Can We Trust In Our Own Abilities?

by Bro. Duane Marshall
07/13/2023

Ephesians 3:20 - “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”

William Tell experienced this verse firsthand. In 1307 A.D., he was married with children living in the village of Burglen, Switzerland. Tell maintained his family chiefly by hunting and shooting wild game. So skillful was he in the use of the bow, that the fame of his exploits had earned him the name of “The Crossbow Man of Burglen”.

Switzerland was, at that time in a state of slavery to the emperor of Germany. He deprived them of many of their rights and privileges and altered their laws and customs. To further antagonize the Swiss, he built castles and fortresses all over the country and filled them with soldiers to awe the people into submission.

William Tell knew the whole population of Switzerland was exasperated against the German tyrants. The governor had set up an idol in the marketplace in which he required each one of the subjects to pay homage. It was called the bonnet of Austria and was exalted on a pole. He commanded men to bow down before it or suffer the penalty of death.

William Tell returned to the marketplace to sell his pelts of animal fur and pick up some supplies. He never once thought of the cap erected in the marketplace, until he found himself opposite the pole on which it was erected. He would have passed it had he not been stopped by the German soldiers on each side of the pole.

William Tell’s young son rushed from the crowd and attached himself to his father’s knees. The governor accused Tell of being a traitor for not bowing down to the idol and commanded his soldiers to tie his son to a tree. Willliam Tell asked, “What’s the meaning of this?” The governor replied “I want to test your skill as an archer for I am told that you are the best marksman in the country.

Since you committed an act worthy of death, I will give you a chance to redeem yourself. If you can shoot an arrow so truly aimed as to split the apple on the boy's head, you shall live. But if you miss or slay the child, the sentence of death shall be instantly executed.”

William Tell raised his eyes to heaven and his lips moved in prayer. He did not rely on his own skill but asked the assistance of the One whose hands are the issues of life and death.

We may never face such a life-or-death situation. But in these last days, our faith will be tested like Mr. Tell’s. Is your faith strong enough to pass the test? While you and I have today, strengthen it by hearing God's Word.

Tell’s belief in his God was tried. Faith is belief in action. Strong belief in our God produces strong faith in His ability to act. Tell’s trust was not in his abilities but in the Creator of all things.

In these last days practice Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

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