Responding To The Call of God
By Rich Carmicheal
At least two major themes emerge in the articles in this issue of the Herald of His Coming. One of those themes is the tremendous need for us to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the ministry of prayer. The second theme is the spiritual decline that affects much of the church today. I hope that these messages stir you to a greater devotion to prayer and a desire to serve as one of the Lord’s instruments to bring revival to the church!
In times of widespread spiritual and moral decline, the Lord searches for those who will step forward in faith--those who will intercede and provide spiritual direction for others. For example, in Ezekiel’s day, in the midst of great apostasy, the Lord declared, "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none..." (Eze. 22:30). Likewise, Isaiah declared that the Lord "...looked and was displeased that there was no justice...he was appalled that there was no one to intercede..." (Isa. 59:15-16). How tragic! The decline was so widespread that the Lord could not find any righteous people to stand in the gap and intercede on behalf of others.
In several passages in the Bible, we learn that even a few righteous people can make a big impact. For example, the Lord told Jeremiah that he would forgive and spare Jerusalem if Jeremiah could find even one person who "deals honestly and seeks the truth..." (Jer. 5:1). The Lord told Abraham that He would spare Sodom if even ten righteous people could be found in the city (Gen. 18:32). Jesus declared "...that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them" (Matt. 18:19-20). James writes that "...the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (Jas. 5:16). David reminds us that the Lord’s ears are attentive to the cry of the righteous (Psa. 34:15).
Although the Lord is omnipotent, He has chosen to entrust much of His work in the world to His people. He has, to a large extent, chosen to make His involvement in the world dependent upon the prayers and the ministry of the righteous.
Therefore, He continues to search for those who will offer themselves to Him and His work. He seeks those who will strive to please Him rather than please men; those who will devote themselves to Him in prayer; those who will stand in the gap and intercede on behalf of others; those who will walk in the fulness of the Spirit; those who will cast off sin and pursue righteousness, holiness and peace; those who will deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him; those who will minister to others in His name; those who will take Him at His Word and lay hold of His promises; those who will put their faith on the line. In other words, He is searching for those who will offer every ounce of their being to Him and His purposes.
I challenge you to step forward in this hour. Open your heart and respond to all that to which the Lord is calling you. The Lord not only wants to continue His work in you, but He also wants to impact the church and the world through you.
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chr. 7:14).
"...Here am I. Send me!" (Isa 6:8).