COCHRANE, Alberta, Canada (BP)–As he and his wife stood outside a framing shop, waiting in the bitter Canadian cold, Richard Blackaby said he came to understand a picture of why Christians can get frustrated in their walk with God.
They’d arrived at the store only 10 minutes before it opened, and Blackaby’s wife paced back and forth, occasionally catching the eye of the store manager, who would smile and return to her work. Frustrated at having to wait outside while the manager was warm inside, Blackaby said he thought to ask the question, “Well, you tried the door, didn’t you?”
After a long silence, the two of them went to the door, finding it had been unlocked the entire time.
“I think this is a wonderful picture of revival,” Blackaby said. “Christians suddenly realize they’ve been standing outside the door. Revival comes when they realize they can go in at any time. Revival comes when they finally say, ‘Why am I standing out here in the cold when you’ve promised everything I’ll need is inside?'”
Blackaby, president of the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, challenged students in a Sept. 10 chapel message to see beyond what they are learning in the classroom day to day, and to see and experience God at work in and around them.
Focusing on the life of Peter, Blackaby noted the danger in thinking that one’s relationship with God is greater than it actually may be. Preaching from passages in John 13 and 16, he noted Peter’s “grossly overstated” walk with God as the disciple promises Jesus that he will die for Him. Jesus, however, knows that Peter will deny Him three times in only a short while, stirring Peter to reevaluate his walk with God.
“One of the most dangerous things you can do is assume your walk with God is stronger than it really is,” Blackaby said. “You will find yourself charging off to minister to others and then failing miserably because you were not prepared for what you would encounter.”
Blackaby pointed to a book he’d recently read titled, “Heroes of the Holy Life,” by Wesley Deuwel. In it are the stories of Christians who have demonstrated a true understanding of their walk with God. Most of them suffered terribly for their faith, yet held on to God no matter their circumstances.
“I read about these people and I think, ‘Richard, you are a spiritual wimp!'” he said.
Not only did Peter misunderstand his walk with God, but his “weaker walk” made him miss out on God’s purpose in Jesus Christ, Blackaby continued.
In John 16:12, Jesus says to the disciples that He has “many more things to say” to them but refrained from telling them those things because they could not “bear them now.” Blackaby also noted the disciples’ lack of understanding as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, where, had they understood the significance of the moment, more would now be known about Jesus’ prayer there, more about what He was feeling and more about what was on His mind. As it was, however, the disciples — the gospel writers — were asleep.
“God will never reveal more to you than your walk with Him can receive,” Blackaby said. “An angel had to be sent to minister to Jesus in the garden because His disciples had such a shallow walk with Him they couldn’t even pray with Him.
“Does it break your heart to know there’s a limit to what God can reveal to you?”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: REVIVAL REMINDER.