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Why is a “Thirst Conference” necessary?
FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2010
Posted by: Westminster Presbyterian Church | more..
3,100+ views | 60+ clicks
Why is something like a "Thirst Conference" necessary? The simple answer is because we all so easily become spiritually dull and the panting thirst we had when we first came to Christ has now been assuaged by the soft drinks and Snapple of this world. The water of life just doesn't seem to satisfy as it once did and we turn to a cold beer to satisfy us - and, metaphorically speaking, it does but only for a while. It can never fully satisfy the deep needs of the soul. Only Jesus can do that by His Spirit. Only the water of the Word can do that but we settle for something far, far less. We find ourselves needing to be "re-vived" because we've lost our first love. As one person said to me today, "We're not seeking so much a "revival" as we are seeking the "re-vivor" - God Himself. That's very well said and drives home the point of a Thirst Conference or a Maximum Man Conference or a Nancy Lee DeMoss Conference for women and similar venues. Jesus said we would find Him when we seek for Him with all of our heart. How's your seeking doing these days? Are you even motivated to pray for the energy to seek a fresh awakening of your spiritual life? Do you even see the need?

One of the "ah-ha" moments of Scripture study came many years ago when I was teaching the book of Hebrews which is filled with all sorts of caution light questions for our life. I came to chapter 2 and verse 1, "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." That word "drift away" in the Greek has the idea of quietly loosening the mooring ropes of a boat and letting the vessel slowly drift out into the current of the river to be taken downstream but it happens, at first, so slowly you hardly notice the movement. The heart so quickly drifts or, using another metaphor, grows cold. Thus, in Hebrews 3:12-13 the writer says, "See to it, brothers (he assumes their status as a professing Christian), that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." That is precisely what we don't want to happen to us. We want to remain supple and moldable in the Master's hands.

With this in mind, I share with you some thoughts from Rev. Al Baker's recent article entitled "Slaves of Christ" takes from James 1:1.

"Note what James the brother of Jesus, the one who thought his brother insane, who mocked His claim to being the Christ, calls himself-a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. At least four types of slaves existed in James' day-criminals, those who worked the fields, those who served in households, and those who served in imperial palaces. Though the degree of hardship would vary according to the kind of servitude in which a slave lived, the common denominator in all of them was ownership. They did not have freedom. They were owned completely, in every way, by their master. James is calling himself a slave of God, a slave of his brother, One whom he now calls the Lord Jesus Christ! James knows he has no rights. He belongs lock, stock, and barrel to Jesus.

This concept of slavery, that you have been bought with a price, the blood of Christ, means you are not your own, that you belong to Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), that you are to glorify God with your life. James wrote his Epistle to draw the church back to the revival culture of Acts 1-12. He has a zeal for Biblical holiness, something that was already waning in the lives of these Jewish believers. The theme of James' epistle is holiness or sanctification. We so easily return to the folly of our former lives (Psalm 85:8), much to our detriment and the weakness of the church. James calls us to look at every trial with joy. He moves us to be doers of the word, not merely hearers. He rebukes us for showing partiality to the wealthy or well connected. He exposes our hypocrisy of faith. He reveals our impotence, made manifest in our inability to tame our tongues. He makes known the source of our quarrels and conflicts. He declares our arrogance. He judges our injustice. He unveils our prayerlessness.

On the one hand, we are justified by faith, through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Our sins are taken from us as far as the east is from the west. Praise the Lord! But on the other hand God calls us to be holy, to obey Him, and none of us does that as we ought. The writer to the Hebrews says that without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). Our weakness in the American church can be traced back to our lack of experiential, practical holiness. The world does not take us seriously because we are not taking God's call to holiness seriously. We are failing in our two fold purpose as the church-to propagate the gospel to the world and to obey Him in all we do. Failure by one church or a group of denominational churches causes Jesus to remove His Spirit's presence and power, to vomit us violently out of His mouth (Revelation 2:5, 3:16).

Are you a slave of Jesus? If you are in Christ, if you are a true Christian, then you must answer, "Yes." You have no option. You are drafted into Christ's army. Your job, therefore, is to obey Him in all He commands, drawing upon the life of Christ within you (Romans 6:1-13, Colossians 3:1-5). You have no choice but to surrender everything to Jesus-your time, money, health, reputation, family, job. You do not belong to yourself. You belong to Jesus. Begin everyday with these words, "Jesus, you own me. I belong to You. Here's my life. Take me, use me today as you will. Give me the grace to sacrifice myself for You and others, to deny my own desires for self-aggrandizement."

I would simply add my "Amen" to Al's words. Oh that the Lord, by His Spirit and Word, would re-commission us as slaves of Christ. Oh that we might realize afresh what we are in Christ and all that we are in Him. Oh for a fresh anointing of His Spirit upon our lives that we might live in joyful fidelity to Jesus for the praise of His glory and grace. See you at the conference Sunday through Wednesday.

Gary R. Cox Gary R. Cox

Category:  From Dr. Gary R. Cox

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