It seems to be an accepted rule in American foreign policy to avoid all showdowns. Confrontations are definitely out. Statesmen face issues but politicians dodge them. The same policy prevails in the religious world. If this rule had been followed in the past, Joshua would never have demanded that Israel choose whom they would serve. Elijah would have worked things out with the priests of Baal on Carmel. Paul would have had a summit conference with Peter at Antioch. Above all, our Lord would not have had a head-on collision with the devil at the very beginning of His ministry. Today we are told that issues are not black and white and cannot be met by direct “yes” or “no.” Black and white have indeed been smudged into indefinite gray, but not so in God’s Book.
The First “Prospect” – Yourself!
If my people…shall humble themselves…
II Chronicles 7:14
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself.
Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23
The churches of Macedonia…first gave their own selves to the Lord.
II Corinthians 8:1, 5
Dr. Torrey’s first rule for revival was, “Let a few members of any church get thoroughly right with God themselves.” Then they might go after others, but not until then. In their zeal for new members too many churches urge old members into visiting and canvassing “prospects,” when first they need to get right with God themselves. We have no business going out to win others until we have faced our own condition first. Such activity may keep us from first giving ourselves to God. We may become occupied with others and thus dodge our own need. When Christians are right with God they will win others. Our revivals are stressing an “ingathering” of others, when God wants us to humble ourselves, deny ourselves, give ourselves. A drive for “prospects” before we do that is no revival at all.