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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 one’s 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 slow-moving 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” (Rev. 3:8). Quite obviously, that open door, that opportunity is coming upon us as never before. More and more, the world is saying, “Who can I trust? What can I believe in?” From the world of academia, or politics, or business, or education, no answer appears to be forthcoming to these pressing questions. The answer, of course, can only come from the Word of the living God. That Word, articulated from the lips of the witnessing Christian, can do so much in a time like this. The purpose of the believer in our time, as in all time, is to hold forth the Word of Life. By so doing, the Bible teaches that he will even be instrumental in influencing the course of a crooked and perverse nation among whom he shines as a light in the world. As the world moves into the gloaming of the afternoon of its history, the shining light of a Christian’s testimony will be more apparent, more illuminating than ever. Above every other emotion in life, the Christian should anticipate opportunity.

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 15,020 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 liberationists 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-rich-quick schemes, the simplistic slogans presented by many—these 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 anticipation—that’s 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” (II Cor. 4:17). This world, at its best, at its brightest, at its most fulfilling, is but a passing scene. One day, we will slip away from this human scene and one day, the whole world itself will be consumed and done away with. It is but the stage, the backdrop for the adventure of living this life within it. Then, we are translated to the glory of heaven. Then, and only then, will we see the final fulfillment, the ultimate perfection for which our hearts long. Then we will be with Christ, and then we will fully understand why it is that God led us through the problems and perplexities of this life.

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” (II Tim. 1:12). That day, the day when eternity supercedes forever the scenes of time—that day may soon be upon us. May we all be ready.

From the writings of Dave Breese

A Strategic Combination

The most remarkable kind of person on earth is the Christian. He is a son of the living God and filled with astonishing potential. While living in time, he can accomplish the things of eternity. He can bring a touch of heaven to the darkness of this earth; he is a human vehicle of the transforming power of God to reach the hearts of a lost mankind.

Why? How does the Christian exercise such great influence?

The answer is most interesting. No Christian can do it all himself. He cannot be a missionary, a preacher, an evangelist, a writer, a broadcaster, a counselor all by himself. God rarely gives one person so many gifts or abilities. How then does the Christian do these necessary things to reach the world?

First—he prays! The Lord of all the harvest has told us to pray that laborers will be sent and that they will be successful.

Second—he gives his money to the support of those who can do what he cannot do. No one would be able to serve without the financial support of others. Just like no soldier goes to battle at his own expense.

This is God’s amazing and blessed plan. By this divine method the humblest Christian becomes the articulate speaker, the national broadcaster, the writer of great words for the Savior.

God has ordained, the Bible says, that those who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel (I Cor. 9:14), meaning that the servant of Christ should be supported by those who believe in his ministry and say “Amen” to his message.

We have a most strategic combination—the Christian and his money. The Christian works—literally gives part of his life—to earn money. Then by giving a portion of that money to a servant of Christ, he is also “putting his life in the ministry.” He will share in the reward when he stands before the judgment seat of Christ.

The Apostle Paul was given the power to travel, teach, write and lay the foundations of the Church because of his supporting friends. He called this “Your care of me” and rejoiced that, while they had forgotten for awhile, their support had “flourished again” (Phil. 4:10).

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