The Christian’s Greatest Challenge
By R. A. Kerby
The general fact of a world gone mad with sin becomes very pointed and particular as the Christian realizes that he has many acquaintances, friends, and loved ones who are "daring to remain unforgiven" even in these awful days.
This fact, if the Christian walks in the Spirit and does not allow the din of modern life to drown out spiritual things, will become the dominating thought of his days and the crushing burden of his nights. The thought that some of his own circle are now, through unbelief, condemned already, and may soon be damned eternally, becomes almost intolerable to him.
Realizing that mere human persuasion is totally impotent against deeply entrenched sin, the Christian is driven to his knees and a devout inventory of the promises of God. Right here it is in order to say that the great majority of Christians should humble themselves in deep repentance over the fact that they have successfully pleaded so few of these promises.
It is true that God will not, and under His laws of free-agency cannot, compel the surrender of a soul. But it is also true that He can and does bring great pressure to bear upon unconverted souls in answer to believing prayer. His "hornets" have a way of helping folks make up their minds. We need not fear that our prayers will induce God to invade the citadel of free-will, and thus essentially ruin those for whom we pray.
We should rather, mourn over the fact that all too often our intercessions have been so weak and intermittent. This lack of faith and persistence has "limited the Holy One of Israel" (Psalm 78:41), in His efforts to save our loved ones. How will we answer in the great Day of Judgment, if we have allowed the "exceeding great and precious promises" to go unclaimed and unfulfilled? (2 Peter 1:4).
The greatest challenge before the Christian today is that which is held out by the promises of God. It should cheer his heart immensely to realize that "all the promises of God in him (Christ) are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us" (1 Corinthians 1:20). The true intercessor should reason thus: The end is drawing on, my loved ones are unsaved, and God, through His pledged Word, has declared His willingness, yea, His eagerness, to show "great and mighty things" to those who will call upon Him in truth (Jeremiah 33:3).
When the preciousness of souls, the length of eternity, and the truth of the promises become luminous to his soul, the true Christian beseeches God, if needs be, to take away money, position, health, prospects, and all else, if only He will enable him to pray in the Holy Ghost. When the necessity and majesty of intercessory prayer fills the soul, this world with its comforts and rewards becomes as a shadow. Things which hitherto appeared important will shrink down into the merest trifles, and the true standard of life will not be ease, comfort, prosperity, or even merely human happiness, but will rather be access to the mercy seat. The God who remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the overthrow of Sodom, still hears and answers prayer.
Giving Account of Our Prayer Stewardship
As the purple shadows of approaching night fall across our dispensation, we are reminded that ere long we must give account of our prayer stewardship. God has providentially allowed our time to fall in a season of great challenge. Will we, by His grace, accept this challenge, search out and successfully plead His promises for the salvation of immortal souls, or will we become so busy with earthly things that night will overtake us with our task woefully unfinished?
This question should stir our souls to the very bottom, and should cause us to go down before God until He comes and breathes into our hearts those "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26). When our prayers, framed according to the promises, and inbreathed by the Holy Ghost, are presented through the infinite merits of the interceding Christ to the Father Almighty, Hell itself must give away.
– From God’s Revivalist and Eleventh Hour Messenger.