By Leona Marie
First Let’s take a deep breathe together…. breathe in 1,2,3,4….and Out 1,2,3,4,5,6. Lord I give you permission to speak to my heart, I allow myself to be challenged and stretched during this fast. May the personal shift I’m going to experience in my body, soul and spirit make room for your kingdom to flow through me in a new and powerful way, I want the fire to be fresh, amen.
So let’s dive in to today’s devotional: Don’t be a bystander….
What Is the Bystander Effect?
This is the strange phenomenon of no-one taking action in an emergency situation if there are other people present. This sadly means there have been many tragic events that could have easily been avoided if someone had just stepped in to help; but because there were a few other people present no-one actually did. Research suggests that the greater number of people present, the less likely people are to help a person in distress. Observers of an emergency are more likely to take action if there are few or no other witnesses present. Being part of a large crowd makes it so no single person has to take responsibility for an action (or inaction). Therefore the ‘someone else will do it’ attitude has caused casualties.
Do we see this attitude in the body of believers? I believe we do. There is a degree of leaving what the Lord has asked us to respond to for someone else to do. Thus, leaving a whole host of casualties in the world who are yet to know Christ.
The saving of souls: “the Evangelists are present leave it to them, I’m not an Evangelist”. 2 Timothy 4:5 would say otherwise.
Edifying the Church: “Leave the prophesying to only the capital P Prophets (those in the office of a Prophet), they will do it.” Read 1 Corinthians 14 for the truth on that one.
Prayer and Intercession: “I don’t need to cover my leaders and fellow congregation members in prayer because the Intercessors will do it.” See 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
Worship: “I don’t need to press into worship myself because the worship leader will do it for me.” Don’t leave your praises for anyone else to do, not even rocks. Luke 19:40
Any of these Sounding familiar?
We need to ask ourselves: have we become a body of bystanders? Are we going to allow casualties to happen because we think someone else will step up instead?
Maybe through either a lack of self esteem or confidence in who God says we are, or through sheer apathy; we leave it to other believers to carry out the advancing of the Kingdom because we know they are present? “I don’t need to, someone else is there.”
It is time to stop by-standing and step into everything God has called us to do, let’s start stopping the casualties! You already have access to everything you need in order to step up. YOU can do this, YOU are a co-heir with Christ, and YOU have access to the full resources of Heaven. Hallelujah!
Read this out loud with me:
Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the Voice of the Lord saying, “whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” and I said HERE AM I. SEND ME!”
Ask yourself 1. are you making yourself available? and 2. will you say yes?
Read out loud:
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The Lord has already sent us on assignment (Matthew 10:8, Matthew 28:16-20), now it is time for us to seek a personal shift into alignment with the incredible adventures the Lord wants to take us on; and be bringers of His kingdom, not bystanders.
Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to show you if you have been a bystander, if so allow Him to lead you in repentance. Ask for Him to show you who you are and to give you the courage to step up and into everything He has called you to. Pray for that personal shift to take place in everything from your thoughts to your body and spirit. Pray for a fresh baptism in the Holy Spirit.
May this fast be such an incredible time for you all!