On the outskirts of Seoul, South Korea stands what many say is the world’s largest church. David Yonggi Cho (formerly known as Paul Yonggi Cho), is the founder and pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church. The latest counts have his congregation close to a million!
His story is an awesome one of a poverty-stricken young man who had an encounter with God on what seemed to be his death bed. He was healed as he embraced the new life from God. From this new-found life he has grown into one of the world’s most powerful men of God.
Needless to say, spiritual leaders have swamped him with requests for advice. How did he manage to inspire so many people? What is his formula?
When confronted with these questions, Pastor Cho’s characteristic wisdom and humor converge as he responds with a broad smile… “I pray… And I obey.”
What a formula!
It seems so simple. Pray and then obey. Whatever God says do, do it.
Throughout the Bible we see this concept in action. Someone will be in trouble and they will call upon the Lord. “What should I do?”
One of the most notable examples of this is David at Ziklag. (I Samuel 30).
He and his men had been away from camp, fighting with the Philistines. They returned to Ziklag to discover a horrible scene. Their camp had been raided and burned. All of their wives and children had been captured – and all of their possessions had been stolen.
There was nothing there but a burned-out camp!
Needless to say, David’s men did not take it well. They wanted to stone him!
Distraught, David pulled himself aside and “stirred himself up in the Lord.” He fasted and prayed and asked God for guidance.
“Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”
God’s answer was certain. “Pursue them. You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
So that’s what David did. He and his men pursued and found the camp where the raiders were gathered and retook all that was stolen.
Just as pastor Cho has done, David prayed and he obeyed.
It seems simple. So why don’t all of us do that? Pray and obey.
The key is knowing what God says. And, of course, what He says starts with His Word.
While you are in prayer, God will impress you with His plans. Then if you continue to listen carefully, He will show you how that lines up with His Word. He will give you scripture which will back up what you are hearing.
Today we have many advantages which David didn’t have. Jesus has come and paid the price for our salvation, and He has given us the Holy Spirit within so that we can hear more clearly.
Also, we now have the Word of God. That’s how you know for sure that God is speaking to you.
We can read the Bible and see what brings life and what brings death. We can see what works and what doesn’t. And we can understand God’s plan more completely.
As we read, the Word will speak to us, and we will have confirmation of what we believe God is saying.
Knowing that God’s plans are perfect and that He always has an answer for our problems, we can count on His direction. And we can be sure that His way is the best way forward.
We pray … and we obey.
That’s the way to the Good Life He has for us. That’s the way to success