Recently, as I prepared to lead a service, I was singing a few songs by myself when I came to the spiritual song “Be Still for the Presence of the Lord”. As I came to the last verse the words hit me hard and highlighted a weakness in myself and I am sure one that many of us have experienced.The words are:
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister his grace
No work too hard for him
In faith receive from him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place.
So often those of us who are Christians like to excuse the difficulty of our work of Gospel proclamation and church planting by looking at the poor example of ungracious and unchristian attitudes and actions of previous churches (maybe even who used to be in the same building). This is not to say we do not face difficulty because of previous Spiritless churches affected by a Calvinism so high or traditions (not found in the Scriptures) so old they are comparable to idolatry; this difficulty is an ever present reality. Nevertheless, in our own attitudes we must guard against doubting God’s power to build a church and work a wonderful miracle of transformation in the very place where His name has been drug through the mud. I am thankful for God’s mercy in highlighting the sin of the attitude I have had when wondering, “Can God or will God do a work in this place so disgraced by ‘Christians’ of previous years?”
As I continued to think, I remembered the great work of men like William Carey, David Livingstone, Adoniram Judson, Hudson Taylor, C.T. Studd. If these great missionaries of the past had given up when they encountered difficulty, thinking the work was too hard for God to use them, large parts of Africa and Asia would have remained largely unreached. These men encountered disaster after disaster and trial after trial and served Christ for years with seemingly little fruit,yet God showed that no work is too hard for him and today some individual countries of the East have more real believers than supposedly Christian countries of the West – combined. Men of Scripture such as Peter, Paul, and John faced trials the like of which we cannot imagine and God used them in their own personal testimonies, followed by their Gospel proclamation to show that no work is too hard for Him and that through pressing on we will see fruit. In the Old Testament the prophets sometimes seemed to doubt and exhibit uncertainty in relation to God’s power, yet God always showed His mighty hand in both salvation and destruction.
So what? We need to stop our moaning and doubt, come to the Lord in repentance and rely on the power of God to change the world through faithful gospel proclamation. Let us stop trying to limit our witness to cheap gimmicks to ‘get people in church’. Let us stop trying to gain cheap converts by exploiting people’s emotions. Let us stop worrying about our presentation and trying to beat about the bush and enter the back door with our message. The Gospel is enough. It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). God is all powerful and makes the difficulty of our efforts look as easy as tearing a sheet of paper or saying 1,2,3. I praise God for his reminder to me yesterday and it is my prayer that we who believe will press on with the promise of salvation for all who believe knowing that in our own lives and in the lives of the lost, ‘no work is too hard for him’.
Category: GBP Blog