Do it now!

The Southern Baptist radar, mine included, has been picking up calls to prayer for spiritual awakening with greater frequency in recent days. These calls provide great encouragement since every biblical revival and awakening throughout history has been connected to prayer.

However, while the importance of prayer cannot be overemphasized, our approach can become unbalanced. With Pharaoh on one side and the Red Sea on the other, Moses went to the Lord in prayer and received this response, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on” (Exodus 14:15). Similarly, when Joshua was leading Israel to deal with Achan’s sin, he received this response to his supplication, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?” (Joshua 7:10). When preparing the batter for the awakening cake, added to prayer must be the ingredient of taking obedient steps forward into God-directed areas of ministry that require God’s presence and power for success.

In most cases, these “steps” require simple obedience to the revealed Word of God. After all, God does say, “Return to me, and I will return to you,” placing the emphasis on his people’s obedience (Mal. 3:7). Similarly, when the Lord reveals his vision for a church or a people, he expects them to get off their knees and get to work.

However, in many cases, our faithlessness has limited God’s vision in our lives. Consider a quote from Carl Bates:

There was a time in my life when I earnestly prayed, “God, I want your power!” Time wore on, and the power did not come. One day the burden was more than I could bear. “God, why haven’t you answered that prayer?” God seemed to answer back with his simple reply, “With plans no bigger than yours, you don’t need my power.”

We will be praying together across our state for spiritual awakening this year. We should pray together for a special movement of God. Let’s add to our prayers some dreams that are bold and courageous. Those dreams should certainly include innovative plans to reach the people in our communities as well as the people of the nations for Christ. Let’s throw in some obedience as we actively take steps to bring those dreams to reality. Let’s take some risks for the glory of God.

Someone once said that a church will become either a caretaker, an undertaker or a risk taker. Let’s choose the latter. And let’s do it now!

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