Daily Devotional for Monday July 8, 2013

Nic Wallenda Walks Across the Grand Canyon

(2 Samuel 22:3-4)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, what's your take on Sid Roth? I understand he is a Jew and lately has been telling Christians not to forget the Jews in Israel who are Christians, and also to pray for those who are not Christians.

ANSWER: Sid is a Messianic Jew who has been serving the Lord faithfully for decades. For the record, a dear husband and wife who discipled me during the first days of my minsitry 20 years ago, introduced me to Sid. Sid gave my ministry the first $1,000 gift at a time when we were just starting in 1992. I have gotten to know him well, and he has a passion for souls. He was a big influence over the Jews for Jesus movement in the 70s and 80s. From his Jewish roots he knows the miracle working power of God, and has focused on that in his long running radio program Messianic Minute and current TV program. He is the real deal with a pure heart who I have watched faithfully serve the Lord during my 20 yrs in ministry.

Nic Wallenda walks across the Grand Canyon on a wire 1500 ft. high with no net or tether...WHILE GIVING GLORY TO THE LORD! I apologize for the delay in this Devotional, but I have never in all my years of ministry talked about anyone without first having hard facts, and if it is negative, reaching out to the person and giving them a chance to answer whatever legitimate questions there might be. Obviously, if those people refuse to answer me, I can't control that.

Having spoken numerous times to groups of Christian circus performers since the home of Ringling Brothers is in Sarasota, 45 minutes from Liveprayer, I wanted to reach out to some of my friends in that community on this issue. Also, being on TV nightly for 4 years in the Tampa market that reaches Sarasota, and the fact most circus people are "night people," I have developed some great friendships with people in that world.

I honestly never doubted Nic's or his family's commitment to the Lord. You could tell it was genuine and deep. I did want to find out how Joel Osteen became involved. I also wanted to address the hundreds of emails from people wondering if that was an appropriate venue for such a "witness" and if what he did actually turned off some of the people watching. Many also wondered if it was appropriate to do something foolish and expect God to protect you.

Few people advocate as much as I do for a public expression of our faith, especially when we are in secular venues. I did find out it was the Discovery Channel, NOT Nic, who "invited" Osteen to be there. I guess that it was done to attract more viewers, since most of the advanced press mentioned Osteen's involvement. The fact is, Nic is 1,000x more bold about his faith than Osteen ever has been! (Forgive me for this one comment, but I simply can't resist. I personally believe that every circus needs a clown, thus Joel's participation. Forgive me for that indulgence Father.)

At the end of the 22 minute successful crossing, I felt that Nic's constant dependence upon the Lord and his non-stop vocal prayers each step, was a GREAT WITNESS! It was a wonderful illustration that no matter who we are, how much of a relationship we have with the Lord, we are ALL dependent upon Him every step of the way, LITERALLY!

I totally understand the negative emails that were focused on the point, is it really right to purposefully put our life in danger and then expect the Lord to protect us? It is a perfectly legitimate question. I think it becomes more legitimate if in fact someone was doing something foolhardy, something that the outcome was largely in doubt, something where the person simply was acting irresponsibly. After all, the Bible does say not to tempt God.

Having said that, what Nic Wallenda did a week ago Sunday may have seemed to most watching to fall under those categories, but the truth is, he is a lifelong professional of such "stunts," and while no stunt is 100% foolproof, those who I spoke with told me it was 99.9% that he would successfully make the crossing.

Like all "entertainment acts," especially as a 7th generation circus performer, part of their "act" is to create excrement, showcase the danger, give people a good show. In reality, Wallenda has the world's foremost engineers and technical people who work for years in advance of such a stunt. They have taken every sort of contingency into account so that it literally boils down to Nic doing what he has been doing successfully since he was 2 years old.

There are many people who literally put their lives on the line daily without any of the incredible planning Nic utilizes in his stunts. Policemen, fire fighters, those in the military, face death daily without any way of knowing when and how it may confront them. Race care drivers, while taking all the possible safety precautions there are, still face death with every race. There are many out there whose lives are put in far more danger than Nic Wallenda's.

I love you and care about you so much. I appreciated so much the fact Nic was bold and confident in his faith. It was a great forum to reach people who tuned in to watch his crossing that his life belongs to the Lord. I applaud all of those who are given a large secular forum for what they do, and use that as an opportunity to make sure people know they love the Lord. The Duck Dynasty family, the Shirley family on Lizard Lick towing, and others, utilize their television forum to share their faith in Jesus.

Pray for the Wallenda family, and that God gives them more opportunities to entertain and amaze people with their incredible skills, knowing they will use those as opportunities to declare their faith in the Lord. My challenge is that everyone who knows the Lord has a forum. You may not have millions watch you walk across the Grand Canyon on a wire, but wherever you work, go to school, recreate, YOU TO HAVE A FORUM from which to tell people about your faith in Jesus!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller