Cease from our Endeavours
River City are in the middle of a week of prayer, we are dedicating more time to seeking God and asking Him to change our city and bring close those far from Him. I read this brilliant quote from a book called “Rain from Heaven” by Arthur Wallis and wanted to share it hear to keep encouraging us as we seek after God:
“The modern evangelist is faced with two major problems. The first is how to draw people from their homes, their firesides, their television sets to hear his message. And the second is how to bring them to repentance and faith. Obviously the first is only a means to the second, but the second cannot be achieved without the first. We may reflect ruefully that Paul didn’t have to contend with television addicts. The fact is that we do, and spiritual gimmicks do not provide an answer. How futile it is to expect the man of the world to forsake his ‘thing’ because we offer him our ‘thing’. At this level it is impossible to compete with the world, nor does God intend us to try. He has a better way.
“It is impossible to compete with the world, nor does God intend us to try. He has a better way.”
It should be a matter of concern that the church’s outreach today is only touching a small proportion of the community. That some are being converted should not obscure the fact that the masses are largely unreached. And those who are converted are mostly people with church connections or who have some contact with Christian friends. With what energy and imagination organising committees will strive to alter this situation! Large sums spent on publicity, witness marches through the streets, and the meetings not lacking in items and features to provide variety and interest. The fact that all this did not really accomplish the desired end last time is only ground for trying it all again with greater energy and imagination. The high proportion of ‘drop-outs’ amongst those professing conversion must be rectified by a more thorough training of counsellors, and greater care in follow-up. And so it goes on.
“There are times when God calls us to cease from our own endeavours so as to enlist His powerful intervention.”
It required no outpouring of the Spirit to bring Simon Peter to Jesus, only the invitation of Andrew. We certainly have our part to play in bringing people to Christ. But where normal means are failing it is no use adopting the extra-special means; it is the supernatural to which we must turn. On Carmel there was no response to Elijah’s fervent pleading, but the moment God answered by fire the people were on their faces. What the efforts and ingenuity of man cannot accomplish is but the work of a moment to the outpoured Spirit. You may be sure that when God works the people will be there, drawn not by human persuasion, but by the magnetism of heaven.
There are times when God calls us to cease from our own endeavours so as to enlist His powerful intervention… At such times we are brought to acknowledge with Jehoshaphat, ‘We are powerless against this great multitude… but our eyes are upon Thee.’ Then we may expect the answer, ‘The battle is not yours but God’s… You will not need to fight in this battle; take your position, stand still and see the victory of the Lord on your behalf.’ (2 Chron. 20:12,17).”
I love this! It reminds me that although John and I feel totally out of our depth with a whole portion of a city to reach, our Father God longs to reveal Himself and His love for the people of our city far more than we do. Perhaps you may feel this way in your workplace, school, or friendship circle. We don’t want to have to rely on man-made evangelism schemes forever, we want to ask God to act. We need Him to intervene! Let’s keep praying this week.