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TAYLORS, S.C. (BP)--As we continue our emphasis upon spiritual awakening, renewal and revival, we continue to focus upon God's prescription found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. This great text says the following, "And (if) My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."
While God's prescription remains clear, the evidence of a lack of revival continues to grow. Recent statistics show that our baptisms continue to decline. While there were modest gains in other areas, the true barometer of our spiritual health continues to slide.
We are not far behind that which is happening in Europe. A recent Wall Street Journal article carried this headline, "As Religious Strife Grows, Europe's Atheists Seize Pulpit." It tells of an increasingly potent phenomenon in Europe, that being a zealous disbelief in God. Author Andrew Higgins writes, "Passive indifference to faith has left Europe's churches mostly empty. But debate over religion is more intense and strident than it has been in many decades.... That is all adding up to a growing momentum for a combative brand of atheism, one that confronts rather than merely ignores religion."
I believe that we are not far behind that trend. Already, that trend is showing itself in certain places in the United States.
What are Christians to do? While many seek ways to alter this growing phenomenon through legislation and education, the true remedy is God's people reaching the lost with a passion that can only come from a Holy Spirit renewal.
In God's Word, we are taught to "seek His face." Is this another way to say "pray?" I believe it is different. To seek God's face indicates a seeking of His approval, a seeking of His direction, a seeking of His affirmation. I believe we must submit every part of our convention, our churches, as well as our lives to the scrutiny of God. We must ask for Him to share His light on every aspect of our lives.
We need to move past merely talking about the inerrant Word of God; we need to start living it to a far greater level than ever before. We must seek His face as we submit our hearts and lives to Him.
Frank Page is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C.