Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Risk Taker

Of the ten "soul shapers" on my list, only two have I actually seen.  E. Stanley Jones is one.  Bruce Wilkinson (1940-    ) is the other.  It was at a National Convocation on Evangelism in the Washington, D.C. area that I heard Bruce Wilkinson give a several day presentation on what was then his newest book, "The Prayer of Jabez."  At the time it was the rage to read book, but I had turned away from it because of some personal perceptions that it was all about trying to manipulate God.  But, when I heard Wilkinson speak, I sensed his passion for Christ and heard the author's point of view, I found myself going back to the book and devouring its message.  As a bigger picture of God emerged in my mind, new doors of desire for God were opened in my prayer life.
When I took a deeper look at the man who wrote about Jabez, I discovered a man whose life with God modeled a risk taking faith.  Way back in the'70's I first heard of Wilkinson as the one who put forth the "Walk Thru the Bible" ministry.  It was a Word centered ministry which led many into the pages of unread scripture.  Then he stepped forth from this successful endeavor to write books for believers.  Two which touched me in powerful ways were "The Prayer of Jabez," a book on prayer, and 'You Were Born For This," a book which enabled me to live with new expectations of being used by God.  And then with enough success to sit back and coast the rest of the way, Wilkinson picked up his family and move to Africa for still another dimension of ministry.
Unlike many of us, Bruce Wilkinson never seems to have gotten stuck.  It is always about "God, what do You want me to do today?"   I, too, ask the question from time to time, but he appears to be a man who is constantly asking and expecting not the tried and true comfortable answers, but the new and fresh ones which take him to a place of deeper dependence on God.  All the other "soul shapers" have finished the course and their accomplished work can be seen as a whole.  Bruce Wilkinson is still on the journey.  Thus far his journey of faith has greatly enlarged my journey and caused me to understand that it is not yesterday, but today that I can be useful to God.

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