the impossible.” Moses would only be the glove, but God would be the powerful hand within (Exod. 3–4).
What is God calling and challenging you to do? Don’t forget, whatever he calls you to do God will also equip you to do. Success does not so much depend on your ability as on being faithful to what God has called you to do and depending upon his power to do what you cannot. His promise is still valid: “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isa. 41:10)
Dear Father in heaven, help me to face the challenges and the tasks to which you have called me. Please remind me that I am not alone, but you are with me. Please remind me that you do not call me to do my best, you call me to do the impossible – but that is your department and you will perform the impossible through me. So empower me, O God, and make me greater than myself. Accomplish your purpose through me. Amen.