I have been reading “The Way of the Master”, by Ray Comfort, which is the basis for the course which Steve is putting together, starting August. The first chapter is entitled, ‘A Dereliction of duty’. It speaks of what we know we should be doing but let other things take its place. He finishes the chapter by asking if we are praying for revival, but goes on to say if we are not sharing our faith it is though we are saying: ’Lord, I know that you have commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. But we will stay here and pray. We know that you have chosen the “foolishness” of preaching to save those who believe. But we will stay here and pray. And we know that the Bible asks us, “How will they hear without a preacher?” But we will stay here and pray, because it is easier to talk to God about people than it is to talk to people about God’.
He then quotes C T Studd who puts it even more forcefully. “We Christians too often substitute prayer for playing the game. Prayer is good; but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is nothing but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism …. To your knees, man! And to your Bible! Decide at once! Don`t hedge! Time flies! Cease your insults to God. Quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame, lying, and cowardly excuses.” This is a challenge to all of us. We may be trying to win people by friendship evangelism, which is a start, but unless we actually speak to them about Jesus and our faith in Him, how can they be saved.
Consider all the prayer that has been offered up for revival and how little we have seen, especially in the west. “We have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work”. (A W Tozer). Perhaps, if we spent a little less time on prayer, and used the time in witnessing, we would see more of that for which we have been praying. Or half pray while the other half witness! Witnessing watered with prayer is the key.
On Thursday we were studying Romans 4. Paul is considering Abraham, and the faith he displayed when he believed the promise of God. He only had creation as his guide to the power of God, but that was enough to make him believe a seemingly impossible promise. Both Abraham and Sarah were effectively dead, but the Scripture says Abraham was “fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised”. (4:21). Am I ‘fully’ persuaded? Are you? Perhaps we need once again to look at our concept of God.
Do we believe that He has the power to save those we have witnessed to?
Every blessing be yours in Christ Jesus. John & Hilary