I listened to a seven minute excerpt from “A Call to Anguish” by David Wilkerson this morning. It’s one of the heaviest, convicting sermons I’ve ever heard. I listen to it ever so often to challenge myself spiritually. Every time I hear that sermon, I know there is more I can do. I realize I don’t have enough passion yet to do everything God wants to do through me. This morning I saw a map to long term effective action while listening to that sermon. I’d like to share it with you and at the end, I’ll link to that sermon.
The first step any of us have toward action is Awareness. How can you act unless you are aware of a problem? The old saying “Ignorance is bliss” comes to mind. If we don’t know about things, we don’t have to worry about them or be burdened with them. Once you become aware of a problem, you have a choice to either ignore that information or to dig deeper. Sadly, when most of us hear a shocking statistic, we choose to ignore it and think we could never make a difference.
For those who choose not to ignore it, they want to know more about it which leads us to Knowledge. To successfully overcome any problem or need, you first must understand it completely. You need knowledge of what is going on, how did it get this bad and what is the cost of inaction. For many, knowledge prompts concern which prompts some action. It can be giving money, temporarily helping or praying for a solution. If you only gain knowledge, this is where your action stops.
If you let that knowledge sink down into your soul, it will engulf you. You will begin to move into the next step which is Anguish. This is where God places this burden deep in your soul. You begin to feel the pain that He feels for the situation. You cry over it, weep over it and intercede. During these times, God begins to weave this need into your soul and into the fibers of who you are. You can never look at anything the same way again. Everything frivolous thing you do will translate to what could have been done to solve that problem with that money, time or energy.
Once that Anguish is placed in you, it creates Passion. Passion isn’t something that is a fly by night feeling. It is powerful. It is contagious. It shows in everything you do. When you are passionate about something, you don’t have to tell others, they can see it in you. Passion is what will give you light in the dark nights. It will see the possible when you are surrounded by the impossible. It is what gets you to take that step of faith when you can’t see the path. It is that “it” factor that no one can describe.
Once you have Passion in you, it will translate to Action. Not just a temporary action born out of concern, but a long lasting action that keeps working when it feels like you aren’t making a difference. This action doesn’t require faith, it produces it. There is no force that can stop this because your heart is beating with God’s heart. Your actions are His actions. You have become His hands and feet and put His Word into practice on a daily, consistent basis. This is how movements get started and real change is created.
So, where are you in this journey? Are you at Awareness, Knowledge, Anguish, Passion or Action? I once had someone ask me, “What are you passionate about?” I didn’t have an answer as far as a cause went. You see, like many of us, I stop at Knowledge because I know the price of the next step. I haven’t been willing to pay it. That’s changing now. My prayer today is for God to break my heart and lead me into Anguish because I know that will produce Passion and then long term Action. Are you brave enough to pray that prayer?
Here is the link to that sermon I promised. Please, don’t click this lightly. This will challenge you and probably convict you. It does me every time.