Mexican Standoff

For those growing up as a child in the 40’s through the 60’s watching westerns was common fare. I remember how on Saturdays after the morning cartoons there were always movies on network TV up late into the day. Often these movies were classic Westerns. You know, Good guy vs. Bad guy. Inevitably they would end up face to face in a battle of wits and will to see who would win the Mexican standoff.

God has give all of us wits and will, not to win the standoff but to serve Him and His purposes. Yet, far too many end up standing at the other end of a Mexican standoff with God. They use their wit and will to oppose God in a play of power and determination to refuse to submit to His purposes.

The greatest example and the supreme test of wits and will took place in the Wilderness (a shadow and type of the soul of man where reason and personal desires come to play) with our Lord facing off with Satan, that old serpent and accuser of the brethren himself. Note how he chose his battle ground to give himself the strategic advantage. Christ had been 40 days without food and was in a barren and forsaken place. His soul was vexed by his circumstances. He was brought to a place where His own needs for provision and protection were brought foremost to His mind. He was being tempted to perform His own will by His own wits.

Mind you though, He was brought to a place in the Wilderness. The Word tells us that He was led by the Spirit into the Wilderness. A better translation of that word is driven. He was driven by the Spirit into the Wilderness. Our Father also brings his children to the Wilderness, not so He can see what we are made of, what lies within our heart to do, but so that we might see what we are made of and what lies within our heart to do.

It is in the barren place where our felt needs are stretched and bring inner pangs to trust our own methods and choices that we see if we really do trust our Father and His Word. It is here that we must have a Mexican standoff with God Himself. We stand opposed to Him, for make no mistake about it, He has driven you there – to the Wilderness — place of hard choices, so you can see for yourself just what you are made of. Will you trust the wit and will of your Father or will you succumb to your own wits and will? That is the question we must make in the place of tough choices. Do I save my life, and lose His, or do I lose my life and and gain His?

Sadly, very sadly, too many will not trust their Father. They will fall back on reason and emotion as to how to save themselves and not trust Him to provide and protect. Now you know. In essence of most of your life is a rendezvous with the enemies of your soul — Satan, the world and its shiny toys, and your very own Self — to see just what you are made of, just Who you will choose. Will you choose your Self or God.

So next time you are brought to a choice between self preservation, self gratification, self promotion and death to your Self. Remember Him who did not consider His own life as something dear to Himself but gave Himself up for the will of His Father. When you win the Mexican standoff you lose your life — when you lose the Mexican standoff you gain it.