Thursday, 21 November 2013

Waiting for God or……Insular Inactivity!!

In the West Highlands of Scotland, Christian men from a variety of denominations meet periodically by invitation, to pray for unity and revival. This is a really positive step because the majority population of our churches these days is middle aged/elderly women. Thus, a group of men who are prepared to devote their time and energy to prayer is quite unusual.

Such prayer groups would agree that ‘waiting on the Lord’ is an extremely profitable activity for the development of their Christian lives and experience. However, having been around evangelical circles for most of my 63 years, I’m getting a little tired of phrases like, ‘being shut in with the Lord’ and ‘waiting on the Lord’. Indeed, I am certain that there is clear evidence in scripture that the Living God has never endorsed this persistent culture of insular inactivity.

Let me explain.

In the Gospel of Matthew, the ‘Parable of the Talents,’ is a story told by Jesus about the master who gives his servants bags of gold and asks them to invest the gold for him. In the parable, the bags of gold represent the gifts, talents and resources given to each individual by God.

In common with the last servant of the parable, Christians often take the gifts, talents and resources given by the Living god and bury them deep in the earth.

In the parable the servant is called to account by his master. When asked why he hadn’t invested the resource and returned it with interest he responds…….. ‘I was afraid’.

Sadly, for many Christians, myself included, this is the key reason why we neglect using the vast and varied resources God has given us to take the good news about Jesus to the immediate community………. we are too afraid !!!

A recent article in RELEVANT magazine by Michelle Bunt entitled, ‘The Active Work of Waiting on God………Waiting on God doesn't mean we don't do anything’, suggests three actions to enable Christians to change their perspective:

“Firstly, change the way you pray. Pray humbly, but from a place of empowerment rather than lack.

Secondly, share your good works with the world. Galatians 5:22-23 has already outlined for us what the fruit of the spirit look like: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.’ Note the second part of that text: against such things there is no law. This means that if we are acting in accordance with love, kindness and self-control, for instance, we can be assured that we are doing God’s will, whether or not God directly spoke to us and specifically told us to take that action.

Thirdly, don’t allow yourself to get paralyzed looking for your ‘calling.’ By all means pray, but don’t let your praying trap you into a state of paralysis.”

For too long, Christians have satisfied themselves that prayer of the ‘gimme, gimme, gimme’ kind was all that was required for revival to happen, when all along, God is looking for people with surrendered hearts who pray, listen to Him, then take action in co-operation with Him.

I am in wholehearted agreement with Michelle Bunt when she says: ‘There are already enough Christians burying their talents in the ground where they can’t be seen or used. Let’s start a new trend: one where Christians are known as people of action and change and living demonstrations of their faith.’

So, amongst the born again Christians of the West Highlands……………….who’s in?

Let the ‘By the Way’ team know of your desire to take action. Fill in the comments box and we’ll take action to support you.
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