In a time when people are confused and worried, the Church must be, more than ever, courageous and focused. And this is a calling for all Christians, not just pastors!
God wants us to be active, not lazy. A message repeated over and over in the Bible, especially in Proverbs. “The slothful man doesn’t roast his game, but the possessions of diligent men are prized” (Proverbs 12:27 WEB). In the parable of the talents, the last servant hid his talent, instead of working to make it fruitful. “I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow, and gather where I didn’t scatter” (Matthew 25:25-26 WEB). The master did not say “afraid servant”, but “slothful”, lazy. Our excuses don’t stand before Him.
God doesn’t just want us to be active, He wants us to be conquerors. ”God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28 WEB). God has not asked us to reign, which takes little effort. But He has asked us to dominate, to subdue the earth, which implies taking authority, an attitude of conquest, which requires additional effort. “Even so you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants. We have done our duty” (Luke 17:10 WEB).
After Adam and Eve sinned, we became slaves to our fears and passions. But since this was not God’s plan, He sent Jesus to pay our debt and give us back our freedom. We are now free to enter into God’s plan for our lives, to resume our position of authority, of a conqueror. Even during a time of a pandemic, God’s plan for His children remains to see them dominate the situation and not suffer it. A virus must not stop the Church, each believer must instead ask God how to bear fruit even in this season.
Because this is indeed what God expects of us: “You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16 WEB). If we are to receive what we pray to God for, we must first bear fruit. And that, no matter what is going on around us. We have no excuse! We are called to rule over our circumstances, not to be chained by them. “Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts” (Galatians 5:24 WEB).
For this, we will need courage. But careful! Courage is not to embark on just any project without knowledge or experience. To do so is considered a lack of wisdom in the Bible. God does not want his children to be naive! He wants us to have the faith of a child (Mark 10:15), but the maturity of a knowledgeable Christian (Hebrews 5:12). Courage is not also about embarking on a project without calculating the consequences. Its also not to have contempt for those around you. To do so is not courage, but arrogance.
True courage is to do like David: to have faith in God and to prepare for combat before facing a Goliath. True courage is to do like Daniel: to have faith in God and to be ready to accept the consequences of his decision. True courage is to do like Esther: to have faith in God and know her position. When God asks us to conquer, to work on a project for Him, of course, He wants to be the instigator. So we move forward in our calling because we know that it is God who has called us to do this or that.
Being a Christian requires courage from us, to swim against the tide in our society. Being a disciple of Christ also requires courage from us so that we no longer listen to our excuses, prepare ourselves, and move forward in our calling. Being single also takes courage. Not naivety in our search or arrogance towards our contacts. Courage is to prepare, to weigh the consequences, and to believe in the promises that God has made to us personally.
(This was a quick recap of the September 26, 2020 conference. To view it in its entirety, please visit our YouTube channel.)