Breathless With Anticipation
Breathless With Anticipation
By Dave Breese
We live in a time of fast-moving, swirling events which are coming upon our world with the kind of intensity and rapidity that takes ones breath away. Most of the people of America check the morning news on television with an attitude of What has taken place during the night that will further destabilize this world of ours? They are usually not disappointed, because more notable events are occurring in a day than once took place in weeks or months in the slowmoving history of our world. Indeed, history itself seems to be moving faster, which movement, of course, brings us ever closer to the consummation of all things. Because the world senses this, apprehension is certainly the characteristic attitude of the secular mind in our time.
Apprehension, however, should never be the attitude of the believing Christian. For us, life in our time is turning into the great adventure. The heart of the Christian should be filled with delight in that God has called us, privileged us to live in this very provocative generation. We are advised, therefore, in the world to be filled with faith, to be anxious for nothing, to walk with the confidence that only the presence of Christ can bring. By contrast to the troubled spirits of our present age, the Christian should be a towering figure of foundational stability and great purpose. These characteristics will be especially noted and jealously respected by an envious world which has forgotten the Lord who is, alone, the author of stability and serenity. Rather than give way to apprehension, the Christian must have a heart filled with anticipation. Indeed, he should be breathless with anticipation in times like these.
Anticipation means to look forward with delight. What then does the Christian anticipate? In our time especially, he looks forward to great opportunity. To the Church of our time, Christ has already said, Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it
He should also anticipate challenging problems. This is true because the world of our time is not a simple place in which to live. Its population is increasing at the rate of 10,000 people per hour. Its mental health is daily disturbed by new awesome considerations. Its very crust is troubled upon occasion with ever-increasing earthquakes. Its leaders meet in pathetic summit conferences to make empty, dangerous promises to one another. Its financiers wonder what they will be worth by noon tomorrow. Its industrialists count their gold coins and newly submit to the lie that these pieces of metal will not, one day, melt and run away.
How shall the Church conduct its ministry in a world like this? The answer is not simple. This means that the Christian leaders of our time must be more thoughtful, yes, more intellectual, more theologically oriented, more doctrinally sound, more perceptive, more prescient, more analytical and more earnest than ever. The pathetic promises of the phenomenalists, the empty charade of the exhibitionists, the hopeless delusions of the liberationist will no longer suffice as credentials for Christian leadership. The unctuous, torchy song and the vain repetitions of the pulpit will not be adequate to ministry in these days to our perplexed society.
The cheap promise of easy miracle, the religious get-richquick schemes, the occult practices of religious television personalities, the simplistic slogans presented by manythese will no longer suffice as the Christian message for our time. They never have.
Rather, the challenging problems inherent in the world and which are now facing the Church can only be met by the careful teaching and preaching of the Word of God. The revival we need today is not one of hypocritical emotion or crocodile tears, it is the revival of sound doctrine. It is the Word which lives and abides forever. The advent of perplexing difficulties should not distress us. Rather, they should press us to levels of prayer and perception which will then lead to greater accomplishments than ever.
Breathless with anticipationthats what the Christian should be. His anticipation, however, is not for this world alone. It is also anticipation for the glory which is to come. Speaking about this world and the next, the Bible says, Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory
But remember, then we will also have the opportunity of hearing what may be the greatest words that we shall know in all of eternity. These are the words of Christ in which He speaks of His servants who have represented Him well in this world, saying, Well done, good and faithful servant enter thou into the joy of thy lord. What a day that will be! It is that anticipation that must become the surging motivation of the lives that we live today and every day for Christ.
Yes, indeed, the motivation of our lives must not be money, fame, aggrandizement, fulfillment in the narrow scenes of time. For the Christian, there is something infinitely better! It is heaven, it is eternity. The Apostle Paul committed everything that he had to Christ, against that day
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