Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
I love kids. By and large, they will share with you way more than you ask if you just listen to them. I try to listen to everyone because the Bible tells me: "of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." - Luke 6:45
Nugget: Sometimes I hear what is beautiful, and sometimes what is heart-breaking.
Some points before we go any further. 1) If we will admit it to ourselves, we are all just kids; some young, some stuck in older bodies that are currently in the middle of a mutiny.
2) For those of us who are "in Christ", we are His ambassadors (individually) and His Body (corporately).
3) All of us (believers or not) feel in our gut that there is something great or fantastic looming on the horizon.
Some of us as children are sure we are going to do something on an historical level. We will someday save the day, walk on the moon, cure cancer, clear the bases in the bottom of the ninth, save a life, win a battle, or something. Even though I feel small, weak, and am told regularly I can't do this or that now, Someday I will grow - arrive - blossom or better yet, I'll get caught up in some kind of scientific experiment gone awry and I will be endued with super powers. In our later years the feeling doesn't abate but the direction changes.
Most folks my age or older are fearfully apprehensive w/regard to their future. Let's turn the Spiritual Switch. Mary Queen of Scotts said of the reformer: "I fear the prayers of John Knox more than I fear all the armies on the face of the earth." The world no longer fears the Church. It seems to have relegated Itself to a yes man in the world's systems. Many defeatists say things are worse now than they have ever been, but that isn't so. We cry out for "revival" and what we mean is: "God won't you come down here and give everyone a tune up? We want the scales balanced according to our will."
Nugget: Every great revival in history came about when the Church was weak, powerless and in total conformity to the world. Why? And what then brought about the revivals? Well of course the sovereignty of God, but a Common Denominator was Corporate Prayer. Why don't we do that now? Well because we like it this way, at least most of us do. (Jer. 5:31) But when a few Churches or even a few individuals become desperate over the condition of their people or their country and begin to pray Long and Hard, and others join in, an event is looming.
In 1875 America, the economy was booming. Everyone was doing well. In Deut 6:11, God warns us that when we enter into the land flowing with milk and honey and live in - "houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the Lord," Morals slid, prostitution, whiskey and gambling the norm. Spirituality became unnecessary, even laughable. Sound familiar?
A Dutch reformer in New York City named Jeremiah Lamphere had a great burden for his people, his nation. He advertised all over town that a prayer meeting was to take place from noon to six pm. The very first day, a whopping six people showed up. By late day two, there were 20. Then 40, and soon hundreds met daily. What happened? Certainly not what we would pray for. The economy collapsed. Financial depression. Confusion and fear reigned in the hearts of men till they - almost without realizing it, began to return to Godly things. In 6 months over 50, 000 were meeting or prayer daily.
By 1858 a full one million of the thirty million population had Come to Christ. Again, from our perspective, hardship and tribulation. But from God's perspective, what is the greatest thing that could happen? That people would be saved - or - reconciled to Him. Whatever He needs to bring about to accomplish this is, in His eyes, a great thing. This is a reoccurring theme in the Bible. The prayer of the Church did not twist God's arm, change God's mind or influence His decision. The prayer was after all, the Churches open submission to God's perfect will, whatever that brought about. Are you ready to pray for that? Look around. Do you believe folks are going to change if they stay fat and secure? What do you think the will of God is? -2nd Peter 3 Do you worry about current events - or are you excited about the times we live in? God Bless.