In 1993, the Prayer Committee of the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization (LCWE) had a retreat at The Cove, the Billy Graham Centre in North Carolina called. The late Billy Graham visited the committee to share testimony about his meeting in Russia. He said the success of his meeting was the result of years of prayer for Russia. His testimony taught us that the power of prayer is felt over time; it is a piling up of pressure. We must keep building up momentum in this journey of faith.
Life is a progression of steps that eventually brings one to a climactic end. These steps, if taken under the leading of the Holy Spirit culminate into a joyful end. Each steady step counts in the build-up that climaxes into something substantial. At times, the progression may lead to an anticlimax, but that is hardly so when the Spirit of God is leading us.
For example, the little things a child spends his time doing add up to what that child eventually becomes in life. A child learns through a daily process of teaching which ultimately brings the child to maturity in life. Each moment that slips by without any effort or input amounts to an empty day; on the contrary, if we account for the minutes and hours of the day, then we have something to show for all our efforts at the end of the day.
When God instructed Israel to circle the wall of Jericho once for six days, and on the seventh day to circle it seven times and then give the Lord a big shout, their daily obedience and shout climaxed to the crumbling down of the wall of Jericho. Perhaps, it would have been otherwise if they had failed to do what God told them to do.
When applied to prayer, we see the importance of persistence and steady progression in the life of Elijah. Elijah prayed consistently until the rain came. His unyielding faith even when his servant returned with a negative response, climaxed in a heavenly downpour.
Peter teaches us the same truth about the importance of a consistent walk with God. In his call for fruitful growth and progression, he said, that we should with all diligence make additions to our faith. He wrote:
“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins” (2 Pet.1.5-9 NLT).
As regards business the writer of the book of Proverbs writes, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men” (Prov.22.29 NKJV).
Our God is a God of the sudden. As we press on in prayer or Christian service his reward will appear to us suddenly.
Every work or step of faith in the realm of the Spirit adds up to something. Never think that your actions or obedience do not matter, they count and would eventually amount to something. To falter along the way may have a chain reaction, a costly result, or a consequence.