Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Proud People Praying

  I wonder what people think when we pray and fast for revival and spiritual awakening. It dawned on me that some might think it arrogant for us to presume that there is a great need in the church and the culture. They could be right. We could be arrogant, thinking that we have arrived at a higher spiritual plain than all the poor heathens around us. 

As we have begun this 40 day period of prayer and fasting, I have not found myself to be superior. I have found myself to be inferior. Shortcomings in my character are glaring at me. I have struggled to pray and fast. I am captivated by worldly concerns and desires So, it is entirely possible that I am spiritually arrogant and entirely oblivious to that condition. I believe God is showing me my spiritual weakness, and producing in me a fresh fear of God that is frighteningly humbling.

While none of this is comfortable, it is desirable. I am beginning to be thankful to God for it; for the fear of my sin and its consequences, for the fear of the Lord who is my Savior and also the Righteous Judge. Since the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, maybe I will finally learn something worth knowing. Maybe now, if God will teach me true humility, He will be able to do something through me and with me. Maybe he will be able to revive even me, since apart from humility there can be no real revival.

God does not promise to hear from heaven and heal a land inhabited by proud people praying (2 Chronicles 7:14). He does not promise to deliver the worshipers proud of their worship, preachers proud of their sermons, or servants proud of their service (James 4:1-6). He does not draw near those who raise themselves up, but rather to those who submit to Him, resist the Devil (pride), and draw near to Him (James 4:7).  He does not revive a nation through the prayers of church-goers who think themselves to be a step above the average sinner.

So, while this season of prayer and fasting has not begin with comfort, it is beginning. And, this beginning is apparently very necessary for this follower of Christ.