Wake Up, O Church Of God!
By Sarah Foulkes Moore
A great cry of agony is rising from a sick and dying world, but the church is sound asleep. Climactic events – increasing earthquakes, overthrown governments, the breakdown of morality – have become so commonplace, no one is stirred.
We need to wake up, to know “the time is short.” The Apostle Paul warned about lack of concern and insensitivity, including himself in the words, “Let us not sleep” (1 Thes. 5:6).
Christian Believer, what do we find in the Lord’s work in the world today? We find sloth. We find slumber. We find a perilous love of ease, and a dangerous spirit of unheeding indifference to the commands of God – to seek Him till He comes and rains righteousness upon us (Hos. 10:12).
Back of these conditions in pulpit and pew is the love of ease, the love of self and the love of the things of this life, which, instead of enabling the people of God to fight the good fight of faith, causes them to make excuses for their indolence and slackness in such an hour.
Love of Self
Preachers and people are vastly more concerned about the ease of their own bed, the abundance of their own table, and the adorning of their own flesh, than they are over the heart-breaking conditions of the home, the church and the world today.
The colossal disinclination of ministry and membership to take the words of the Lord to heart and weep and mourn because of the afflictions of other Christians, and because of the abominations of sin in the midst of the people – as did Nehemiah and Daniel – is the reason for the spiritual collapse in the world today.
God ordains Zion’s children be brought forth in travail (Isa. 66:8).
“There is none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee” (Isa. 64:7).
Deserted Prayer Meetings – All Night TV Vigils
In the last days, throughout Scripture, the call is to seek the Lord! But Laodicea, rich and increased in worldly goods, and in her own blind sight lacking nothing, does not envision the need of humbling herself of her lukewarmness and worldliness that she might seek the Lord (Rev. 3:14-22).
Hence the Spirit’s call to prayer goes unheeded. Prayer meetings are deserted. Everywhere God’s people are found at ease at home with television, or otherwise occupied in the pursuit of their own ways, heedless, as were the people in Noah’s day to God’s judgment-warnings to flee from the wrath to come!
God’s emphatic declaration is WOE on all at ease IN ZION! (Amos 6:1). Those who will not heed, and hearken diligently, and flee the cares and indulgences of life, and seek Him with all their heart will surely know what God’s WOE means when judgment begins at the house of God! (Luke 21:34-36; 1 Pet. 4:17).
An Easy-Going Church Produces an Unbelieving World
Because of ease in Zion, spiritual desolation is in the world. When the people of God cease to be aggressive in their work and witness for God, the church drifts into formalism, and the world drifts into infidelity. An easygoing, formal church has always produced an unbelieving world!
How emphatic are the Lord’s commands to be instant in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2)…to put on the whole armor of God...to be strong in the Lord...to wrestle…to gird our loins…to quench the fiery darts of the enemy…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Eph. 6:10-18).
Forsake Your Lukewarm Ways
“To every man his work” (Mark 13:34). “Preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). If you and I are guilty of disobeying these commands of our Lord to intensity and to diligence and fruitfulness in the work of the Gospel, cannot we humble ourselves and go to Him in contrition of heart and confess our spiritual lukewarmness – and PRAY for grace to forsake the lukewarmness of our way?
If we cover or excuse or justify our sins of lukewarmness, or any sin, we shall not prosper (Prov. 28:13; 1 John 1:9).
But if we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and confess we have not sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness – but have been half-hearted and lukewarm to every claim of God to time and strength in the urgency of the spiritual conflict of this hour – we will find grace and mercy to help in time of need (Matt. 6:33; Jer. 29:13; Heb. 4:14-16).
It is the last half-hour. To gather in the precious fruits of the earth before the gathering storm of God’s judgment-wrath, requires heroic effort and great self-sacrifices!
Witness the stir and activity on the ranch in the harvesting of the grain. Early morning rising, sweat and toil in the heat of the day. As in the natural, so in the spiritual. The deepest evangelical need in this harvest time of the church age is for unlimited going and giving in the Savior’s name.
Bare your very soul to the searchlight of God’s Truth. Ask yourself, as are we, if you are doing your utmost to sacrifice and suffer for Christ and for the Gospel.
God is asking for “living sacrifices,” not as our unreasonable service, but reasonable. His Word is plain. With ALL our heart, with ALL our soul, with ALL our might, and ALL our understanding, He seeks to enlist us in His great work NOW at the end of the age – in getting the Gospel to every creature (Rom. 12:1; Matt. 22:36-39).
Let us earnestly pray, “Lord, if I am excusing myself instead of offering myself as a living sacrifice; if I am failing You, Lord, in the least way; Lord, if I am coming short, deal with me. Bend me, break me, stay not Your hand – until I am emptied of self and sin and filled with all the fullness of God!”
The Lord has commanded us to redeem the time for the days are evil (Eph. 5:16). He has commanded us to OCCUPY till He comes (Luke 19:13). When we stand before the blazing light of Christ’s judgment seat to give an account of how we have redeemed our time, our strength, our money and our talents – in seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, may it be said of us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matt. 25:21).
When Sister Moore and her Bible School classmates were asked at graduation time what work for the Lord they looked forward to, Sister Moore’s reply was that she wanted to be “a stander in the gap and a maker up of the hedge.” She early grasped as few do, the vital importance of prayer. She realized it was at the heart of God’s work. It was what God put on her heart to do, and she gave herself to it with all the might of her Spirit-empowered being.
Honore Osberg who worked closely for many years with the Moores, once wrote about Sister Moore: “I believe the strongest memory I have of Sister Moore is her faithfully evening after evening, meeting with Brother Moore and the other workers to pray. Then there were the seasons of three days of fasting and prayer monthly when work and everything else was laid aside for the one business of seeking the Lord.
“She literally poured out her life and energy in her prayers. If there was ever a burdened, weeping intercessor for God, it was Sister Moore. …She cried and wept before God that He would meet His people, that He would save souls, that God’s people would be awakened out of their sleep and indifference, and that He would fulfill His Word in sending worldwide revival....”
In the Herald paper month after month, she issued strong appeals to God’s people to likewise set themselves to praying. Her keen spiritual vision could see the astounding things God would do, the marvelous changes that would take place if God’s people would give themselves to earnest, prevailing prayer.
Today there is a host of evils threatening our land. As revival and God’s intervention in national and international affairs was the cry of the Moores’ hearts, might a host of us obtain from the Lord the grace and enduement to persevere in intercession until the heavens are rent, and the Holy Spirit is outpoured from on high!
On! On! And On!
On with the Message! On with the Light! On to the regions still shrouded in night!
On to the nations which never have heard; on with the life-giving, soul-saving Word!
On with the Message! Message of power, Message to meet every need of the hour.
On with the Message o’er land and o’er sea; on with the Truth that can set sinners free!
On with the Message! Carry it on. Millions in darkness still pray for the dawn.
Millions for whom Christ’s own blood did atone, die in their darkness, unreached, and alone.
On with the Message! Haste thee away; Soon cometh night, haste thee on while ‘tis day.
On with the Message, by love’s passion stirred; on till each creature of Jesus’ has heard.
On with the Message! Strive more and more; soon will the days for proclaiming be o’er.
On to all lengths, to where none have yet gone – on with the Message! On, ON! And ON!