Volume 22 Issue 10
While rummaging through a collection of old letters from various Christian ministers, pastors and missionaries I noted a particular trend. Repeatedly, among these old correspondences, certain expressions were consistently being used to qualify their ministry in relationship to the will of God. When they referenced doing this or that, or going on a journey, or preaching here or there, or conducting a revival meeting, or doing almost anything, they would add a divine caveat, a qualifying phrase such as: if the Lord be willing, as God gives me strength, if the Lord prevails, may God help us, as the Lord directs, if we can find the will of God, I’m feeling after the Lords leading, were proceeding in the fear of God, everyday we have learned to trust Him for our needs, etc. Clearly these dear souls were trusting in Gods direction in every step. They had partnered with God.
We in this generation must ask ourselves: to what degree, in what spirit, do our lives proceed? Do we function within the context of our own self-indulgent ambition? How sensitive are we to the will of God, or even to the Word of God? Is what we call walking in faith more akin to ambition? Should we not ask, what does God really want us to do? Living in self-indulgence, walking in the belief that we are able to self-sustain any endeavor, whether God is in it or not, is dangerous arrogance.
When was the last time in our churches, conferences and business meetings that we set aside even a moment to ask for the revelation of Gods direction, and instruction, and anointing, and empowerment, and provision? Is it not better to give ourselves, our energies, our lives as a blank piece of paper, as clay in the hands of the potter, rather than ignorantly rushing about in complete isolation from Gods will?
These most serious of times demand careful attention to Gods will, Gods leading and Gods purposes before we invest our time, efforts and resources. It is possible that the answers we offer to ourselves, the programs we envision, the projects we launch, the methods we use, the game plans we hammer out in committees, are unrelated to the problems the world is facing. If we proceed in our own fleshly efforts, however noble our motive, if we miss the will of God, if we are out of spiritual alignment with His plan, then our labor is in vain and our lives ineffective.
I worry a good deal about my response to the burning needs of our generation. I ask myself the questions, Is the labor of my life unrelated to the issues of our day? Have I lost sensitivity to the breakdown in our culture and the political corruption that rages in full display? Am I more frequently turning my face from it all? Have I sailed into my own quiet backwater cove and become indifferent to the travail of the lost?
God forbid! God forbid that the battle between good and evil ever becomes irrelevant to those of us called to show forth His truth in these last days. We are in perilous times, times that require us to suspend all superfluous activity and confront the darkness that has gripped our world. Organizationally we must recommit to the activities that will pull us together, put us on common ground, and re-inspire sacrificial giving. We must consign ourselves, our ministries and our churches to Gods purposes. We must commit again to the search of His will.
If we fail to do the will of God and lose our relationship with the Apostles doctrine and the Apostolic commission to reach the world by going out and by preaching, we will commit a treasonable act against what God has called us to do. Ultimately, we will be left in shame, bereft of our joy, peace and true revival.
There’s an old German phrase, Ding an sich, which expresses that a thing, anything, may become a thing of itself, a self-indulgent entity. The letter to the Thessalonians makes clear that the failure to love the truth brings strong delusion. What a horrible delusion it is indeed to believe that we are of ourselves, alone. Truth is, we are not of our own resources, our own gifts, intellect, power, or even our own dreams. The Church is not a thing of itself. We are not self-empowered. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God (II Corinthians 3:5). We are bought by the blood of Christ. We are born of the Spirit. We are not of ourselves, we are of grace, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9).
Please, Dear Lord, lead us! Direct our lives, our resources, our talents. Guide our paths! Give us thy wisdom by which we may strengthen the platform of our unity. May we never speculate that we may expect prosperity and blessing doing our will.
The Lord willing, Until the next time.