sun-and-rainIn 1 Cor. 2:4-5 Paul recounts to the Corinthians how he went about his missionary enterprise.

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

When going out to make disciples our temptation might be to consider how we can make a convincing case for the truth of the gospel.  While it’s important that we express the message with the clarity and passion of which its worthy, the results come from the action of God’s Spirit on the heart.  God’s wisdom expressed in the gospel is paradoxical and enigmatic.  We diminish it by deconstructing it enough for the human intellect to grasp.  When the Spirit enables a person to take hold of the mystery of the gospel that wisdom remains intact. The result is a disciple of Christ rather than of us.

This is why the first harvest need is “Blessings from Above.”  We need the Spirit of God like rain, to soften the soil of human hearts. Evangelism isn’t bringing God to lost people but announcing the identity of the one who has been wooing them all along. Our ongoing prayer should be that God would go before us drawing people to himself.

The Spirit like the sun shines needed light on the truth by confirming the message through real acts of power. If we go to announce the kingdom authority of the living God, we need to be prepared to demonstrate it among those whom we’re trying to reach.

Both of these crucial elements come from above and are out of our control except as we obey the command of Christ to pray for whatever we will in his name and through faith to receive it. Prayer that is persistent, expectant and specific must saturate our work and our week. That’s why Paul in the “grow” passage in Colossians 4:2-6 said “Be devoted to prayer.”

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