If you missed yesterday's message about Am I On Fire or a Burning Ember and would like to catch up, please read it here.
Photography by: Melanie Magdalena @Eli_archgirl
Yesterday we read God has a few commands for us but before we go out doing what He has commanded, we notice there are rules before jumping out in the world. We have heard plenty of stories when WE DECIDE to go do something for God before even asking Him. Please know, we should ALWAYS ask before we go out and do something, so we have a hedge of protection over us.
In fact, let’s turn to Acts 1:4 and see what Jesus told the disciples before they could go out into the world. Jesus gave the disciples another command called the, “Great Command.”
Acts 1:4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
So, God wants me to go out and preach the gospel, BUT He wants me to go to a prayer meeting first.
According to 1 Corinthians 15:6, Jesus gave this command to 500 disciples but a mere 120 actually obeyed the command. That is a little over three quarters of the disciples went and found something a little more interesting to do.
Do these numbers sound vaguely familiar in the church today?
Let’s see how God wants us to proceed.
Matthew 9:35-38 says,
"Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
In these verses, God shows me a problem and He shows me a solution.
The Problem: (Matthew 9:27) Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
The Solution: (Matthew 9:38) Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
In that moment I asked myself if I was apart of the “few”.
Am I apart of those 3 out of 4 Christians who found something else to do when the command was given?
According to the scriptures, I’m not doing what I’ve been called to do to the best of my ability. This is not only going to hurt me but the generations to come. Because if I don’t SOW then what is there to REAP?
If I’m not putting my time out in the streets, how’s God going put people in the seats?
Can God can send 200 to 300 people right here and right now?
YES, but what are the chances He will do it without us doing exactly as He’s commanded? God wants us to get out of our comfy little seats and preach and pray. He has commanded us to GO OUT and make disciples.
We ALL have the capacity to change the world! We all have the capacity to change our church. We all have the capacity to change our city AND He gave us this authority to do so!
During one of our classes in college I heard Reverend Buddy Bell say,
“We have no problem in preaching to the multitudes, but we have not reached the multitudes yet.”
This spoke volumes to me. It has taken me nine months to gather up enough courage to say,
We all need to do a better job as disciples!
If we become comfortable with where we're at, our fire will dim and how are we going to ever have capacity to change 200 diapers in a service? Or keep 100 hormonal teenagers at bay?
That was about the time the Lord told me, “Relax about the multitudes Carolyn and start PRAYING to the multitudes like I asked.”
If you tear apart God's response to the root, you will hear, “Stop trying to be God and do what I commanded you to do.”
God wants me to go out and PRAY because the ultimate purpose of prayer is to help gather in the harvest of lost souls.
To fill the world LITERALLY with the Gospel, we must go to where people live. Every home, public places, EVERYWHERE outsdie of our churches. I’m not saying we should stop Bible study, daily readings, or praying for one another. I’m saying in order to fulfill The Great Commission, we need to GET UP and GET OUT. Otherwise, our fire is going to turn into embers and then our embers will eventually turn into ash.
Our God is a WILD God. He is full of adventures and He’s creative and not one to just sit around and do nothing. God MOVES, and He expects us to do the same.
So, here’s where YOU come in!
Join me tomorrow for the wrap up of, Am I On Fire or a Burning Ember?