Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pray First -- then plan

I sent this email to the Crossroads Board of Directors a few moments ago. Please pray for us that God's will would be done!

"... [Treasurer] - could you send me an itemized tally of our mission giving for 2014, including any pass through that went to missions, including the discretionary fund. I don't need to know the dates that funds were given, just the total for the year given to each purpose. Let me know if that's confusing. I would like to use that information in my message on Sunday, Feb 1.

Board in General - Please consider coming to prayer tonight if you can.

Also, see the attached chapter from The Dangerous Kind. I am praying and studying through it in advance of our February 1 message. Notice, in the chapter, that the author encourages us to not abandon thinking or avoid the facts.

Instead the scriptures push us to
  1. always pray first and ask God, to be in tune with God's will, and then to discern, that is, to check what God seems to be saying to us against the scriptures (more of that in the next chapter "Under the Word"). Only then, having gotten a supernatural sense of what God is doing, 
  2. consider what practical tactics and decisions God would call us to.
We never act out of fear, but always out of faith, but that does not mean we should not be prudent. There is an "art" or even a "poetry" to this action -- but it's not just a matter of emotion or reasoning, nor do we throw our brains out. Pray and listen to what God is saying first, then think. It often takes time. We cannot just go with our first reaction -- but you know that!

An example is in Acts 16 where, contrary to what might seem sensible, Paul and Silas did not run for the exit as soon as their chains fell off. They stayed and the jailer and his household were saved:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. (Acts 16:25-33)
I see similar things going on in our midst as we hang in there with people like [name] and [name] (both we're working with in recent weeks) and others (throughout the years) who we have walked with. The same is true as we pour out our gifts and prayers for ministries in Thailand and Bangladesh and Tanzania and New York City. It doesn't make logical sense but I hope, as you pray, you can see God's hand in it. Your work allows us, together, to be dangerous for the kingdom of God and dangerous against the enemy in our time and place

One of the things we need to be PRAYING over and asking God to speak to us in is the partnership agreement. This isn't a matter of human logic. It's something that fits perfectly into the topic that we're going to address this Sunday. I think it would be helpful if one or more of you would speak about this during the church family time this week.

God's peace to you all.

Pastor Steve


No comments:

Post a Comment