Summer has been overtaken by fall, which will soon give way to winter. I sometimes think that God has given us four seasons so that we might be reminded of the passing of time and the brevity of our lives. For the unbeliever, this is a dreaded sign that life is as fleeting as a wisp of smoke or a morning vapor dissipated by the heat of midday. But for the believer, it is a cordial reminder that the night which overtakes us will quickly give way to a swift sunrise and a beautiful dawn. It also serves to plant an urgency in our hearts, to call to mind that we have but one brief life to live for the Savior and to labor in the harvest.
As I write this, I am still weary from my missionary journey with Jeff Shawver to India, where I was reminded by the nation's massive population (more than one billion people) of the immensity of the task that is before the Church in the twenty-first century. Seeing this – more than one billion people worshiping hundreds of thousands of false gods in temples and shrines and grottoes dedicated to “men and birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures” (Romans 1:23) – is almost enough to devastate a renewed heart. In the book of Acts, we read that as Paul waited for Silas and Timothy to join him in Athens, “his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols” (Acts 17:16). In a small way, we felt the same way as we walked through the cities and saw men, who were created in the image of God, worshiping the very creatures they were called to rule (Genesis 1:28).
This last week, we saw a darkness that cannot be overcome by the strategies and clever methodologies of modern Evangelicalism. God alone can take down a Jericho of this caliber, and He has promised to do so, but only through the means that He has provided – the proclamation of the gospel, intercessory prayer, and sacrificial love.
Oh, that God would raise up an army of men who would strip themselves of Saul’s armor, who would lay aside all hope in the flesh and hold fast to the sword of the Spirit! Oh, that God would raise up an army of men who feared nothing but God and hated nothing but sin, who would count it a privilege to lay down their lives in anonymity in a foreign land. Then, even the darkness of a hundred thousand false gods would be swept away and the people who live in darkness would see a great light.
Paul David Washer