An older pastor on the verge of dying speaks almost his last words to his son who is also a pastor – a very successful pastor in his own right. (Frank Culpepper to Raymond Culpepper)
“Son, you have lost the edge. You began as a pastor with a big dream, but it has been rough. Your heart is beaten up. You’re discouraged. You are busy, but not very effective. You have learned how to act like a preacher, but you’re empty. You’ve lost your burden for lost people. Your prayer life is in trouble. No tears punctuate your preaching. You’re not hungry for God like you used to be. You know how to say the right things and push the right buttons; but like Samson… you don’t know the Spirit is gone. The anointing is not fresh. Your fire has gone out. You have left your first love. You must get the edge back!”
Without another word, Frank anointed his son’s head with the oil from the altar and laid his hands on Raymond’s head, praying, “God, forgive my son. He has grown cold. He is trying to do Your work in the flesh and has forgotten it is not by might or by power, but by your Spirit…Don’t let him waste his precious life or Your divine calling by just going through the motions. Revive my boy in the midst of his years. Give him back his edge. Amen.”
“Promise me,” Frank said to his son when he was finished. “Promise me you’ll repent, pray through, and get your heart right! I cannot leave this place today until you promise me.”
Raymond felt exposed, embarrassed, and convicted. There he was – a husband, father, pastor, and leader being told he had lost his heart for God and his cause.
But the truth pierce him.
“Yes sir,” he said. “I promise.” And he did.
Two weeks later his dad died. But that day of anointing, conviction, and confession, says Raymond Culpepper, changed his life.
Have you lost your edge? Maybe, you are simply but slowly losing your edge? Have you noticed that the dream God placed inside of you to accomplish great things for His Kingdom has grown dangerously distant? Is the tank of your passion for God below empty and you are surviving by sucking fumes?
We have not lost the momentum by making conscious decisions. It’s not usually cataclysmic events that make it happen. Typically our momentum and then our “edge for God” slips away in the everyday activities of life. Somewhere in the busyness of everyday life, in the flurry of activities, we lose our edge. We come to a moment when, in the midst of working hard for God and doing what seems right, we realize that something is missing. The moment often comes quite unexpectedly.
Well, there is only one solution. To do as Raymond did after his father confronted him … respond to the conviction you are feeling, repent, receive your forgiveness, and return to your first love – Jesus!