The story has been told that a group of pastors in Charlotte, North Carolina, prayed that God would raise up a man in their city who would change the world. It was not long after that Billy Graham was born. I’m not positive of the story but I do know that most of my prayers are too small. Do I fully realize the will of God and the power of God? Do I dare pray for amazing changes in this world?
This morning I read a part of Ephesians where Paul says a little about his calling to serve God. He makes no boast; this calling was God’s doing . . .
When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. (Ephesians 3:4–12)
The Gospel is a revealed reality. Those who are not interested or have not responded have not had the Holy Spirit give them the grace and power to believe. While I fully realize sinners have a responsibility to pay attention and to respond, I also know that God does not give His truth to those who will spurn it. In great love, He works with us where we are.
Paul says his calling was a gift of grace. His words remind me of an Old Testament verse where God is quoted:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)
In biblical history, God takes one man. It was Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Isaiah and the other prophets, each in their era, each given to be His man for that time. The Lord isn’t into committees! He reveals truth to those He calls to serve Him so, as Paul says, His wisdom might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. These are terms used for the demonic forces of evil. Through one who influences many, He is showing His power, a power that was fully realized in the life of One Man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Aside from the Savior, did any of these men have an ambition to change the world? Nothing is said about that. Most of them suffered. Noah was ridiculed. Abraham had to leave home. Moses was challenged repeatedly as were the others. They were not perfect people but they were given a task and faithfully followed through.
Lord Jesus, we have good leaders in today’s church (and some not so good), yet no one stands out as being a world-changer, a voice that speaks for God in the chaos of our day. As my heart was exercised to pray that You will again raise up someone to speak for You, someone who will be strong against the opposition, someone with the character and boldness required to catch the ears of those now deaf to the Word of God, I began to think of another verse, the one that says, “You are the light of the world . . .” God, Your church is supposed to shine like a light in a dark place just as those men. We are called to represent You in this world, to be Spirit-filled people who are powerful in word, in actions and in humility. I need to be like that. I feel so small and this is a big prayer. May I never forget that You are a big God.
Today’s thankful list . . .
A time of prayer with others who feel burdens to pray.
A good workout at the gym.
A much-needed nap after a snack.
Hubby home early from work.
His blood tests are stable yet far from normal and a complete mystery to his doctors as he is so healthy.
Corn on the cob and a case of peaches.
My new phone — it almost makes tea!