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Come On…It’s Time.

August 23, 2011

We are sort of the “just pray about it” generation.  Now before we get too far into this, I need to go ahead and say that I am in no way discouraging prayer.  In fact, what I think you will find is more of an urging, or prodding to genuine prayer…but I want to be clear up front…there is no substitute for communion with God, and prayer is one of the most effective means we have for coming into His presence.

 Take a minute and read through Ecclesiastes 11…this is the shortest chapter in the whole book.

 I’ll make my confession at the beginning so that you don’t think this is aimed at any particular person.  Back in early 2007, during the mission’s conference at our church, I listened to a pastor from Ukraine talking about the needs of their church and the specific areas that short term volunteers could be used.  As I listened to this man talk, I heard a lot about how they needed doctors for the clinic, and they needed pastors and elders to help with leadership training.  Next, he gave the obligatory, “But we can use anyone” statement…and then he said something that spoke to me…he said, “We need an electrician to help with the church building.”  Now, that might not sound like a convicting statement, but for an electrician (me), looking for a place to serve the church, that was nothing short of a calling.

 When asked if I was interested, my simple response was that I would “pray about it.”  And listen, in “church-speak,” that is a really good thing to say…it gives an air of spirituality to what is really, at that point,  just a decision making process.  Because the truth is, I had already heard the answer.  I had been praying for God to use me…to show me an outlet that I could plug into where He could use me in a way that would glorify Him.  The Spirit, through the mouth of a Ukrainian pastor, had essentially said, “Okay…let’s go to Europe.”  My initial response was basically, “Where else you got?”  Listen, that’s just being honest…former Soviet states weren’t what I had in mind.  God wasn’t having it…I went to Ukraine…that’s how He works.

 This is sort of what the author is saying in this chapter.  He’s telling us that it is never going to work out perfectly according to our schedule…there is never going to be a perfect time…there will always be a reason to pump the brakes and lay off the gas.  And, while those days are many, there are times when God just sort of says, “Come on…it’s time.”  The example we see in verse 4 is that of a farmer.  He says, “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.”  In this context, he is essentially saying that the winds and the rains are going to come…they are…and if you just stand there waiting for the perfect day, or the perfect season, you will never do anything…you will be paralyzed by your own fear.  Simply put, the farmer who doesn’t sow or reap…dies. 

 The same is true of our faith.  For the believer who is unwilling to follow the prompting of the Spirit, and the answers to prayer, how alive can that faith be?  Of course we pray for clarity, of course we pray for discernment, we even pray for healings and extraordinary providences at times…but to use the idea of prayer as a shield to protect us from authentic faith is not only fake…it’s blasphemy.  The challenge for us as believers is not to “get” God to talk to us…it’s to silence our own hearts and minds enough to hear His voice…because He might just be saying, “Come on…it’s time.”   

The Church In Belgorod-Dnestrovsky, Ukraine

Here's the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Belgorod Dnestrovksy, Ukraine.

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