People are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men and women.
What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, nor new organizations or more and novel methods, but men and women whom the Holy Spirit can use…men and women of prayer, mighty in prayer. The Holy Spirit does not come on machinery, but on people. He does not anoint plans, but men and women…of prayer.
The significance of prayer is that it is a place in which we may see what God is doing. Here is a place which produces a heart’s intimacy between the child and the Father. We must pour into the bosom of God the cares which give us pain and anxiety in order that He may solve them for us; and before us, we see Him heal the difficulties which we, alone, cannot solve.
We impair our spiritual life when we dump the whole thing down before God and say, “Here, God, you do it.” Such a spirit is blind to real union with God. Rather, we must dump ourselves down in the midst of our problems, and then watch God solve them for us.
You may say, “But I have no faith.” Then bring your problems to God and remain with Him while He solves them. Then God Himself and the solution of your problems will be forever your own.
If we could see the floor of God’s immediate presence, we would find it strewn with the ‘toys’ of God’s children who have said, “This is broken, I can’t play with it any more, please give me another.” Instead, He exhorts us to sit down in the midst of it all and say, “I will watch my Father mend this.”
Conviction must precede conversion. You cannot present the gospel truth until you have also presented the fact of sin. Without this message we are simply offering our own brand of therapy. And therapy can only modify behavior. It is the gospel that transforms character. The object is not to make people able to live with themselves; it is to make them able to live with God.
Sin is: in despair not wanting to be oneself before God.
Faith is: that the self in being itself and wanting to be grounded transparently in God.
Much of today’s teaching and preaching communicates Christianity as an instant fix to all of our pains and struggles. Consequently, we begin to think of our faith as a sparkling magic wand: we wave it, and presto, our problems are gone in a puff of smoke. This is, bluntly, heresy. It not only makes Christians incredibly naive in approaching complex problems, but it can shatter the fragile faith of the believer who expects the magic wand to work every time. When those problems don’t disappear, he questions whether his spirituality is faulty. The result is guilt. If we trust this fairy-tale brand of Christianity, we eventually fall victim to its consequent paralysis as we confront our own repeated sins and failures, and also as we encounter the stumblings of those to whom we minister. ~Charles Colson in Who Speaks for God?
There comes a time when one is not afraid of death, but of dying, when one prays for an easy death. I still hope that I’ll be around long enough to do good work – there’s so much work to do, that I’d love to do – but whether it makes sense to the good Lord or not, I don’t know. It’s up to Him totally.
Faith is not belief in spite of the evidence – Faith is obedience in spite of the consequence.
I was sitting, torn by grief. Someone came and talked to me of God’s dealings, of why it happened, of hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly, he said things I knew were true. I was unmoved, except to wish he’d go away. He finally did.
Another came and sat beside me. He didn’t talk. He didn’t ask leading questions. He just sat beside me for an hour and more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed simply, left.
I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go.
God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
To know and to serve God, of course, is why we’re here, a clear truth that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through. What else will do except faith in such a cynical, corrupt time? When the country goes temporarily to the dogs, cats must learn to be circumspect, walk on fences, sleep in trees, and have faith that all this woofing is not the last word.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company … a church … a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.