Some people aren’t afraid of anything!
Some people aren’t afraid of anything! Take 92-year-old Jane Bockstruck from Concord, New Hampshire, for example. A few days ago, with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren all watching (no doubt in almost disbelief) this little lady leaped out of a plane at 13,000 feet and plummeted to the earth in a 120-mph free fall. Her jump instructor and tandem partner, Paul Peckham Jr, was so impressed that he cut out his thirty year old parachutist silver wings and presented them to her. I’m afraid it’d take more than some sewn silver wings to get me to jump from a plane! But then, some people aren’t afraid of anything.
You can’t say that about the devil. For there is one human act that he fears above all others. Which explains the stupor that lulled the disciples to sleep in Gethsemane when they could have been, should have been on their faces with Christ in prayer. “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church” (1SM 124). Keep reading: “If Satan had his way, there would never be another awakening, great or small, to the end of time.” Afraid that we will pray and afraid that God will respond, he pours his dark energies into distracting us. What now? “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work” (p 121, emphasis supplied).
As we move deeper into the heart of this new series, “The Temple,” and come to grips with the realization that we are living in God’s final strategic chapter of salvation history—as we ponder the reality of the judgment that is transpiring in his throne room even as these words are written and read—I am sensing more deeply the urgent need I and we have to be immersed in earnest prayer before God as never before. Can our tepid business-as-usual praying possibly be sufficient for so critical a time in history? Can we assuage our consciences with hours before the television or a good book and a handful of minutes on our knees before the throne? Should the midweek hour of prayer be the most deserted time in churches across this land? Are we daring God to try to save his church, when his church is passionless and powerless in her prayings? Do we really believe that Christ will return for a generation that is too busy for him? And even if we “force” God to raise up another generation in order to complete his mission, do we really think that our own souls will be saved while prayerless and powerless?
At some point the rubber must meet the road in “The Temple.” This is that point. And how you and I respond will tell the story one day. For that reason I need you to know that I am pleading with God to grant to you and me a heart burdened for him in prayer. I don’t know what else to do. “A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer” (ibid).