Have you ever been, by some measure of definition, captivated by the biographical account of anyoneís life? Many years ago I became interested in the life of Joan of Arc. I had been reading something by C. S. Lewis, in which he mentioned a book detailing her life. Since I could not find it at my local library, I discovered that I could order it from the Stateís Library; I went to a lot of trouble to get the book and it was worth the trouble.
Many years later I saw a movie account of the life of Joan De Arc in which Lee Lee Sobiesky portrays the part of Joan. Once again I was magnetized to the account of the short span of her years and the huge and extended impact of her life. Of course, there are reasons that this is the history she wrote by her life.
God had a job for her to do, and she did it by His grace.
In like manner I have always been interested and have identified with Peter, feeling that I understand him better as person than some of the other Apostles and disciples. Peter the quick; quick to speak, quick to act, quick to criticize and admonish. Peter, bless him, even tried to tell Jesus how it was. But letís not forget, Peter walked on water. True, he later began to sink, but he walked on water. We donít usually think of that, we generally recall that he began to sink.
Peter and Joan of Arc have a couple of things in common: they both denied their following of Jesus at a point of pressure, but then recanted, repented and gave their very lives. Both were put to death by coalition of Church and State, even as was Jesus and so many of God's disciples. Not only then, but even in this day, it occurs.
However, for the few failings those two human beings have documented to their names, there are mountains of Godly exploits and bravery, unnatural to man, shown by each of them.
Joan was only 19 when she was burned at the stake. Reported is, that she was 12 years old when she first heard what she called the "Voice," telling her things to do. I know, I know, we would immediately diagnosis this experience. But not too quick there, Peterís quick alike. It was Joan of Arc that followed the Voice of God to bring deliverance and justice and restoration to the French Nation. Her people were in bondage. That Nation may not exist today but for her obedience to the Voice.
Of course, we all know that the French and the English had great wars in the past. Wars are generally waged by the leadership of Nations and the nationals are not too fond of its fallout, to say the least. I like the quote of Joan of Arc regarding the English of her time in history: "Whether God loves the English or not, I do not know. I do know that God will deliver the French out of the hand of the English." (*1)
The battles which she led the often meager, and ill equipped army into and won, cannot be otherwise explained except that God, Whom she credited with the victories, had indeed given the victories.
I challenge you to become acquainted with Joan of Arc. You will be blessed and impressed.
If we ever doubt that there exists an Enemy who hates the conquests of God, a look into the lives of the saints of God, all of them, should relieve us of our doubts. Joan was betrayed by the Crown, Charles VII, whose kingship she had fought to establish, (done under Godís guidance as she strongly affirmed,) then she was betrayed by the Church she loved and was committed to serving. She was burned at the stake as a witch, because the unbelieving Church and the State would not accept the authority that God holds over the circumstances. They must have known better. She was a threat to their power among the people. Also, they did not want to think that God could get a job done without them; After all, God would work through the established authorities, and they were the established authority. So the green eyed monster arose. Their power and authority were waning, exactly as it was for Jesus in His days of ministry. Did they not, do we not, know that God does not speak to those who are not following Him?
At the trial for Joan De Arc, which was much like the trial of Jesus, being a mockery of justice, she was asked a question: "Do you think you are in the grace of God?" Her answer was: "If I am not, then may God put me there; if I am, may God keep me there. I should be the saddest of all in the world if I were not in the grace of God. But if I were in a state of sin, do you think the Voice would come to me?" (*2)
Peter was also unjustly crucified, with his head down and his feet up, by his choice as tradition says it, because he said that he was not worthy to be crucified in the same position as was Jesus.
I ask myself, am I this kind of follower of Jesus? I ask myself, will I ever have need to be such as they were?
I once gave my copy of "Joan of Arc" DVD to my pastor to review for possible use in the youth group. His response was that he did not want to use it because it put the Church in a bad light. There are times that the Church IS in a bad light. There are times when the State IS in a bad light. Conversely, there are times when they are not. However, we obey God. The job we have is to discern the time and the season by the Scriptures. It is our duty to discern the obedience of authorities to God's commands; we are to follow the voice of God. But who hears the voice of God? Who CAN hear the voice of God? The answer is found in the question of Joan to her inquisitors: ..."But if I were in a state of sin, do you think the Voice would come to me?
Joan of Arc and The Apostle Peter and scores more just like them, whose stories we do not know, are among the great cloud of witness that surround us. They watch us. The most pressing question for each of us is: "What about your life?" "What about my life?" Even if we have failed at some time, there is a glorious victory for us, when we obey God and listen to God.
*1,*2 copied from:
BiographyonLine.com T. Pettinger 01/07/07/
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