November 27, 2023
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
This is the third of a three-part series based on the message given at the opening of the PCA’s first General Assembly in 1973. The message was delivered by Ruling Elder Jack Williamson and can be found in its entirety here.
We must realize that every moment of every day, we stand in the presence of God. Luther used to represent his sense of standing in the presence of God with the Latin expression Coram Deo. We have a living encounter with our Creator. Before Ahab and Jezebel, the lone prophet Elijah exclaimed “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives before whom I stand.” As individuals this concept that our whole existence is lived before the Lord forms the foundation for our holiness. Remember that perhaps of Christ the world’s only view shall be what they see of Him in you.
Then brethren, in conclusion we must undergird this Church with a great outgoing of prayer. We know it is far easier to fight than it is to pray. But our battle is “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Only fervent prayer will prevail.
We must work. Remember that the true war-cry of the church is Gideon’s watch word, “The Sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.” God must do it; but we are not to be idle. If we only cry “the Sword of the Lord”, we shall be guilty of an idle presumption; and if we should cry “the Sword of Gideon” alone, we shall manifest an idle reliance on an arm of flesh.
We must blend the two: We can do nothing ourselves, but we can do everything by the help of our God. We must be confident of His promise. To the chosen children of Israel, the prophet Isaiah wrote the words of God that I believe apply to us, namely: “You worry at being so small and few, but Abraham was only one when I called him. But I blessed him and he became a great nation.” (Isaiah 51 :2)
What a promise! What a God!