Will we cry out for a movement of God?

The world is changing faster than ever. Many moral standards have shifted downward more in the last 10 years than the previous 100. Nations rise and fall in a day. Over 300,000 undocumented people crossed into the United States last year. Information is at your fingertips in the phone you hold in your hand. The rate of change is dizzying. Yet many churches struggle to adapt to the change.

You may have heard the joke, “How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?” It takes 113. A committee of five prepared a meal for the discussion about the light bulb, then a committee of seven presented the motion to the church body of 100 for approval before the one person could change the light bulb.

We laugh at ourselves because it stings a little. Unless our churches learn to adapt in this torrent of change, there will be little effective witness in many communities.

I suppose one of the greatest needs is simply desperation for a movement of God. The American church in general, and the Southern Baptist Convention of churches in particular, has seen its impact on the culture rapidly decrease. Our desperation must come in the pursuit of God if we have any hope of seeing our nation saved from itself.

SBC President Ronnie Floyd has held days of prayer across our nation. SBTC President Jim Pritchard is issuing a call to pray across Texas. We must seek God’s face. Repentance must take place. We have enough biblical truth in our churches to turn the world upside down. The Apostles did it.

The difference is obedience. The early church obeyed the Word of God in the power of the Spirit of God.

Every morning for about a year I have prayed for Saeed Abidini and Kenneth Bae. Abidini is in an Iranian prison. Bae is in prison in North Korea. Both of these men are suffering because of their testimony for Jesus Christ. Unless something divinely dramatic takes place, we may be facing similar persecution in the United States before we reach the middle of this century. If we are not willing to be bold with our witness now, how do you think we will stand under the withering persecution of those who hate the gospel?

Every member, every church, every association and every convention must become desperate for God. We must obey his revealed will in the Scriptures. We may not avert judgment, but we will be in the center of his will, and that’s all that matters.

Churches must turn sacred cows into brisket for God to move in their congregation. It is time to put everything on the table. It is time to put all on the altar. Without compromising the doctrinal parameters of our fellowship, we must join hands and hearts with all who call upon our Lord Jesus to see a mighty move of His Spirit.

Join me at the Bible Conference and Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Nov. 9-11 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Register as a messenger, and bring guests with you for what we hope will be one of the most prayer-packed statewide events you will ever attend. Let’s call out to God together for his grace, mercy and power.

Executive Director Emeritus
Jim Richards
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
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