By Ronnie Floyd, President of the Southern Baptist Convention
COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) — There are years when we come together as Southern Baptists annually, having little to no expectation of what God may want to do among us. For the sake of a very lost America and an ever-growing lost and dangerous world, let’s come together in Columbus believing God to work in us, among us and through us.
Let’s refuse unbelief
I am reminded of the words recorded in Matthew 13:58, “And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” I am convinced this is the reason we see a limited work of God in many churches in America. I assure you, in our own church, business as usual is Satan’s weapon to create unbelief.
This year in our convention gathering, let’s refuse unbelief! It is the opposite of faith; therefore, we should refuse it in every way. As pastors and church leaders, let us not be guilty of what we accuse our people of at times: coming together with little to no expectation of God doing anything among us.
As leaders coming to Columbus, Ohio, we do not need to sit, listen, evaluate and critique. Let’s refuse this way of thinking along with all attitudes and actions of unbelief.
Let’s believe God
I love the words of our God exhorting us in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Faith is believing God is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do. I choose faith and refuse unbelief!
- Let’s believe God together for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Columbus.
I believe with all my heart that God desires to pour out His Spirit in our generation in a way we have never seen before. While the promise of this outpouring of the Spirit as prophesied in Joel 2 has been fulfilled at Pentecost partially, I believe before the Lord comes back there will be a mighty outpouring of the Spirit that will ignite a significant harvest of the lost coming to Christ.
If we will come together in clear agreement, visible union and extraordinary prayer, we will be in a position for His Spirit to pour out upon us due to His great mercy and grace. Perhaps we need to let our children remind us of what we have taught them: Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there is nothing my God cannot do.
I choose to believe that our God is able. I choose to believe God for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Columbus.
- Let’s believe God together for the next Great Awakening in America.
It is time we come together in clear agreement, believing that our number one need in America is the next great move of God. Some desire political, social or moral reform. Historically, when God moves in a way only He is able, He changes the hearts of people radically with the power of the Gospel of Christ. When the hearts of millions are touched, we may see things occur that only our God can do.
It is time to come together in visible union for this next Great Awakening. We need to refuse attitudes and actions that divide us. We need to lock arms in faith, ignited by the Gospel, empowered by the Spirit, and motivated by our love for Jesus and for one another.
It is time to come together in extraordinary prayer for this next Great Awakening. We will be doing this on Tuesday night, June 16, beginning formally at 6:45 p.m. (EST). The entire session, built on the Word of God, will lead people to call out to God extraordinarily. Eleven pastors from various ethnicities will help me lead this gathering. I cannot think of one thing that is more important than this opportunity. Please adjust all of your convention gatherings and social times to join us for this significant gathering of thousands of Southern Baptists.
The brilliant theologian Jonathan Edwards writes, “Be much in prayer and fasting, both in secret and with one another. It seems to me, it would become the circumstances of the present day, IF ministers in a neighborhood would often meet together, and spend days in fasting and fervent prayer among themselves … SO it is God’s will that the prayers of His saints shall be GREAT and PRINCIPAL MEANS of CARRYING ON THE DESIGNS OF CHRIST’S KINGDOM IN THE WORLD. When God has something to accomplish for His church, it is with His will that there should precede it the EXTRAORDINARY PRAYER of His people.” May it be so with us in Columbus, Ohio.
- We need to believe God together to reach the world for Christ.
In chapters 5 and 7 of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, we learn that “every tribe and language and people and nation” will be represented in heaven. There will not be one ethnicity left out by our loving Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
We need to believe God together that He wants our churches to explode with making disciples of all ethnicities rather than implode with division. We need to believe God together that He wants to ignite our churches to plant Gospel churches by the thousands nationally and internationally. We need to believe God together that He wants to mobilize His church to take the Gospel to every people group in the world, regardless of their vocation. Presenting the Gospel to every person in the world and making disciples of all the nations is the heart of God.
It is for this big vision that we must come together in unity. Anything short of this will lead us into the weeds of division. This is why we will pray on Tuesday night, calling out to God for the next Great Awakening and to reach the world for Christ. Then, we will come together on Wednesday morning, imparting a vision that will advance the Gospel to the world. There is nothing our God cannot do!
Let’s believe God together now.