Do you know what the word “conation” means? It is one of the rarest words in the English dictionary. One definition given is the aspect of mental processes or behavior directed toward action or change and includes impulse, desire, volition, and striving.
Has anyone ever said something nasty or degrading about your Momma? If so, what was your immediate response or reaction? I bet your blood reached the boiling point in no time at all. That is conation.
I heard the late Kenneth E. Hagin say that if you, as a believer, don’t have some kind of temper, you’re not worth a nickel. There is a truth in that statement. A righteous indignation can set many things in motion for God.
This is what happened to Jesus when He went into the temple and overturned the tables of the money-changers and drove them all out.
“And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (Jn. 2:14-16).
Apparently the disciples were there bearing witness to this righteous indignation coming forth from Jesus in wild display. The Scriptures call it the zeal of God.
Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” (v. 17)
That is conation.
We live an insipid, non-confrontational Christianity, and that is why the world is stomping down our values, taking our crosses and Christian symbols down from our public places, removing prayer and Christianity from our schools, forcing us to bow down to their gay agenda, and stealing our converts. We are powerless because we are gutless. Arise, Church!
“For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
The word “cannot” carries with it the implication of “in order to stop me you got to kill me”. That is the kind of conation it’s going to take to bring change to the Church and present day America, and win souls for Christ. Accommodation won’t get it done. Conation that leads to confrontation will.
“Truth always carries with it loving confrontation for truth demands it. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong.” Francis Schaeffer
In the account of David and Goliath during Israel’s battle with the Philistines we see conation characterized in David’s behavior when he “ran” to the battle. He didn’t walk, waltz, or trot – he ran!
“So it was, when the Philistine arose and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:48).
When God won a mighty victory through David they brought him before Saul.
Picture this. David is escorted before King Saul by Abner, the commander of Israel’s army. He is still a teenager—small, baby-faced, and wet behind the ears, but in his hand he is carrying the head of Goliath—the head that he had just severed from his body using Goliath’s own sword. Another youngster Jonathan is listening to David responding to King Saul’s questions, while holding that big giant head in his tiny hand. Almost immediately Jonathan’s soul was knit to David’s (1 Sam. 18:1).
Can you see how this bonding happened? Jonathan is stirred from within. He identifies with the brave warrior spirit in David. “I like this boy,” he utters from within. “I like his attitude,” he muses. “I love his courageous spirit!” his heart exclaims. This is a picture of what needs to happen with churches and Christian leaders across America.
The battle of the Philistines is the kind of battle America is in today. Our nation is in a gigantic crisis. Most Christians are either lackadaisical or scared and don’t believe they can do anything. Most pastors and Christian leaders are afraid to speak out against the Goliath in the White House. Only those who are of another spirit and whose hearts are knit together by an allegiance to the Lord of hosts and the covenant our forefathers made with Him in establishing our nation on Scripture will be able to fight in this battle.
It is time for our blood to boil with righteous indignation. It is not only time to pray without ceasing but it is time for action also. It is time for our pastors and spiritual leaders to unite and arise as one against the evils of our day. It is time to proclaim the confrontational gospel without compromise. It is time to run to the battle.
It is time for some serious conation.