In Kevin H. Brooks’ Thesis proposal he discusses apathy in the church and moving people toward a biblical healthy discipleship model. His research argues the statement – ‘A ministry filled with servants instead of spectators will help unify the body and more effectively reach the community.’
In 1 Corinthians chapter 12 Paul speaks about the giving of spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit at the time of conversion. The giving of these spiritual gifts is to be for the advancement of Christianity and edification of the church; hence the need for greater discipleship and eternal readiness. It also reiterates Kevin H. Brooks’ proposal, resulting in greater unity within the ‘body’ and effectiveness within the wider community.
If, one of the greatest threats to Western Christianity is apathy then one can see how lethargy can seep into the heart of every believer. Our spiritual side cannot be denied. God says in the book of Genesis that he has made us, you and I in His image - body, soul and spirit.
The great awakening
For the greater part of the last 24 months I have felt to declare Psalm chapter 24; in particular verses 7-10:
Psalm chapter 24, verses 7-10 (TPT)
7 So wake up, you living gateways!
Lift up your heads, you ageless doors of destiny!
Welcome the King of Glory,
for he is about to come through you.
8 You ask, “Who is this Glory-King?”
The Lord, armed and ready for battle,
the Mighty One, invincible in every way!
9 So wake up, you living gateways, and rejoice!
Fling wide, you ageless doors of destiny!
Here he comes; the King of Glory is ready to come in.
10 You ask, “Who is this King of Glory?”
He is the Lord of Victory, armed and ready for battle,
the Mighty One, the invincible commander of heaven’s hosts!
Yes, he is the King of Glory!
Pause in his presence.
Throughout this year I have realised the reason why I have felt to declare this passage of scripture. With churches shutting their physical doors for the first time in a long time it has awoken every believer to see that they are the church, we are not simply to exist as spectators. Also, if God has set eternity in the hearts of men and women then there is no greater time than the present to the sharing of one’s faith.
And although I am extremely grateful for the impact of the church to date, personally and abroad, I do know that God will use all things to bring about his greater good. I do sense God is doing something new, and we cannot allow ourselves to rest on our laurels.
Steps to an awakening
Recently my husband preached a sermon as part of a series on the Holy Spirit. He preached from the text of Billy Graham’s book titled ‘The Holy Spirit’. A text Ps. Billy had written in the 70’s. In it Ps. Billy dedicates the last chapter on the steps to a spiritual awakening. He speaks of the world in a desperate need of a spiritual awakening and it is the only hope for the survival of the human race.
Firstly, we must admit our spiritual poverty. Secondly, we need to repent and thirdly we need a renewed commitment on our part to seek and do the will of God. We can pray and confess our sin, we can even repent, but the real test is our willingness to obey.
Ultimately God wants to make us useful servants for Himself. Billy Graham goes on to say that no person, no nation can experience the touch of an awakening and ever remain the same. And I pray that this is so for you and I.
Once you are woken, it isn’t easy to fall back asleep.
Elise Pappas is a Pastor and together with her husband pastor a church on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. They have a son, Jonathan and a daughter, Sophie. Elise is a former clinical drug trial research coordinator and business owner. She writes about life and ministry experiences.