If I went to every conference, seminar and retreat that I get invitations to I would never be at home. It wouldn’t take but a few weeks of missing church to get fired, seeing as how I am the pastor and what not. Having said that, I probably should make time for more of those than I do. So it was a pleasure on the National Day of Prayer to hear some good preaching.
The Rome Area Prayer Breakfast invites community leaders from business, education, military and ministry to lead prayer for each of these circles. They also invite some type of speaker or author to deliver the keynote address for the day. I remember some of those speakers over the years and others not so much. I don’t go to the event each year based on who is speaking, I go because it is on the Day of Prayer (and happens to be catered by Chick-fil-A). The speaker this year was Voddie Baucham and his sermon was one worth remembering.
It’s easy to pray when things are going well. Anyone can throw a few dollars in the offering plate and thank God when we feel blessed. But what about when things are not well, and we feel despised and rejected rather than blessed? Voddie Baucham said he cringed listening to a local Christian radio program that had people calling in and describing how they knew God was listening. Most involved describing a feeling or seeing their prayers answered. In other words, they prayed and stuff happened. So if you’re praying for something, anything, and God is not doing that right now, and you happen to be listening to that call in show, then what is the only logical conclusion? That God is not listening to your prayers. Baucham says “We don’t know that God is listening because of what he does, we know that God is listening because of what he says.” He has promised in his Word that he is near to the brokenhearted and that he is bottling up the prayers of his saints. God is not Santa Claus handing out goodies from a bag nor a magician compelled to do tricks.
Imagine a couple that has been trying to start a family only to find out that a teen aged niece has accidentally gotten pregnant. Have you ever a prayer that goes something like “I am married with a home and a career and asking for a baby, and you give this child a baby that doesn’t want one. How could you do that to me?” Baucham suggests we consider what is really being said. What that person is really saying is “I told God what to do and he didn’t do it. I deserve that and he gave it to somebody else.” We don’t want what we deserve. If we all got what we deserve there wouldn’t be any of us here. We deserve death and the very fact we live and breathe is cause to give thanks.
When God makes a promise, he keeps it. When God has a people, he saves them. Voddie Baucham
One of the things he drew out at length was how David was a type of Christ when he faced Goliath. I would like to do at least one more post on that illustration alone. This post was going to be about leading from out front but it went somewhere else. So look for those things in the next few days.