There is absolutely nothing withheld from God’s beloved, from Christ’s beloved. There is no spiritual blessing withheld from you. There is no measure of His presence that He will deny you, but you have not because you ask not! Oh dear brother, what a banquet, what an abundance, what a sea of joy in His presence. And power to minister as though we were carried by Another.
And be very, very careful. Although I do believe I am saying something you need, some of you are so worried and will even say when you leave this building, “Well, he didn’t even open up his Bible until the first 15 minutes.” Can’t you not hear that God is speaking? Biblical things are being told to you at this moment? I am not a great systematic theologian. I know my limitations. I am not a scholar. I will not stand in seminaries. And I so appreciate men who do. If it weren’t for them, I don’t know where the direction of my life would have gone. I so need brilliant men. I am not one of those, but the one thing I can tell you is that all my life I have been needy and I have been weak, and I have been slow, and I have been afraid, but it caused me to run to Him! And in running to Him, there is such glory! There is such power! There is such life!
You see it’s not just: “They need correct thinking.” For men to even be able to grasp with their mind, it must be a thing of Ezekiel, “Can these dead bones live?” You see, we are to be scholars but we are also to be prophets. We are not to be business men and administrators. We are to have the power of the living God upon us. And when we proclaim the Word, we are proclaiming words to dead men! And it must be the Spirit of the Living God who comes and raises them from the dead. And then when they are raised from the dead, but not yet mature, they need Christ formed in them. They need to reach the full stature of Christ and that requires knowledge. Again, our people perish for lack of knowledge. Oh my dear God, lift up your pants and show me your knees.
Was Paul not an intercessor? Was he not? Oh my dear brother, listen to me. There is nothing impossible in prayer. There is nothing impossible. There are so many believers with besetting sins in their life and they think that literally that’s just always the way it’s going to be. So content with slavery, instead of going to their knees and crying out to God until they’re delivered from that sin. As pastors, we preach, and we preach, and we preach, but where’s the demonstration of power? Yes, men are changed through preaching, but have you ever seen men changed through your prayer life. Have you ever silently labeled a few men that you were going to focus your prayer life upon and hit your knees and fought and fought and wrestled and wrestled until Christ is formed in them and you saw a maturity and a glow and a life that was absolutely unexplainable apart from the power of the living God? You are a man of God! That should mean that you dwell with Him in secret prayer… secret prayer… secret prayer.
Is the presence of God a reality in your life? Even that statement sent some of you trembling and afraid. Will he go off on us? Is he really not of our camp? Is he a little bit too, well, given to experience. Again, go back and read those old books of yours. Find those men.
Oh brothers, we are more than administrators. We are more than mere scholars. We are men who dwell in the presence of the Most High. Every conflict in your life, every brokenness in your body, has one purpose. It’s to send you to your knees. Every conflict, every battle. Today, there’s no battle fought in this pulpit. It was fought this morning at 5 o’clock. It’s not fought here. It’s fought in prayer. It’s won in prayer. The thing is done in prayer.
I always tell young men who have not given themselves much to prayer; they say, “How should I pray?” I say, “Pray, fight until you can honestly say with that hymn writer ‘Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer. I will give the Lord my first hour, sweet hour of prayer.’” And then, you see, praying is an amazing thing in that the less you pray, the more difficult it becomes to pray. The more you pray, the more you’re carried in prayer. Brothers, you can pray until you think ‘What has happened to the time? I set my knee at 5. It’s already 8:30. There’s things that… what happened?”
Oh, brothers, please! Give yourselves to prayer. There is absolutely no obstacle that cannot be overcome in prayer. We are not men who simply give into the darkness and write a label on it saying, “It’s because of the sovereignty of God”. We are men who fight that darkness! You going to blame this whole mess on God? Do not use the sovereignty of God as an excuse! We are men who believe God!
Know this, there is no place in Scripture where it says that in my lifetime, I cannot see countries come to Christ. Why not? Why not? Why can I not see India fall and a banner for Christ be on every hill? God never told me that. Why must I accept America just getting darker and darker? God never told me that. You may disagree with the postmillennialist, but I’ll tell you what, they accomplished a lot more, didn’t they? They believed God was going to do something. Regardless of your eschatology, unless you’ve got a word from Him that none of the rest of us know about.
Look, we plant our feet and we fight in prayer, and we fight in the pulpit. That’s what we do. We expect God to do something. “Brother Paul, why are you sad?” My translator asked me in Holland, “Why are you sad tonight?” I said, “No one was converted tonight!” We must believe, gentlemen, the promises, not just the precepts. The promises, the promises. They’re here in the Bible. “Light shining in the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it.” The power of the gospel. I believe that one of the greatest demonstrations if not the greatest demonstration in all of time, is not the creation of the world, but the creation of the new man. The work of regeneration which has been lost in our time is the most powerful demonstration of the power of God. He made this world out of nothing and that is amazing. But He creates a man anew from a massive depraved humanity. That is power! Why would I not believe that God wants to demonstrate such power in the conversion of men. Let’s wrestle for the conversion of men. Let’s wrestle for the establishment of Biblical churches. Let’s fight on our knees and let’s believe God. Let’s believe Him. There’s so much to believe.