Last week was a very special week for me. It was one of those times when I was quite cognizant of the Holy Spirit at work in my soul. I had the privilege once again to attend the Moody Bible Institute Pastor’s conference as I have done for over 25 years. Many have been a good experience, but this one was somehow special. The speakers were good, the music was great, food and fellowship were wonderful, but I have come to expect all of that. It wasn’t so much all of that as it was a very real sense of the presence of the Lord in my life. He instilled within my heart an increased sense of urgency. Perhaps some of that was because my mind was also on taking our youngest daughter, Allison, to the airport at the end of the week to fly by herself to Vietnam where she is doing a summer internship for her degree in missions. I think it had much more to do with the reality that ministry in our land is rapidly facing new challenges.
Dr. Nyquist addressed that very issue as he kicked off the conference Monday night with a powerful message about the storm clouds that are gathering in our land. I won’t repeat here all that he said (it is available online) but anyone who follows current events at all is aware that Bible believing people are going to be more and more counter-culture in our land unless the Lord brings about a massive revival. The storm is approaching, so what do we do? I have been thinking this week about some of the reactions people have to a major physical storm approaching. I think there are parallels that can be drawn:
- Some people simply ignore the warning. They can be told that they need to take shelter and they refuse. They become the ones clinging to a tree that need to be rescued or one of those sad statistics of those who perished in the storm.
- Others are curious, or even fascinated with the storm. I have to admit that there have been times when the tornado siren has sounded in our little town and I have gone out into the street along with a neighbor to watch what is happening. The danger in that is that we can admire it’s power, but somehow think we are safe until it is too late.
- Still others simply panic. Their fear can make them do irrational things. They may also be the ones who run to get extra supplies for themselves which they don’t need and hoard things which others need.
- Others recognize that many of their neighbors are in danger, so they risk harm and rush to warn and help those in danger. Sadly, some of their neighbors may scoff at their concern (see the first point), but they do what they can to help others. Great danger can produce great heroes.
- Some get mad. It can be a time when even atheists are mad at the God that they don’t think exist! They feel that they deserve better and that he has somehow mistreated them.
The man or woman walking with God should plan and prepare; should warn and help: but most of all should cry out to the God who controls all things – the weather and the world! He is sovereign over all and has already demonstrated His great love for us by sending His Son to die in our place! The clouds are forming and it looks like this could be a big one. What are you going to do?