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Christian leaders list array of evidence of God’s activity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Four Christian leaders recently reported they see clear evidence God is hard at work in the world, leading more people to faith in Christ and guiding current Christians toward a more fervent faith.
Speaking to Southern Baptist discipleship leaders during annual meetings in Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 10-12, Henry Blackaby, Stephen Olford, Robertson McQuilkin and Avery Willis said they plainly see God moving in the workplace, on college campuses, in the lives of Christians and through prayer. The meetings were sponsored by the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board’s discipleship and family development division.
Blackaby, author of “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God,” a popular resource that guides Christians toward understanding God’s desire for their lives, said he is seeing the “mighty movement of God” in law enforcement officials across the country.
Blackaby listed several areas in the country where top crime fighters are taking the lead in “raising the standards of truth, ethics and leadership” among the ranks of law enforcement officers.
Christians who take God to the workplace are only acting within the scope of the biblical norm, Blackaby said.
“Ninety-nine percent of all the actions of God I see in the Bible are in the marketplace, the workplace,” he said. “People only came to the worship place to reveal what they were doing all week long in the marketplace.”
Blackaby also said God is moving “mightily” on college campuses, and he indicated one example is the contagiousness of the CrossSeekers initiative. Introduced in August by the BSSB’s National Student Ministry, the CrossSeekers initiative has three components: 1) a six-point covenant, 2) a series of discipleship events and 3) publication of discipleship materials to support students in their spiritual growth.
“We have a generation of college students who don’t want to be pampered,” Blackaby said. “They want reality. ‘Tell me what is real,’ they say,’ and I’ll put my life in it.’
“Jesus said, ‘If you’re not actively going with me, you’re going against me.’ I say, ‘If you’re not actively gathering, you’re actively scattering,'” Blackaby said.
Meanwhile, Olford, founder and senior lecturer at the Stephen Olford Center for Biblical Preaching, Memphis, Tenn., said he believes movements such as Promise Keepers for men, True Love Waits (teen sexual abstinence campaign) and Experiencing God are proof positive God is at work in the world today.
And he said he believes “prevailing prayer” is the only way to bring revival to the world. “The Holy Spirit energizes, verbalizes and authorizes prayer,” he said.
“While one of the most endemic sins of the modern world is prayerlessness, I am seeing points of light or movements of prayer around the country,” he said. “There has never been a prayerless revival.”
Olford said Christians should pray fervently, frequently and with focus. However, he added, prayer is not meant to change God; “it is meant to effect a change in us.”
“You must pray when you don’t feel like it; you must pray when you do feel like it; and you must pray until you feel like it,” Olford said. “The ministry of prevailing prayer is for ordinary, obedient and observant men and women.”
Willis, senior vice president for overseas operations at the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, said prayer is necessary if Christians want to see where God is moving.
“We must spend a lot of time in prayer to know where God is going,” he said.
Willis said God is breaking the barriers and opening the world to the gospel among many people groups who previously have not heard it.
“God is doing work among people previously resistant to the gospel, and he is bringing a movement of prayer the likes of which I’ve never seen,” Willis said. “When we really start praying is when God really starts doing something.”
McQuilkin, former president of Columbia International University, Columbia, S.C., and caregiver of his wife who has Alzheimer’s disease, said to ensure God’s ministry continues to take place in the world, Christians must attempt to nurture an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Author of “Life in the Spirit,” a study book that instructs Christians how to develop a loving relationship with the Holy Spirit, McQuilkin said, “Living life in the Holy Spirit is much more than accepting Christ as personal Savior. It is about being transformed and experiencing an intimate companionship with the spirit of God.”
McQuilkin compared the relationship of many Christians with the Holy Spirit to the relationship he has with his wife.
“I talk to one who doesn’t hear or respond, and my heart leaps when our eyes connect. I love her, probably more than ever, and my heart aches because she doesn’t love me back. So it is with God. How sad it makes the Spirit; he yearns for so much more.”
Life in the Spirit is a Sunday School Board-produced Lay Institute for Equipping (LIFE) course, an educational system designed to provide instruction in the areas of discipleship, leadership and ministry. It is the third in a trilogy of courses which also include “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God” and “The Mind of Christ.”
The courses are produced by the BSSB’s discipleship and family development division and can be purchased through Baptist Book Stores or by calling 1-800-458-2772.

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  • Terri Lackey