Comments on the Revival
We are having a foretaste of it. The mighty tidal wave of holy power is coming.
Why is it written, “Who stirs himself up to take hold of you,”1 if not to encourage us to seek.
And why does God reply, “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me,”2 if not to remind us that this is no work of the flesh, but a gift of God’s grace.
Sadly, many still seek to conjure, to call down, to declare God’s power into existence - thinking that all that is needed is enough stirring.
Others will never ask, content to live with the predictable, the practical, and the pragmatic. Thinking that what will be, will be, and in fact, not actually needing God to be in their midst — things run just fine without Him.
It is important to stop and consider these things - for we speak not as people who have first-hand experience but rather as a generation who have only heard but never seen. And even in hearing, it is far away, distant, nearly forgotten as an old memory slipping away.
Thus we now have many imitations calling themselves the real thing - and can we even tell the difference?
Regardless of the power of the story, whenever enough time passes, the words become less potent, harder to believe, and those who do hold fast to the conviction of their literal truth are pushed further and further away, until there remain only a handful of zealous voices on the fringe - and these become quite easy to ignore.
So we must stop and consider again the stories of God drawing near, lest we lose them completely. Lest we become those who confidently dismiss, saying things like, “times past,” “hard to believe,” and, “irrelevant.”
And even at this moment, only a few paragraphs in, some of you are already shaking your head, tuning out, and irritated that there isn’t something more practical contained here.
Quickly, before you let that last memory slip away completely, take hold of it. Give me a few moments of your time to remind you, to tell you again of these stories of God drawing near.
Read these paragraphs one at a time, and see if the Spirit bears witness to the truth of the story. For mere words cannot convince of something so dramatic, so long ago, instead, it must be a matter of, “Does not your heart burn within you?”
Comments on the Revival3
Notice some features, which also will mark the coming great revival here! It springs up among the poor and lowly. It is not worked up by the so-call “leaders.” It does not depend on machinery and ecclesiastical manipulation. It is carried on by the Holy Ghost!
The evangelist is not a scholar, higher critic, college man; Evan Roberts is a poor, illiterate boy out of the mines, with a bare common school education. He gives God all the glory! keeps in the Spirit! does not hinder Him! does not frustrate the grace of God. “Not many wise, not many mighty are called, but God hath chosen the weak things, yea the base things…that no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1 Corinthians 1:26.29)
The people run the meetings, have full swing, are not bossed by a spiritual martinet, come early, stay late, weep and shout, pray and sing, go from house to house in love bearing precious seed - all at it! always at it!
Formality is excluded! No big paid choirs! No pipe organs to entertain! Jesus is enough!
Joy in every heart! Everybody prays, prays through, gets to God; gets the “Witness of the Spirit” for himself; no one tells them when they are saved; they get it from headquarters. Hallelujah to God!
The crowd comes; all classes; dirt, rags, poverty, they are all there to meet God! to see Jesus! Forms, ceremonies, images, evangelical tricks of the trade; long, tedious and dry sermons are not; they are abolished by the Holy Ghost!
The Comforter has come! God has heard the cry of the masses - the poor, down-trodden, drunken masses, the robbed and crushed masses, tricked by priests, plundered by monopolies, deceived by bishops, fooled by their Pharisees, and misled by their guides, at last, the people have turned to God. And He has heard their cry!
The papers follow—not lead—the revival.
The masses have turned away from all else, and are finding help in God…The masses in this country are coming to the end of all help from laws, legislatures, labor unions, committees, higher critics, forward movements, holiness associations, churches, creeds, evangelists, missions, societies, and all that dead and useless junk heap of machinery. They will soon turn to God as all they have left.
In 1857 the revival and a panic of awful financial distress came together. Their mammon god failed them. Trusts robbed them. Presidents and leaders…went down in disgrace before the storm. As these bishops and presidents…will in this gathering storm under the wrath of God! Under the contempt of an awakened people, crying to God for help.
We are having a foretaste of it. The mighty tidal wave of holy power is coming. But the big, great, wise, money bishops, leaders, colleges, will not be in it! It will be God, and God only!
I hope that as you read these clippings your heart did begin to burn within you. Next week I hope to start sharing more of our personal story with you.