I have to admit something to you. I’ve not been praying like I should. Don’t get me wrong. I pray. Everyday. But too often I find my prayer time is short-changed, rushed, or it doesn’t include me asking God to do the God-sized work that only he can.
I was inspired by a friend of mine recently to take a day (an entire day) away from my desk and email and spend a day in prayer. So, this past Thursday, I spent the day praying for White Oak, our elders and staff, our church family, and the communities to whom we minister. I felt intimidated walking into this experience. What would I pray for that would take eight hours? Would I get bored and repetitive?
I see White Oak right on the cusp of a God-size movement. I think the Spirit has been laying this on my heart since 2020 when everything was turned upside down and our White Oak church family returned from the shutdown. Since then, we have seen God do amazing things and he’s provided wonderful ministry opportunities at our Colerain and Ross Campuses. 60 people have been baptized in Jesus’s name this year. We’ve seen God move in our overseas mission partners as we encourage them, and the Holy Spirit provides and sustains them. And as we approach the kickoff of our SHAKEN season at White Oak this coming weekend, I anticipate God to move in and through us in powerful ways launching us into new places in the coming years.
However, as I see the Holy Spirit do his work through God’s people in the Bible, before a community movement is made, he seems to always move through individuals, first. Each of us must take deep steps of trust and surrender, individually.
This is where we get into trouble. One author puts it this way: “Certainly, we trust God; but for some reason, we trust ourselves above God, just in case God doesn’t come through. David was not like that. He put himself in such a position that if God did not come through, everything would be lost.”
In 1 Samuel 17 a young man who herded sheep went up against an enemy champion warrior. David did something that we can often miss in this story. If David had faced Goliath and lost the fight, the Israelite army would have had to surrender. Not only would the army have been defeated but the entire nation would have collapsed. Israel would be lost.
Brothers and sisters. Are you and I willing to put ourselves into a position before God in this season where if he didn’t come through, everything would be lost? Often, we make plans and position ourselves to the point where we carry 90% of the results on our shoulders. We do this with our priorities, our finances, our time, and our plans. Most of the time, if God doesn’t come through, we end up coming out ok. But what would it look like to put God out front? To trust him at a level that if he doesn’t work by his power, we would ultimately fail.
That’s what I sense God is calling his sons and daughters to do at White Oak. I want to move with you, guided by the Holy Spirit, to places that only God can take us. There are many people in our communities who do not know the salvation and full life which Jesus brings. There are many hurting families, confused children, and broken lives. Let’s move together asking God to accomplish things that only he can do!
As we enter this season of SHAKEN remember to position yourself to get the very most out of this experience:
Be present on Sundays each week of the Shaken sermon series Oct. 23-Nov. 20.
Join a 4-week Shaken Life Group and be in community with others who are on the journey with you.
Register NOW for Advance Commitment Night on Nov. 11 at the Cincinnati Museum Center where everyone is invited to step out, first, and lead the way in generous steps of trust.
Pray with me for this season, for our church, and for the impact God will make through us. Let’s get ready to be shaken by the Holy Spirit!
White Oak Christian Church