Bishop Dale Bronner talks about the pivotal role of prayer in discerning God’s call on your life and ties it back to his message about “looking at the birds.”
Bishop Dale C Bronner delivered multiple power-packed messages for different sectors of the City Harvest Church congregation when he was here the week of June 19-25, 2017. City News sat him down to talk about how to recognise one’s call from God.
City News: How should any young Christian recognize the call God has on their lives? What are some practical steps to find this call?
Bishop Bronner: That’s a great question. First, they have to notice a need, because a call is always with the purpose to serve. Then you need have a desire to meet the need, because there are many needs in the world, but not all will move your heart. And then, you develop the ability to meet the need.
Jesus called the disciples, trained them and sent them out; he didn’t commission the disciples until He had been with them for three and a half years. As He was leaving, He said, “Go ye into all the world,”—that was the call. The first was a summons to come and get trained.
So a person will recognize the need, have a desire to meet that need, and then they develop the ability to meet that particular need. These are the basics to having a call of God.
Tell us more about having praying radical prayers and how that’s connected with the call.
Scripture teaches that whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Every church has to be birthed in prayer; every ministry has to be birthed in prayer. Billy Graham said that there were three secrets to revival: prayer, prayer and prayer.
Prayer is the thing that gets us in contact with God, to help us understand what He’s even asking of us. It builds our connection to God, and helps to sustain our faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, but if we don’t pray we get no illumination into the Word He has given us. “Communication” [communicationis in Latin] means “common ground” so there is a common ground that is established between man and God, and out of that, everything is birthed. Every ministry, every dream and vision should be birthed out of a burden. If you didn’t have a burden for it, it didn’t come from God.
Whether it’s a business, a child or a ministry, it starts with a burden or a need which breaks your heart, and you say, “Something needs to be done, what can I do?” Out of that God births the vision, but it ultimately starts in prayer.
The world seems so troubled these days, with all the terrorism movements, gay pride divisions, shootings and immigration issues going on. It’s hard to “look at the birds” when we look at our world. How should Christians overcome the worries and fears that surround us?
In the book of Matthew, it says that when you hear rumors of war or changes in the weather patterns, he says don’t be concerned because the end is not yet. Our trust is not in all of these signs, it is in Him, and He has said, do not be concerned about the world, because He has overcome it.
The whole idea about looking at the birds is to refresh our perspective. It focuses us on the awesomeness of God, and not on the circumstances. Wherever we look is where our faith is focused on—if you look at the problem, you’ll grow in faith for the problem but if you look at God, you’ll grow in faith toward God.
“Looking at the birds” gives us the right perspective or a calm in the spirit, to enable us to think clearly, develop the battle plan and go back to address issues of injustice, issues in education, in terrorism, because the kingdom of God is established in peace. If you’re frustrated, you can’t think; your creativity doesn’t flow.
When you get into an atmosphere where you’re relaxed, your creative gift, your problem-solving skills will flow. That’s what it’s about; it’s not a denial or a withdrawal from the realities of the world. It’s about getting our bearings right—frustration is a deception.
You spoke with the business people in our congregation on Friday. It’s a tough balance to achieve, being successful in business and being successful in following Christ. What are two pieces of advice you have for Christians in the marketplace on how to stay faithful while working hard on their businesses?
I really don’t see a conflict between the two—I came from a line of preachers on one side of the family and businesspeople from the other side, so I’m a mixture of the two. The issue is, you don’t ever have to choose between God and money, you only have to choose which one you will serve. So we make the choice to serve God, because money is a tool—that’s all it is. We use it to help serve God.
I always tell people, if you have a choice between being spiritual and having money, and being spiritual and having no money, choose the former, because more can be done! Salvation is free but ministry costs. In Deuteronomy 8, it says that it is God who gives you the power to get wealth, and then it gives the purpose—“so that you can establish My convenant on earth.”
We pursue God, and then things will be added to us; God first, family second, work third. You never put your business before family, and you never put your business before God. It’s about priority. He wants to bless the work of our hands. The book of Joshua talks about it—“This book…” That’s a promise from His word.
Who is one character from the Bible you would love to have lunch with and why?
I think for me, I’m drawn to wisdom, so I’ll probably say Solomon. He talked with people and mesmerized their minds with his wisdom. Leaders of other nations came to speak with him and they were spellbound. The Queen of Sheba came and spent the weekend with him, and when she left, she said the half had never been told concerning this man. He was one of the wisest men who ever lived. I would then wonder, with all of his wisdom, why did he still make stupid mistakes? He ended up having 700 wives and 300 concubines—a thousand women! I would have said, “Solomon, that couldn’t have been wise!” and I do realise that some of the wives were for political alliances with other nations, so it wasn’t just about the sexuality aspect of it, but some of these foreign women he married ended up taking his heart away from God. It really is a message for Christians that wisdom alone is not enough. But I would really like to talk with him and drink from the tremendous wisdom he had—we would have some really interesting conversations!