Archive for November, 2011

Published by Pastor Tavares Robinson on 23 Nov 2011

A Church Experience is NOT a God Encounter by Tavares Robinson

Proverbs 22:16 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” According to a 2008 study commissioned by the Bush Administration, parents are attempting to do just that. The article, entitled Children in Christian Families more Likely to Attend Church Services, reveals that more that 96% of Christian children attend church. At first glance, this is great news. But don’t celebrate too fast. In a 2009 article, entitled How many Youth are Leaving the Church, researchers astoundingly disclose that “as little as 4% [of the 96%] will remain Christian”. So what happened to the other ninety-two percent?
It’s no secret that more and more young adults, after being raised in church, are choosing to leave their faith for the world. They are sprinting to the very things that they were taught to avoid; excited to indulge in that which they know could eternally separate them from God. But, why?
The answer is simple. Our children are attending church, but the enmity of their hearts towards God and His laws have not been altered. Week after week, Sunday after Sunday, we create, for our children, an attractive experience in church. They participate – doing all the things that Christian youth do – but never have a true encounter with God.
The enemy is after our youth, and in a zealous effort to save them from the world, we have missed the essentials. We’ve become so caught up in the “how” to get them in, that we’ve lost focus of “why” we’re trying so hard to draw them in the first place. The desire of every parent for their child should be salvation – conversion of the heart, alteration of mindset, deliverance from sin, and not just participation in church.  If our children are to remain faithful into young adulthood, they must have a relationship with God which is not possible without, first, having an encounter with Him.
Nowhere in the Bible will you find someone who had an encounter with God, and was left unchanged.
Consider Paul. Born as Saul of Tarsus, Paul was a very religious man. Even before he became a follower of Christ, he was actively involved in his ministry. Having received the best possible training under Gamaliel, a great teacher of Jewish beliefs, Saul was a good Pharisee who knew the word and sincerely believed that his conduct and participation in certain activities was supported by God.  With much knowledge of God, Saul zealously headed to Damascus in hopes of capturing Christians for persecution. But it was on this trip, that Saul, now Paul, had an encounter with God and received salvation.
Who would’ve known that prior to this trip, Saul was not saved! After all, he knew the Bible and was zealous about the work of God even volunteering to participate in the activities.
It wasn’t until after his encounter on the Road to Damascus that Paul says his new life in Christ began (Acts 26:12-20). It was here that God took off the mask and revealed to Saul who he was and who he was to be (Paul) according to His will. Paul made the decision, after meeting God, to follow Him. This meant forsaking that which he was knew. How is it possible for Paul to, now believe the Gospel, but continue to persecute Christians – those who also believed the Gospel? Would it make sense for Paul to follow Christ, but continue to fellowship with those who persecute Him?
It is for this reason that people cannot be saved without being separated from the world. We are trying to save our youth, but at the same time tell them that it’s okay to still be a part of the culture from which God saved you. They have to choose – just as Paul did. But they can’t have both. There is no dual citizenship with God. Paul not only confessed with His mouth that His new life in Christ had begun, but also with his actions (which were now contradictory to his previous actions).  But walking away from that which he once knew was an automatic once he had a personal encounter with God.
So, now I ask you, “How can one live in Christ never having a face-to-face meeting with Him? Meeting God is essential to building a relationship with Him.
Do you think that maybe our children are leaving the church because we’re asking them to follow, and even more difficult, live for, someone they’ve never even met? Would you spend the rest of your life with someone you don’t know – only hear about?
So, now what?
For direction, let’s look to Peter and John’s example. Acts, chapter 3, tells the story of Peter and the Crippled Beggar.  The Bible tells us that there was a lame man who was carried to the temple gates everyday to beg. In the Jewish religion, it was considered honorable to give money to the poor.  So, people would, on their way into the temple courts, give him what he asked – money.  And at the end of the day, the lame man would leave, just to return the next day reliving the experience – still crippled and in a position to beg.
[Like those who carried the man, we carry our children to church. They have an experience, some even get to show their talent, and they go home. Soon, returning just to relive the same experience all over again.]
On this particular day, Peter and John, were on their way to the temple to pray when they were asked by the beggar for money. Peter and John looked at the man. Then, Acts 3:4,5 reads, “And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.”
[Just as Peter instructed the lame man to look at them, we should be able to tell our youth to look at us. When they are struggling in their walk or just in need of assistance, what they need to see is the example of those who have gone before them – us. We must be a living epistle of the very words we teach them. Many times, it’s through our lives that God’s word (His power) is illuminated for them.]
Peter and John didn’t, however, give the man money. They were able to see that this man needed something different. Had they given him what he wanted, like all the others had, he would still need someone to carry him to that same spot the next day.
Peter told the man that he didn’t have what he wanted, but instead he could offer something he needed. What he was offering would be life altering. The lame man would undergo a radical change that would be the beginning of a new way of life for him.
Acts Chapter 3 continues:
“…Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
So, what was it that Peter and John had to offer that all the others didn’t? We find out in Acts 3: 11-12.
11Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomons, greatly amazed. 12So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently as us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
Peter goes on to tell the people that it was not by his own power that the lame man was made to walk. Rather, by the power of God through faith. God gave a man with a church experience (routine) a God encounter (inconceivable) in which no one else could take credit for.
The humble lives of both Peter and John testified to the Power of God. God was able to use them because they did not desire to be recognized and lived lives that others could follow. If we want the young folk to change, we have to change. How can we lead the younger generation to a place we’ve never personally been?
Ask yourself, why do you come to church? Why do you drag your children to God’s house week after week? Are you looking for a temporary experience or do you desire a personal encounter with God?
If we want our children to be among the 4% that remains faithful, we must make changes in our own lives. We have to stop bringing people to church and start bringing them to God.  We must allow God to change us so that we’re in a position to share the power of God with our children when they’re in need.
We have missed the mark as a church! Let’s get back to God’s original purpose. Each individual starting with oneself.
If we truly desire to see our children change by the power of God and become the individuals God is calling them to be, there are a few things we must put a stop to.

  • Don’t give them what they want just to keep them. Church becomes entertainment and they attend for the wrong reasons.
  • Don’t prophesy to a call just because there’s a talent. Pre-maturely prophesying to a child’s gift may cause them to place their talent above their obedience to Christ.
  • Don’t allow those that are struggling in their sin to exercise their talent in the church. It leads them to believe that God accepts their offering because of their ability to perform versus their life of sacrifice (holiness).
  • Don’t focus on bringing your children to church, rather bringing them to God.  By doing so, you leave them open to seeking Him instead of all the other non-essentials that make up the church.
It is important to remember that God will not only hold us accountable to train our children in the way they should go, but also for being an example after which they can follow, and a vessel upon whom they can draw power.
by Pastor Tavares Robinson

Published by Pastor Tavares Robinson on 22 Nov 2011

The Cry for Revival

IT IS INTERESTING to notice the time when
this prayer was offered. It was a time of mercy. “Lord thou hast been
favorable unto thy land”. It was a time when God had led many to the
knowledge of Christ, and covered many sins. “thou hast forgiven the
iniquity of thy people.” It was now they began to feel their need of
another visit of mercy — “Wilt thou not revive us again?”

The Thing Prayer For

“Revive us again,” or literally, return and make us live anew. It is
the prayer of those who have received some life, but feel their need of more.
They had been made alive by the Holy Spirit. They felt the sweetness and
excellence of this new, hidden, divine life. They pant for more — “Wilt
thou not revive us again?”

The Argument Presented

“That thy people may rejoice in thee.” They plead with God to do this
for the sake of His people, that their joy may be full; and that it may be in
the Lord — in the Lord of their Righteousness — in the Lord their Strength.

When is the Prayer needed:

In A Time of Backsliding

There are many times when, like Ephesus, many of God’s children lose their
first love. Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold. Believers lose
their close and near communion with God. They go out of the holiest, and pray
at a distance with a curtain between. They lose their fervency, sweetness, and fullness
in secret prayer. They do not pour out their hearts to God.

They have lost their clear discovery of Christ. They see Him but dimly. They
have lost the sight of His beauty — the savor of His good ointment — the hold
of His garment. They seek him, but find Him not. They cannot stir up the heart
to lay hold on Christ.

The Spirit dwells scantily in their soul. The living water seems almost dried
up within them. The soul is dry and barren. Corruptions are strong: grace is
very weak.

Love to the brethren fades. United prayer is forsaken. The little assembly no
more appears beautiful. Compassion for the unconverted is low and cold. Sin is
unrebuked, though committed under their eye. Christ is not confessed before
men. Perhaps the soul falls into sin, and is afraid to return; it stays far off
from God, and lodges in the wilderness.

Ah! This is the case, I fear with many. It is a fearfully dangerous time.
Nothing but a visit of the Holy Spirit to your soul can persuade you to return.
It is not a time this prayer — “Wilt thou not revive us again?”

The soul of a believer needs grace every moment. “By the grace of God I am
what I am.” But there are times when he needs more grace that at other times.
Just as the body continually needs food; but there are times when it needs food
more than at others — times of great bodily exertion, when all powers are to
be put forth.

Sometimes the soul of a believer is exposed to hot persecution. Reproach breaks
the heart; or it beats like a scorching sun upon the head. “For my love
they are my adversaries.” Sometimes they are God’s children who reproach
us, and this is still harder to bear. The soul is ready to rest or sink under
it.

Sometimes it is flattery that tempts the soul. The world speaks well of us, and
we are tempted to pride and vanity. This is still worse to bear.

Sometimes Satan strives within us, by stirring up fearful corruptions, till
there is a tempest within. Oh, is there a tempted soul that reads these words?
Jesus prays for thee. You need more peace. Nothing but the oil of the Spirit
will feed the fire of grace when Satan is casting water on it. Send up this
cry, “Wilt thou not revive us again?”

In A Time Of Concern

“Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time if the latter rain.” When God
begins a time of concern in a place — when the dew is beginning to fall —
then is the time to pray, Lord, stay not thine hand — give us a full shower —
leave not one dry. “Wilt thou not revive us again?”

Who needs this revival?

Ministers Need It

Ministers are naturally hard-hearted and unbelieving as other men (Mark 6:14),
so that Christ has often to unbraid them. Their faith is all from above. They
must receive from God all that they give. In order to speak the truth with
power, they need a personal grasp of it. It is impossible to speak with power
from mere head knowledge, or even from past experience. If we would speak with
energy, it must be from present feeling of the truth as it is in Jesus. We cannot
speak of the hidden manna unless we have the taste of it on our mouth. We
cannot speak of the living water unless it be springing up within us. Like John
the Baptist, we must see Jesus coming, and say; “Behold the Lamb of
God.” We must speak with Christ in our eye, as Stephen did. “I see
Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” We must speak from a present
sense of pardon and access to God, or our words will be cold and lifeless. But
how can we do this if we are not quickened from above. Ministers are far more
exposed to be cast down than other men; they are standard bearers, and Satan
loves when a standard-bearer fainteth. Oh, what need of full supplies out of
Christ’s fullness! Pray, beloved, that it may be so. “Wilt thou not revive
us again?”

God’s Children Need It

The divine life is all from above. They have no life till they come to Christ.
“Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have
no life in you.” Now this life is maintained by union to Christ, and by
getting fresh supplies every moment out of His fullness. “He that eateth
my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me, and I in Him.” In some
believers this life is maintained by a constant inflowing of the Holy Spirit —
“I will water it ever moment” — like the constant supply which the
branch receives from the vine. These are the happiest and most even Christians.
Others have flood-tides of the Spirit carrying them higher and higher.
Sometimes they get more in a day than for months before. In the one of these,
grace is like a river; in the other, it is like a shower coming down in its
season. Still, in both there is need of revival. The natural heart is all prone
to wither. Like a garden in summer, it dries up unless watered. The soul grows
faint and weary in well-doing. Grace is not natural to the heart. The old heart
is always for drying and fading. So the child of God needs to be continually
looking out, like Elijah’s servant, for the little cloud over the sea. You need
to be constantly pressing near the Fountain of living waters; yea, lying down
at the well-head of salvation, and drinking the living water. “Wilt thou
not revive us again?”

Those Formerly Awakened Need It

A drop fell from heaven upon their hearts. They trembled, wept, prayed. But the
showers passed by, and the rocky heart ceased to tremble. The eye again closed
in slumber; the lips forgot to pray. Ah, how common and sad is this case! The
King of Zion lifted up His voice in this place and cried. Some that were in
their graves heard His voice, and began to live. But this passed by, and now
they sink back again into the grace of a dead soul. Ah! This is a fearful
state! To go back to death, to love death, and wrong your soul. What can save
such a one, but another call from Jesus? “Awake, thou that sleepest, and
arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” For your sake most
of all I pray, “Wilt thou not revive us again?”

Barren Fig Trees Need It

Some of you have been planted in this vineyard. You have enjoyed sun and
shower. You have passed through all this time of awakening without being moved.
You are still dead, barren, unconverted, fruitless. Ah! There is for you no
hope but in this prayer. Ordinary times will not move you. Your heart is harder
than that of other men. What need have you to pray for a deep, pure, effectual
work of God, and that you may not be passed by. Many of you would stand the
shock much better now. Many of you have grown experienced in resisting God, and
quenching the Spirit. Oh, pray for a time that will remove mountains. None but
the Almighty Spirit can touch your hard heart. “Who art thou, O great
mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain.” “Wilt thou
not revive us again?”

For whom revival comes:

It is God who must revive us again. It is not human work. It is all divine. If
you look to men to do it, you will only get that curse in Jeremiah 17.
“Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.”

The Lord has all the men in His hands. The Son of Man holds the seven stars in
His right hand. The stars are His ministers. He lifts them up, or lets them
down, at His sovereign will. He gives them all their light, or He takes it
away. He holds them up and lets them shine clearly, or He holds them in the
hollow of His hand, as it seemeth good in His sight. Sometimes He lets them
shine on one district of a country, sometimes another. They only shine to lead
to Him. The star that leads away from Him is a wandering star, and Christ will
cast it into the blackness for ever. We should pray to Christ to make His
ministers shine on us.

The Lord had the fullness of the Spirit to Him. The Father has entrusted the
whole work of redemption into the hands of Jesus, and so the spirit is given to
Him. “As the Father hath life in himself, and quickeneth whom he will, so
hath he given the son to have life in himself, and to quicken whom he
will.”

It is He who keeps all His own children alive from day to day. He is the
Fountain of living waters, and His children lie beside the still waters, and
drink every moment eternal life from Him.

It is He that pours down the Spirit in His sovereignty on those that never knew
Him. “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications.” Truly, the whole
work from the beginning to end is His.

Every means will be in vain until He pours the spirit down (Isaiah 32:15): Upon
the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers, “Until the spirit
be poured upon us from on high.” We may preach publicly, and from house to
house, we may teach the young, and warn the old, but all will be in vain; until
the spirit be poured upon us from on high, briers and thorns shall grow. Our
vineyard shall ne like the garden of the sluggard. We need that Christ should
awake; that He should make bare His arm as in the days of old; that He should
shed down the Spirit abundantly.

The children of God should plead with Him. Put your finger on the promise, and
plead, “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, I the Lord
will hear them” (Isaiah 41:7). Tell Him you are poor and needy. Spread out
your wants before Him. Take your emptiness to His Fullness. There is an
infinite supply with Him for everything you need, at the very moment you need
it.

Ungodly men, you are saying, there is no promise to us. But there is, if you
will receive it. Psalms 68:28; “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led
captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious
also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” Are you a rebel? Go and
tell Him so. Oh, if you are willing to be justified by Him, and get your rebel
heart changed, go and ask Him, and He will give you living water. Proverbs
1:23; “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you,
I will make known my words unto you.” Go and tell Him you are a
“Simple one, a scorner”. Ask Him to do what He has promised in
Ezekiel 34:26; “And I will make them and the places round about my hill a
blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall
be showers of blessing.” Now you cannot say you belong to Zion’s hill, but
you can say you are in the places around this hill. Oh, cry, “Wilt thou
not revive us again?”

The Effects of A Revival

The Lord’s children rejoice in Him. They rejoice in Jesus Christ. The purest
joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus. When the Spirit is poured down, His
people get very near and clear views of the Lord Jesus. They eat His flesh and
drink His blood. They come to a personal cleaving to the Lord. They taste that
the Lord is gracious. His blood and righteousness appear infinitely perfect,
full, and free to their souls. They sit under His shadow with great delight.
They rest in the cleft of the rock. Their defense is the munitions of rocks.
They lean on the Beloved. They find infinite strength in Him for the use of
their soul — grace for grace — all they can need in any hour of trial and
suffering to the very end.

Then go by Him to the Father. “We joy in God through our Lord Jesus
Christ.” We find a portion there — a shield, and exceeding great reward.
This gives joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Now, God loves to see His children happy in Himself. He loves to see all our
springs in Him. Take and plead that. Oh, you would pray after a different manner
if God were to pour water on the thirsty. You would tell Him all, open to Him
all sorrows, joys, cares, comforts. All would be told to Him.

Many flock to Christ. “Who are these that fly like a cloud, and like doves
to their windows?” “To him shall the gathering of the people
be.” Just as all the creatures came into the ark, so poor sinners run in
such a time. Laying aside their garments (Mark 10:50), their jealousies, they
flee together into the ark Jesus. Oh, there is not a lovelier sight in all this
world.

Souls are saved. “Is this not a brand plucked out of the fire?” There
is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. They are
passed from death unto life.”

It is glorifying to God. “He that receives Christ, sets to his seal that
God is true.” He confesses the holiness of God, His love and grace. His
mouth is filled with praise. “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” He begins to
long for the image of God, to confess Him before men, to walk in His ways. It
gives joy in heaven, and joy in earth. Oh, pray for such a time.

There is an awakening again of those who have gone back. IF we have not a time
of the outpouring of the Spirit, many who once sought Christ, but have gone
back, will perish in a dreadful manner; for they generally turn worse than
before. Sometimes they scoff and make a jest of it all. Satan is all the worse,
that he once was an angel. So they become all the more wicked who have gone
back. They generally go deeper into the mire of sin. But if God graciously
pours down His Spirit, the hardened heart will melt. Pray for this.

There is an awakening of fresh sinners. It is a sad state of things when
sinners are bold in sin, when multitudes can openly break the Sabbath, and
openly frequent the tavern. It is an awful sin when sinners can live in sin,
and yet sit unmoved under the preaching of the Word, cast off fear, and
restrain prayer before God. But if the Lord were pleased to revive us again,
this state of things would change.

I am sure it would be a lovelier sight to see you going in company to the house
of prayer, than thronging to the tavern, or the haunts of sin and shame, that
will bring down eternal ruin on your poor soul. It would be sweeter to hear the
cry of prayer in your closets, than to hear the sounds of oaths and profane
jesting, and your hard speeches and reproaches of God’s children. Sweeter far
to see your hearts panting after Christ, His pardon, His holiness, His glory,
than to see them turning after the world and its vain idols.

Oh, lift up your hearts to the Lord for such a time. Plead earnestly the
promise, “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.” Then this
wilderness will become a fruitful field, and its name be, Jehovah-Shammah —
the Lord is there.

Published by Pastor Tavares Robinson on 22 Nov 2011

Price and Power of Revival by Duncan Campbell

Unction From On High

THERE IS A POWER THAT IS placed at the disposal of the Church that can outmaneuver and baffle the very strategy of Hell, and cause death and defeat to vanish before the presence of the Lord of Life. Barrenness is made to feel His fertilizing power. Yet, how is it that while we make such great claims for the power of the Gospel, we see so little of the supernatural in operation? Is there any reason why the Church today cannot everywhere equal the Church at Pentecost? I feel this is a question we ought to face with an open mind and an honest heart. What did the early Church have that we do not possess today? Nothing but the Holy Spirit, nothing but the power of God. Here I would suggest that one of the main secrets of success in the early Church lay in the fact that the early believers believed in unction from on high and not entertainment from men.

One of the very sad features that characterizes much that goes under the name of evangelism today is the craze for entertainment. Here is an extract from a letter received from a leader in youth work in one of your great cities: “We are at our wits’ end to know what to do with the young people who made a profession of conversion recently. They are demanding all sorts of entertainment, and it seems to us that if we fail to provide the entertainment that they want, we are not going to hold them.” Yes, the trend of the time in which we live is toward a Christian experience that is light and flippant and fed on entertainment. Some time ago, I listened to a young man give his testimony. He made a decision quite recently, and in giving his testimony this is what he said: “I have discovered that the Christian way of life can best be described, not as a battle, but as a song mingled with the sound of happy laughter.” Far be it from me to move the song or happy laughter from religion, but I want to protest that that young man’s conception was entirely wrong, and not in keeping with true New Testament Christianity. “Oh, but,” say the advocates of this way of thinking, “how are we to get the people if we do not provide some sort of entertainment?” To that I ask the question, how did they get the people at Pentecost? How did the early Church get the people? By publicity projects, by bills, by posters, by parades, by pictures? No! The people were arrested and drawn together and brought into vital relationship with God, not by sounds from men, but by sounds from heaven. We are in need of more sounds from heaven today.
Pentecost was its own publicity. I love that passage in Acts that tells us that “when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together.” What was noised abroad? That men and women were coming under deep conviction. That was God’s method of publicity, and until the Church of Jesus Christ rediscovers this and acts upon it, we shall at our best appear to a mad world as a crowd of common people in a common market babbling about common wares. The early Church cried for unction and not for entertainment. Unction is the dire and desperate need of the ministry today.

Power Before Influence

Further, the early Church put power before influence. The present state of our country presents a challenge to the Christian Church. Those who have eyes to see tell us that at this very hour forces are taking the field that are out to defy every known Christian principle. In many quarters there is today a growing conviction that unless God moves, unless there is a demonstration of the supernatural in the midst of men, unless we are moved up into the realm of the Divine, we shall soon find ourselves caught up in a counterfeit movement, but a movement that goes under the name of evangelism. There are ominous sighs today that the devil is out to sidetrack us in the sphere of evangelism, and we are going to become satisfied with something less than Heaven wills to give us. Nothing but a Holy Spirit revival will meet the desperate need of the hour.

The Watchword of the Early Church

The early Church, the men of Pentecost, had something beyond mere human influence and human ingenuity. But what do we mean by influence? The sum total of all the forces in our personality–mental, moral, academic, social, and religious. We can have all these, and we can have them at their highest level, and yet be destitute of power. Power, not influence, was the watchword of the early Church.

While at the Keswick Convention, it was my privilege to spend an afternoon with a leader in foreign mission activity. I was arrested by what that man said to me. Here are his words: “Our Bible schools are turning out young men and young women who are cultured and polished, but who lack power.” I want to suggest that he was near to the truth. We may be polished, we may have culture, but the cry of our day is for power from on high.

A Young Woman

I could take you to a little cottage in the Hebrides and introduce you to a young woman. She is not educated. One could not say that she was polished in the sense that we use the word, but I have known that young woman to pray heaven into a community, to pray power into a meeting. I have known that young woman to be so caught in the power of the Holy Spirit that men and women around her were made to tremble–not influence, but power.

The Apostles were not men of influence–“not many mighty, not many noble.” The Master Himself did not choose to be a man of influence. “He made Himself of no reputation,” which is to say that God chose power rather than influence. I sometimes think of Paul and Silas in Philippi. They had not enough influence to keep them out of prison, but possessed the power of God in such a manner that their prayers in prison shook the whole prison to its very foundations. Not influence, but power.

The Place of Power

Oh, that the Church today, in our congregations and in our pulpits, would rediscover this truth and get back to the place of God realization, to the place of power. I want to say further that we should seek power even at the expense of influence. What do I mean by that? I mean this: never compromise to accommodate the devil. I hear people say today, “These are different days from the days of the 1859 Revival or the Welsh Revival. We must be tolerant and we must try to accommodate.” The secret of power is separation from all that is unclean. We must seek power even at the expense of influence.

Separation Unto God

Think again of the great Apostle Paul. What an opportunity he had of gaining influence with Felix. Had he but flattered him a little in his sin, he could have made a great impression, and I believe he could have got a handsome donation for his missionary effort by being tolerant, by accommodating the situation. But Paul chose power before influence and he reasoned of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Let Felix say what he will, let Drusilla think as she chooses to think, I must be true to my conscience and to my inner convictions and declare the whole counsel of God and take my stand on the solid ground of separation unto God. Now the person who will take his stand on that ground will not be popular.

He will not be popular with some preachers of today who declare that we must soft-pedal in order to capture and captivate. Here I would quote from the saintly Finney: “Away with your milk and water preaching of the love of Christ that has no holiness or moral discrimination in it, away with preaching a Christ not crucified for sin.” Such a collapse of moral conscience in this land could never have happened if the Puritan element in our preaching had not, in great measure, fallen out.

Hear a Highland minister preaching on this very truth: “Bring me a God all mercy but not just, bring me a God all love but not righteous, and I will have no scruples in calling Him an idiot of your imagination.” Strong words, but I say words that I would sound throughout our land today, in this age of desperate apostasy, forsaking all the fundamental truths of Scripture. Here you have the Apostles proclaiming a message that was profoundly disturbing. We are afraid of disturbing people today. May God help us; may God have mercy upon us.

A Wave Of Real Godly Fear

I would to God that a wave of real godly fear gripped our land. Let me quote from a sermon delivered by the Rev. Robert Barr of the Presbyterian Church of South Africa: “This is what our age needs, not an easy-moving message, the sort of thing that makes the hearer feel all nice inside, but a message profoundly disturbing. We have been far too afraid of disturbing people, but the Holy Spirit will have nothing to do with a message or with a minister who is afraid of disturbing. You might as well expect a surgeon to give place to a quack who claims to be able to do the job with some sweet tasting drug, as expect the Holy Spirit to agree that the tragic plight of human souls today can be met by soft and easy words. Calvary was anything but nice to look at, blood-soaked beams of wood, a bruised and bleeding body, not nice to look upon. But then Jesus was not dealing with a nice thing; He was dealing with the sin of the world, and that is what we are called upon to deal with today. Soft and easy words, soft-pedaling will never meet the need.”

Finally, the early Church believed in the supernatural. Someone has said that at Pentecost, God set the Church at Jerusalem on fire and the whole city came out to see it burn. I tell you if that happened in any church today, within hours the whole of the town would be out to see the burning, and they would be caught in the flames.

A Fire Needed!

It is fire we want. The best advertising campaign that any church or any mission can put up is fire in the pulpit and a blaze in the pew. Let us be honest. We say “God, send revival,” but are we prepared for the fire? I believe we have only to regard and observe those laws and limits within which the Holy Spirit acts, and we shall find His glorious power at our disposal. Surely that was the conviction that gripped an elder in the Isle of Lewis when, in a situation that was difficult and trying, he cried, “You made a promise, and I want to remind You that we believe You are a covenant-keeping God. Your honor is at stake.” That man was at the end of his tether; that man was in the place of travail.

Absolute Surrender

Revival is not going to come merely by attending conferences. When “Zion travailed she brought forth children.” Oh, may God bring us there, may God lead us through to the place of absolute surrender. Is it not true that our very best moments of yielding and consecration are mingled with the destructive element of self-preservation? A full and complete surrender is the price of blessing; it is the price of revival.??
Duncan Campbell (1898-1672) – A fiery Scottish preacher used of God in revival. He is most famous for being involved in the Lewis Awakening in the Hebrides Islands in Scotland.