Praying for Direction

When did it happen that church became primarily a religious organization to which one belongs instead of a people who live lives of reckless devotion following a God who loves adventure? I have long wrestled with the question of what it means to be a Christ follower in this culture. In what ways have I become a cultural Christian instead of a sold out follower of Jesus? How can I keep from being a go-through-the-motions Christian and instead be a Holy Spirit filled, people serving, God loving, Jesus follower? I know that a large part of the answer lies in praying for God’s leading and direction in my life; followed by repentance and obedience.

My favorite meetings each week are the prayer groups I attend. There I meet with small (always small regrettably) gatherings of similarly desperate people seeking for God to lead, guide, heal, strengthen, encourage, and in others ways—ACT in this world for His own glory. How else can we expect God to lead us unless we first humble ourselves and become devoted to prayer? Is that not the first step of obedience?

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


3 Responses to “Praying for Direction”

  1. avatar Jeremy says:

    I would like to know more about your comment during your sermon about worldly (I’m assuming human?) reason and Godly (spiritual?) wisdom. To what extent is your faith “reasonable” in worldly terms? Are we to assume that the world that God created and the knowledge that we have gained from the continuing quest to have dominion over it is invalidated in regards to faith/belief/prayer? To what extent should be expect our faith to make sense, according to worldly reason? At what point, in seeking to have a reasonable faith and explain it to the world, do we fall back on our default answer of “it’s spiritual wisdom, not worldly reason that will lead one to have faith or begin to believe?” Is that our default answer when faced with the hardest questions about God and faith? Should it be? And if so, how can one have this spiritual wisdom to believe if they don’t believe in the first place? At what point and to what extent do human reason and spiritual wisdom work together?

    In my experience, the smaller (to a certain extent) the prayer group, the more “real” it is. The larger the group, the more superficial the attendees are, typically. Perhaps size isn’t the major issue but the lack of prayer meetings in general that should be more of a concern.

    I also struggle with the conform/transform paradox. It’s hard to see that in ourselves, we often need others, sometimes a bit emotionally removed from us, to truly tell us if we truly practice what we preach.

  2. avatar Byron says:

    Human logic, reason, education, and intellect are wonderful gifts from God. We should use them as God intended. However, there are limits to their usefulness, and, when combined with human pride they can become lethal to one’s spiritual life.

    Peter was thinking only about “human concerns” when he told Jesus to stop talking about death because that was not the will of God for His Messiah. It made perfect sense logically, rationally, religiously, etc…. The problem was that God was calling Jesus to follow him on a path that would not make sense to human beings until further revelation would clarify things so we humans might better understand God’s ways. Alas, the cross is still considered foolishness to those whose minds are darkened.

    I am certainly not recommending that we turn our brains off and simply operate from our feelings. Rather, we should employ everything God has given us (Scripture, Holy Spirit, Wisdom, Reason, Logic) that we might know his will and be obedient followers. At times that will require actions that do not pass the test of conventional wisdom, but are motivated by a faithful understanding of the leading of God’s Spirit. I do not expect those without the Spirit of God to understand such decisions.

  3. avatar Jeremy says:

    I think I would agree with you. I just know of some “people of faith” that believe that critical thinking is atheistic, both in premise and in nature. I believe there are things that don’t make sense without the “mind of Christ”, but the majority of religious issues should be thought about critically. An unexamined faith is not much of a faith at all. This is where we loose a lot of Christians. They graduate high school and leap into the realm of critical thinking and their is eaten alive. They have not thought about why they belief and the basic tenants of logic and reason therein. The ole’ “I believe b/c the bible says so” does not cut it in the world today.

    Thanks for your thoughts.