On a Mission
For the past few weeks we have been discussing why, after a powerful move of God, would individuals, and the church as a whole, fall back? A further observation is this: It is vital to realize that God blesses us, individually and corporately, so that we can bless others. It is not for us alone.
It is wonderful and satisfying to bask in the strong presence of the Lord. As David wrote:
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple”
But God does not display His glory so that we can be entertained or so that we can “hoard it.” His purpose is always to advance His kingdom. Revival activity dies down when this is not the goal.
In the book of Ezekiel, God gives us a glimpse of His own heart when He says,
“Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?”
(Ezekial 18:23). God’s heart is set on reaching lost people.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”
(Luke 19:10). The one thing we cannot do in heaven is join Jesus in this search and rescue mission. It will be too late then. Now is the time.
I am convinced that the Lord wants to break our hearts over the condition of the lost people-all around us who are in bondage. The sinful nature dominates them and they have accumulated a huge stockpile of sins that are not forgiven, putting them at eternal risk.
Furthermore, God wants us to be so thrilled, enthralled and captivated with Jesus and our salvation that we are eager to talk about this treasure that we have found in Him.
During our mini-revival God was asking our church to share what He was giving us but the vast majority didn’t do this and so missed out on a great blessing. I think the reason we often neglect to share is that it is scary and we don’t know how people will respond. But we need to remember that if God sends us He prepares the way and goes with us.
Here is an example: When I pastored in Springfield my friend Steve and I would often pray together on Saturday mornings. These were intense times of calling out to the Lord. One morning both of us felt a very strong urging from the Lord to get out of the church building and go share the Word. Sensing the need to obey the Holy Spirit, we didn’t feel that we could put this off until later.
Steve suggested that we go door-to-door. Though apprehensive I knew I needed to respond to the prompting of the Lord. So we went.
Christians who have gone door-to-door know that there can be a great deal of resistance. That is why we were surprised when at the second house we encountered there was a man who welcomed us right in and had us sit down in his living room.
He told us that several days earlier, he had seen me walking and praying in the neighborhood. I’m not sure how he knew I was praying, but upon rightly discerning that that is what I was doing, this man asked God to send me to his house. A few days later we were at his doorstep! God worked both ends of the equation prompting this man to pray that I would come and prompting us to go out. No wonder the man welcomed us in and was open to hear what we had to say!
That was many years ago. During the time that God poured out His Spirit in Lebanon, I felt the same kind of prompting once again to the take the message to the streets, so to speak. For years I had prayed, meditated, studied the Word and memorized Scripture. It was time to put that to use reaching out to the unsaved. Unfortunately, many people were not ready for reaching out. I am convinced that failure to join the Lord in his mission hindered a further move of God.
Copyright Ed Skipper 2013
For more information about Ed’s ministry, to listen to him speak or to contact him about speaking to your group, visit heartofrevival.net.