I had more people that appeared to be really far from the Lord have great conversations about taking steps to seek the Lord this week than I have ever before. With everyone of them promising to come to church this past Sunday, only to see none of them come. I had such a wonderful time Sunday hearing from Oddie and spending enjoyable time visiting and eating lunch with visitors and church family as we celebrated Memorial Day barbecue together. But I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that none of the people I had invited had joined in the celebration that day. I shared with my brother Brian and he had showed up at someones house to give them a ride to church, only to be turned down at the door.That spurred my brother and I to take another look at the situation. We were talking with people that were squarely in the devil's grasp.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.I was confronted by the reality that my burden to share the incredible riches of Christ, my longing to see people come to know Christ personally as their savior, was not equally matched with a willingness to bathe these individuals in prayer. It revealed that I really had my confidence in the convincing words that "I" had spoken, that the persuasion that "I" had used to get them to agree to come to church. My brother saw the same in his encounter.
I have not given up and God works things out in His own timetable, but I am gripped by the reality that I am trying to wage battle in the spiritual realm for men's souls, and I leave the greatest weapon relatively unused during the battle. May God break me of such self reliance and self confidence and replace it with an utter dependence on Him and a God confidence that drives me to Him more and more. That I might have the distinct joy of seeing those perishing in sin and destruction be snatched out of the flames.
This funny picture is funny, but only makes my thinking that my persuasive words were weapons of war that much more lame. Let us learn to pray like we are doing battle on our knees. Read this week that a lady in a muslim community that was seeing many convert to Christianity was seeking to train each new believer to be a prayer intercessor. Let us do the same.