Relationship, God’s Right Hand, and Billy Graham
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #591.
There is life changing power in true relationship with God, as seen in the life of Billy Graham, who embraced God’s right hand with its eternal pleasures.
(John) I’ve proven almost, you know, in a couple weeks I’m gonna prove it for 50 years, that I’m unable to do it without effort and without striving and work and it’s just… I want to abandon myself to it. I want to abandon myself to allowing Christ to be that in me and do that. You know, and I’m not gonna chastise myself even and make this a work really. I’m not gonna work to make this…(laughs). I can’t say… I’m choosing not to do that, because that would be my typical way of doing it. That I work to make it not work. So.
(Martha) And you know what it is, John? It’s simply letting Christ be Christ in us. The message we have is Christ in you, the hope of glory. That is the succinct message of this ministry and of our very lives. But it’s not that I am to do this, that’s my mistake. It’s not that I am to be quiet and contemplative and… It’s that I am to let Christ live His life in me about this kind of simplicity. It’s Christ’s life we need. And that transformation of the mind is thinking on Him. He was not hurried. He was not anxious. He had this enormous responsibility of thousands of people following Him, but He didn’t view it as that was His responsibility. His responsibility was to be in fellowship with the Lord. Oh, can I tell about Billy Graham?
(John) Sure, yeah, yeah, yeah.
(Martha) Okay. I spent hours of my day watching the motorcade of Billy Graham to Charlotte, NC. And during that, they were putting on different interviews of people who knew him well. And they were presidents and his coworkers and different people. Then they had his sermons. And after hours of this, someone quoted his life verse. And it has absolutely stunned me. I’ve read it in 10 translations but it’s very simple and I was newly overwhelmed with what Billy Graham accomplished in his life. And how many millions and millions were influenced by him and brought to salvation through him. It’s just incredible what one man could do. But this is the most enormous secret. It’s Psalm 16 verse 11 and I’m reading from the Holman. “You reveal the path of life to me. In Your presence is abundant joy. At Your right hand are eternal pleasures.” And the more I looked at that, the more astonished I was. Because it’s about, his life verse was about relationship, not about ministry, not about preaching, not about souls. It was about relationship, intimate relationship with the Lord. The first line says, “You reveal the path of life to me,” and that means that you don’t— Billy Graham didn’t go assuming he knew what God wanted. He went to seek both God’s will and God’s ways. And he said, “You reveal…” Another translation: “You show me…” That means it has to be a revelation between them, in the intimacy of relationship with God. He alone knows the path. And Billy Graham, though he had all this college bible training, all this college knowledge of the scriptures, ’cause he was in it all the time, all this so-called success. He was not into the success. He was into his relationship with God, and he constantly needed the will of God to be revealed and the ways of God to be taught him by revelation. “You reveal the path of life TO ME.” It was Billy and God. “In Your presence is abundance of joy.” And that means he experienced God. And I’m always talking about experiencing God. Well, Billy Graham experienced a mighty, mighty, miraculous, phenomenal ministry and a changing, literally changing the world. But his abundant joy was in the presence of God.
(John) But it was sourced in relationship with God.
(Martha) Yes, it was a relationship. And because he was seeking God for His will and His ways and the revelation of His truth, he experienced the presence of God in abundant joy. Then the next one is “In Your right hand are eternal pleasures” or “pleasures forevermore.” “In Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” He experienced the pleasure of being in God’s will and it went on and on and on unending. And he’s in it right now. And I said, “Lord, what is Your right hand?” And this is fascinating in light of what we’re talking about. So I started looking at “Your right hand” in the Scripture, and the right hand speaks of His works. In His works, in His right hand there are pleasures forevermore. In His right hand… First you come to His will. You know Him. Next, because you know Him, you experience His presence in abundance of joy. Next, there are works. That’s even the secret of a ministry. “In Your right hand are eternal pleasures.” The ecstasy, the spiritual ecstasy of knowing Him, of hearing Him, of seeing Him. And then just witnessing the work He’s doing! Billy Graham didn’t make anything happen. He watched it happen. He saw the right hand of God do things that he couldn’t possibly do, that no amount of praying could ever do what God did. It’s beyond anything we, that I believe mankind has ever seen, because of the internet, the television, because of the films of his crusades. There’s no one in history who’s reached so many millions as Billy Graham. And it was totally outside of any ability or work he had. I mean, John, you and I can work, work and work and work our fingers off and the, but the work of God at His right hand is what would give us pleasure. And there are things He’s done… For instance, the book Altogether Forgiven, the Lord did. He wrote it. He gave me the strength to write it. He orchestrated. He dictated it. It’s a phenomenal experience just secretly between the Lord and me. And that, that, what His right hand did will give me pleasure forever. It’s joy to me. I pick up that book and, or I read something from the devotional and I’m impacted by it. It’s as though I never saw it before, because the Lord gave it and the Lord inspired it. And Billy Graham knew also Christ in you, the hope of glory.
(John) But Billy Graham had a very simple message. It was very, very, very simple. And I appreciated his simplicity. He wasn’t going off on strange doctrine. He wasn’t going off on, you know, there wasn’t even real, real diving deep, so to speak. He probably had tons of diving deep with his own relationship with God, but you know, his ministry was to the unsaved.
(Martha) Absolutely. He was an evangelist, and you know, they came, because he had access to presidents. And he was no respecter of persons. He had access to cab drivers, he, waitresses, he was no respecter of persons. Everyone was equally in need of Christ. Everyone was equally a sinner. But because he, because his verse, his life verse was “You will reveal to me the path of life…” His path was so clear to him, John. I remember, some years ago, people came to him – famous people – and pressured him: “You need to be involved in political issues. You have power of influence. You need to speak on these issues.” And he said, “No, I don’t. I’m an evangelist and I’m not to leave that. That is my, that is my path of life.” Because he had sought it, God had revealed it, and it was so crystal clear to him that he could not be distracted from it, to ruin what was to be this phenomenal, incalculable ministry he had.
(John) He was willing to be confined and limited to his own calling, kind of like John the Baptist.
(Martha) Exactly. That’s, that’s a good analogy. John the Baptist knew his path of life. So the key to enormous spiritual knowledge, spiritual success in the eyes of God, is simply to follow your own path. So I’m taking Billy Graham’s life verse in awe of God in him. And I’m taking this as one of my life verses. Its simplicity, it speaks of the simplicity he had. It was not about, “Oh God, give me 5 million souls.” No. It was from relationship that Billy Graham accomplished what he did.
(John) It’s dynamic. It really is dynamic.
(Martha) Unexplainable. Unfathomable. When you see scene after scene in those hours I watched it. And there will be, I’m sure there will be another segment of it. The friend of mine, who knew that world of Billy Graham, told me they prepared for his funeral for years. And I’m so glad they did because it was, it was another crusade. As he lay dying, he was still speaking. As… And he said, “If you hear I’m dead, don’t believe it. I’m more alive than ever.” (Laughs.)
Relationship, God’s Right Hand, and Billy Graham – Episode #593 – Shulamite Podcast
There is life changing power in true relationship with God, as seen in the life of Billy Graham, who embraced God’s right hand with its eternal pleasures. The secret to Graham’s miraculous ministry is held in his life verse. Join us as the Spirit reveals it all!