And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This verse is a bit unsettling, isn’t it? Intimidating even. Who ever heard of such a church nowadays? It does remind us though, of what is possible when God’s people are awakened. Do you long for such a day? Just what might be keeping that from happening?
Consider the following thoughts from A. W. Tozer.
The person of fallow life is contented with themselves, and the fruit they once bore.
The curse of such a life is that it is fixed, both in size and in content. “To be” has taken the place of “to become.” The worst that can be said of such a person is that they are what they will be. They have fenced themselves in, and by the same act have fenced out God and the miracle.
The plowed life is the life that has, in the act of repentance, thrown down the protecting fences and sent the plow of confession into the soul. The urge of the Spirit, the pressure of circumstances and the distress of fruitless living have combined thoroughly to humble the heart. Such a life has put away defense, and has forsaken the safety of death for the peril of life.
Discontent, yearning, contrition, courageous obedience to the will of God: these have bruised and broken the soil till it is ready again for the seed. And, as always, fruit follows the plow. Life and growth begin as God “rains down righteousness.” Such a one can testify, “And the hand of the Lord was upon me there.” (Ezek. 3:22).
Religious history shows two phases, the dynamic and the static. The dynamic periods were those heroic times when God’s people stirred themselves to do the Lord’s bidding and went out fearlessly to carry His witness to the world. They exchanged the safe of inaction for the hazards of God- inspired progress. Invariably, the power of God followed such action. The miracle of God went when and where his people went. It stayed when His people stopped.
The static periods were those times when the people of God tired of the struggle and sought a life of peace and security. They busied themselves, trying to conserve the gains made in those more-daring times when the power of God moved among them.
The power of God comes only where it is called out by the plow. It is released into the Church only when she is doing something that demands it. By the word “doing”, I do not mean mere activity. The Church has plenty of “hustle” as it is, but in all her activities, she is very careful to leave her fallow ground mostly untouched. She is careful to confine her hustling within the fear-marked boundaries of complete safety. That is why she is fruitless; she is safe, but fallow.
The only way to power for such a church is to come out of hiding and once more take the danger-encircled path of obedience. Its security is its deadliest foe. The church that fears the plow writes its own epitaph. The church that uses the plow walks in the way of revival.
Excerpted from “MIRACLES FOLLOW THE PLOW” by A. W. Tozer
Have we here at Grace unknowingly settled for peace and security? Are we trying to conserve the gains made, and in doing so, have allowed inertia to settle in? What would daring living look like for us right now? How might God be calling us to new ways of obedience, as individuals and as a church?
Pray for Kenny Clark as he completes our three week series on salvation this coming Sunday, that our antennas may be up to spot opportunities, and our mouths ready to declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.
In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy,
always being prepared to make a defense to anyone
who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;
yet do it with gentleness and respect…
1 PETER 3:15