(August 11, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes issues a relevant challenge…
Last century a group of sixty one Charismatic /Pentecostal leaders met in the United States to seek the face of God for the future. At the conclusion of this time in prayer, repentance and seeking the face of God, they made a statement about eight things they felt God was calling them to do.
I have chosen five for this article – believing they are even more relevant today in this 21st century!
1. God is calling us to transform society
I will attempt here to open the challenge they placed last on their list.
They agreed that western culture was becoming increasingly hostile to the Christian faith. That they must not run from their calling to transform culture but engage in a kingdom mission to effect change. They agreed that Christians for too long have viewed politics, education and the financial realm as evil, when we must see those arenas as mountains to claim for Christ.
This challenge is still with us, and I believe, increasing significantly in the degree of challenge to Christians everywhere, especially in the western world. The church needs many committed Christians serving as politicians, educators and financial experts.
2. Christian families
It is my strong belief that the first place to begin this task is in the homes of Christian families. This is a true kingdom mission to help families to be Christian in values and lifestyle.
There are so many distracting, if not destructing forces at work in our daily lives. The internet, television, mobile phones, electronic games and much more – all demand our time. They each have a practical purpose and value of course; however the reality is that time has consequently become too limited for too many to pray or to worship God!
Because we face the daily hostility of our culture to Christian values we must help Christian families to walk with God.
Then to walk in our society as committed citizens, contributing our values and skills for the benefit of our nation.
3. Christian leaders
Christian leaders must speak up in their circle of contacts and influence, including to members of parliament at state and commonwealth levels!
This challenge calls for a voice to be raised, and for Christian values to be upheld. Christian leaders must communicate meaningfully with younger men and women in our churches, who have the education and training to work in politics, education and finance. The challenge of modelling a Christian response to the issues of life and the values of our society is indeed a mountain to be claimed and climbed.
Christian leaders need to offer training as well as job experience, in partnership with Christian business people. To call for Christian accountants, architects, teachers, principals, professors, property developers and managers, to encourage the next generation to claim their place on this mountain.
Let make it clear that I am not thinking of aggressive evangelism at these levels, but rather, a Christian presence. As Wesley is reported to have said, ‘Witness every day – use words if necessary.’
This is a real challenge. It is not impossible. History establishes the times when Christian faith and practice impacted entire countries. Believers paid a price then and will almost certainly do so again in our materialistic world.
We must open ourselves to the experience of personal revival, rediscover the power of fasting, study the word in order to hear from God more powerfully and get back to the simplicity of devotion to Jesus.
Challenges are opportunities to trust God. They are opportunities for us to seek his guidance and to experience his provision and his answers.
Do you sense God challenging you to commit yourself to a new challenge? To take up a new task for him or to train for a ministry or task that he has planned for you.
We need challenges in our lives, both naturally and spiritually. They stretch us, develop us, as well as strengthen us. The challenge we accept may seem beyond us, but can be achieved when –
- We face it
- Consider the factors
- And then take steps that can result in good outcomes.
Too often, people back off before they get going. Their mental position is, ‘I cannot do this.’
That may be true in their present state of mind or skill, however ‘nothing ventured is nothing done.’ This challenge can become an achievement in both the natural and spiritual realms of life.
My thesaurus lists challenges as, tests, trials, tasks, contests, experiments, encounters, disputes, and more. This list embraces some areas of life that can be painful, very difficult, and costly.
Challenge is a wholesome word and experience. If one takes just the three items on the thesaurus list – trials, tests and tasks – the majority of readers will know by experience the reality of these challenges, especially the first one.
The trials of life can be very challenging. On the other hand, the tests and tasks in our lives can be rewarding if we apply ourselves well. Look for a way – not a way out!
Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary statesman with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: firstname.lastname@example.org
Links: https://connectingwithyou.net/2017/08/03/a-tale-of-two-kingdoms / https://connectingwithyou.net/2017/08/05/dont-give-up-keep-focused