NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Why have many churches failed to see the power of God moving in their midst in recent years? The answer, said Gary Frost, doesn’t lie in seeking out the will of God, but in seeking out God himself.
Frost, pastor of Rising Star Baptist Church, Youngstown, Ohio, and chairman of the SBC Executive Committee’s Cooperative Program subcommittee, said Aug. 31 at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary if Christians are to have insight from God they must have an intimate relationship with him.
“A correlation exists between intimacy and insight,” Frost said. “As examples, a correlation exists between high blood pressure and heart disease, and parental involvement and a child’s grade point average. We can see another correlation in looking at [the Apostle] John in Scripture. He always hung around Jesus and was thus known as a disciple of love. The more intimacy you have, the more revelation you have.”
Frost’s message was taken from Deuteronomy 34:10, which teaches there was no other prophet from Israel like Moses and that the Lord knew him face to face. It was his intimacy with God that made him a leader.
To be such leaders, and to reach a community for Christ, it won’t be through the power of a theological education, Frost said.
“If you strive to impact New Orleans with your seminary degree in hand and try to do it within your own power, it just won’t work,” Frost said. “We must have the attitude that it is no longer I, but Christ who is within me. If you insist on doing it on your own, God will say, ‘Go ahead; help yourself.’ Then when you fail, God will tell you, ‘Now try it my way.’“
Frost reiterated Christians must not only put Christ first, but they also must diligently seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, without which there is no relationship with God.
“If you have not the Holy Ghost, you are not one of his,” Frost said. “You need to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit of God if you are to be used to do God’s work.”
Frost told the seminary chapel congregation he wanted to make sure he is living up to God’s plan for his life; not living out a mediocre Christianity.
“I am being challenged to think through just how much I really love the Lord. I don’t want a nod from God when I stand before him. I want him to say, ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant!’”
In order to hear these words, Frost said, Christians cannot be content with mere service to God. To illustrate, he compared the duties of the priests and the task of the prophet.
“We do not need to be like the priests of the Old Testament that pretty much had it made because of their birthright,” Frost said. “Everything about their life was decided in advance. Rather, we need to be more like the prophets who had to get up every morning and approach God for the day’s inspiration.”
Frost said being a servant of the Lord goes beyond just sharing one’s faith, teaching a Sunday school lesson or preaching an evangelistic sermon. Christians must get involved in the lives of the people they are trying to reach, he said. In Youngstown, this means not only preaching to lost souls but also rebuilding houses, opening a charter school and even providing medical services.
A desire for intimacy with the Lord leads one to go beyond the mere mechanics of some modern-day ministries and enables the believer to see what is important to Christ: a passion for lost souls, Frost said.
“We need more than just obedience, we need passion in the church. We need to foretell, ‘Thus sayeth the Lord!’ without apology.”
To illustrate this passion, Frost referred to the Hollywood movie, “Schindler’s List.” In the movie, Oscar Schindler, a member of the Nazi party, loved the Jewish people and would bring them into his factory to work, risking his own life and position, saving them from certain death.
“Every now and then Hollywood gets it right,” Frost said. “At the end of the movie, the Jewish people he rescued gave him gifts and words of praise for his actions. Even among this outpouring of support, Schindler continued to say, ‘I could have saved more.’ I could have saved more!”
That kind of passion, Frost said, will win the world for Christ.
Driggers is New Orleans Seminary’s director of development.