The Real Story Behind The Steel Wall
The Steel Wall is not just an exciting sequel to From Woodstock to Eternity with drug stings, Coast Guard chases and intrigue. It is the real story of what happened when Dustin Morgan was arrested, as a Christian, for crimes he committed in his old life. Most importantly, it is a journey through how he found out what God wanted him to do to get through a baffling dilemma. Why didn’t God protect him and deliver him, since he no longer did these things? He was shooting at the wrong target.
In the first chapter of The Steel Wall, “The Arrest,” Dustin wracks his brain in the jail cell.
Man, this just ain’t right. I live a depraved, immoral lifestyle and skate through all my drug busts, then I turn Christian and get nailed for something I did four years ago. I’m not even the same person! What’s up with that? Is this the way it’s supposed to be… believe in Jesus, repent, go straight, and then go to jail? (See: Set the Background: The Mystique of an Era )
Shooting at the Wrong Target
What does it mean to ask amiss? It means to ask for the wrong things, or with a wrong understanding of God and how He works. In Dustin’s case, his understanding of how God works didn’t jive with what was happening. Even so, he continued shooting at the wrong target with his prayers, hoping for a good answer. The result? Motion denied, shot down and licking his wounds.
He had been told that, as a believer in Jesus, all his sins were forgiven and forgotten by God. If God forgot about them, then why are they suddenly the cause of being arrested and thrown in jail? Something was wrong. God was not looking out for him like he thought He would.
Answers for Unanswered Prayers
Job once said, “Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” As Christians, we often wonder about God’s seemingly indifferent attitude towards our prayers. So many books have been written about mountains and valleys, why bad things happen to good people, and so on. The apostle James gives the most obvious reason…
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss.”
Asking correctly boils down to one thing… God works through obedience. The rub comes when God tells us to do things that go against our previously held ideas. What if He commanded us to forsake family, friends, or deeply held convictions? What if obeying these directives would bring scorn down on our heads, humiliation, and personal loss? Consider God telling Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. God certainly wouldn’t tell us to kill the son He gave us… or would He? Most of us would stop right there, but Abraham travelled into a deeper realm of faith. If Isaac died, he projected beyond his lifeless body and believed God would raise him back to life. How about Jesus saying that if we leave family and friends for His sake, we will receive a hundredfold and inherit eternal life? These are hard sayings and require the right responses.
The Mystery of God’s Power
Dustin would indeed face scorn, humiliation and personal loss, but these were necessary to achieve ultimate victory. He tried to avoid this with a misdirected faith, but to no avail. Through a chain of harrowing episodes, Dustin discovered a simple truth that enabled him to tap into the mystery of God’s Power.
I AM A STEEL WALL FOR YOU WHEN YOU ARE FOR ME AND AGAINST YOU WHEN YOU ARE AGAINST ME