Archive for May, 2014

Pastors and Christian Leaders: It is time for the Next Great Awakening

CryOutEverything in American life today points to our greatest need: the next great spiritual awakening in America. I believe there is a growing desperation rising up within the people of God and a continual expectation that God is going to do something great in our generation. I believe it is time.

It is time to cry out to God

I have now been part of leading prayer gatherings with over 1,500 pastors. In three of those four gatherings, my friend, Bill Elliff, talked about the importance of crying out to God. He uses an illustration that has captivated me each time he has used it. Let me tell it in my own words.

Imagine that you are called upon to pray for your daughter. As you pray, you would pray as any parent would, for all of God’s blessings to be upon her life. While passionate, the urgency is non-existent. Let’s suppose time passes and this same daughter is captured by a terrorist and no one knows where she is located. Your mind goes in one thousand directions at ninety miles an hour with all of the things that she could be going through. Now, when you pray for your daughter, how would you pray?

Without question, you would cry out to God with great passion and urgency! You would call out to Him in your complete brokenness and need. As your heart would be breaking, you would call upon Him with all you are to come and spare your daughter.

What does all this mean? This is the real condition of our lives, our families, our churches, and our nation. We are under the influence of a mighty terrorist named Satan, who has lied to and deceived us. It appears he is in charge.

Now in urgent desperation, we must cry out to God for our own spiritual lives! We must cry out to God for our own families! We must cry out to God for our churches! We must cry out to God for America!

There is no great movement of God that ever occurs that is not first preceded by the extraordinary prayer of God’s people. Pastors and Christian leaders, it is time to cry out to God in brokenness and desperation. As urgency increases, we must believe with all we are, that the only answer for our nation is spiritual awakening.

It is time to unite together

While many who read this may not be Southern Baptists, I want to speak for a moment specifically to my brothers and sisters who are Southern Baptists. It is time for us to unite together for the purpose of crying out to God in extraordinary prayer for the next great spiritual awakening in our land. We cannot expect God to move in our midst if we operate in a culture where we are more carnal and splintered, than spiritual and unified. God blesses the unity of His people and the unity of His church! No one believed that more than Jesus Himself.

We must come together for the sake of our future. We must come together for the sake of America. We must come together for the sake of reaching all the nations. For this sacred effort, all of our selfishness, carnality, and personal preferences must die. It is time to unify in order to pray for the next Great Awakening.

It is time to accelerate the completion of the Great Commission

I am convinced it is time to come together in agreement, to pray in an extraordinary way, for revival personally, revival in the church, and spiritual awakening in our nation; so that the Great Commission will become escalated to its rightful priority and accelerated to its completion in our generation. Revival is the manifested presence of God. If experienced personally, God shows up in your life powerfully. If experienced in the church, a fresh, mighty power of God’s presence comes upon the church. A spiritual awakening occurs when a region becomes God-conscious, resulting in great numbers of people coming to Christ.

If and when these things occur, and I am believing God for them to, we will see the Great Commission become our ultimate priority, and there will be a commitment to accelerate it to its completion in our generation. We will abandon ourselves completely for the purpose of seeing the gospel presented to every person in the world and to see disciples made in all the nations.

Yes, in our lives and our churches, and even within our Southern Baptist Convention, we need to see the Great Commission accelerated to its completion. Let’s come together in Jesus’ name, pray extraordinarily, and act upon the Word of God today. It is time for the next Great Awakening!

Yours for the Great Commission,

Ronnie W. Floyd

Faith That is Active

We seem to see quite a bit of passive Christianity today. There are many who claim Christ in the same way they claim to be fans of a particular sports team. They are “Christian” because they are not Muslim, Hindu, or Atheist. This is hardly the way biblical Christianity is portrayed in the scriptures.

Faith should look different

The Bible gives us a number of vivid images of active faith. In fact, the great “Hall of Faith” features many whose faith led them to great exploits for God. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Moses are well-known heroes of the faith. But, unnumbered and unnamed multitudes were also praised: women, men, those who were beaten and killed, those who were destitute and afflicted, and even homeless vagabonds. These in Hebrews 11 are praised for being faithful to the God who had saved them. Faith that is active results in lives different from the world. As MaryJo Sharp wrote,

“We all want to be accepted by others. This explains our tendency to follow trends and what’s ‘in’ at the moment. While many of these trends are amoral (neither good nor bad in a spiritual, moral, or ethical sense), the human desire to be like everyone else can lead us to compromise or to lose our distinctiveness as followers of Christ. God calls us to holiness–to live separate and distinctive lives, set apart from what the world calls us to do.”1

Faith requires sacrifice

One of the thoughts Christians often wrestle with is, “Is it worth it? Are the sacrifices I make for God’s kingdom worth it?” The answer, according to the Apostle Paul, is a resounding, “YES!”

Writing to the Romans, Paul says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us…Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:18, 24-25). Peter reminds us that we should be obedient in accordance to our new lives, “But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16).

The Apostle James also makes reference to active faith. “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works” (2:18).

The New Testament knows nothing of a “faith” that ignores needs, closes eyes to injustice, and keeps one’s mouth closed to the truth of the gospel. Faith is not a state of mind or a box to check on a census report. Faith reflects a relationship with God that grows and is fruitful. That is the norm. What we consider exceptional faith today is what the Bible sees as normal faith.

Showing a light to the world comes from an active faith. Such faith demonstrates that God is real, personal and caring. Dead faith reveals nothing true about God, and likely hinders the lost from coming to faith in Christ. May we never cause the testimony of salvation to be misrepresented to the world.

Yours for the Great Commission,

Ronnie W. Floyd

Senior Pastor, Cross Church
General Editor, Bible Studies for Life

1Bible Studies for Life, Resilient Faith, MaryJo Sharp

All scripture HCSB