My Musings

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Revival: A Community Saturated With God

One of my favorite topics on which to read is that of revival. It fascinates me beyond no end to read of the great awakenings here in America and of the revivals of Wales. I pray for the outpouring of the Spirit of God to move across America in similar fashion to the ways He has in the past. I say this only to bring you to the topic of this post. The following is the story of the Hebrides (an island just off of Scotland) revival as told by Duncan Cambell. As you read, open your heart to the Spirit of God and compare yourself to the standard set in Psalm 24. God Bless You!

"Baffled and frustrated in Christian work and witness, I prayed on my face in my study at five o'clock in the morning. The past 17 years had been spent in a barren wilderness, but that morning I came to know the recovering power of the blood of Jesus Christ. As I prayed, I realized that God had made provision for clean hands and a pure heart.

"In some small measure the revival in Skye and later in Lewis must be related to the experience of that morning. But how did it begin? What was it that led me into a full realization of glorious deliverance in the Holy Ghost? I answer in one word, a baptism from God. It was preceded by a spiritual hunger, a longing for God to do something.

"That is how revival began in Lewis also. It did not begin by my going there. God was moving and moving mightily before ever I thought of visiting Lewis. A number of men and two elderly women on the island were made conscious of the desperate need of their parish. All human effort having failed, they sensed that their one resource was to fall back upon God. So they entered into a solemn covenant that they would not rest nor cease from prayer until God made "Jerusalem" a praise on the island.

"According to the report given me by the minister of the parish, you would have found men waiting through the night in confidence that God was about to manifest his power. You would have found two elderly sisters on their faces before the peat fire three nights a week, pleading one promise- say, one promise- "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground." They declared it was a promise made by a covenant keeping God who must ever be true to his covenant engagements.

"So they waited, and the months passed and nothing happened. Then one morning in 1949 a young man in the company read the familiar portion of Psalm 24: "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart . . . He shall receive the blessing from the Lord." Looking down at his praying companions and speaking in Gaelic, he said, "Brethren, it seems to me just so much sentimental humbug to be praying as we are praying, to be waiting as we are waiting here, if we ourselves are not rightly related to God."And then he prayed, "Are my hands clean, is my heart pure?"

"He got no further. At that moment there came to the men praying a realization of God, an awareness of his presence that lifted them from the sphere of the ordinary into the sphere of the extraordinary. Three of them fell prostrate on the floor. They knew at that moment that they were now moving, not in the realm of the natural, but on the plane of the supernatural. Revival had come and the power that was let loose in that barn shook the whole community of Lewis.

"These few men and the two elderly women discovered the profound truth that a God-sent revival must ever be related to holiness and to real New Testament separation. Yes, revival was coming; God was going to be honored; they were to see men so supernaturally altered that holiness would characterize every part of their being, body, soul and spirit. That was the truth that gripped them and that moved the people of Lewis and Harris. There was a hunger, a cry for pardon.

"Oh, for a baptism of honesty, for a gripping sincerity that will move us to cry with the men of Barvas, "Is my heart pure, are my hands clean?" This great blessing is a human necessity. Sanctification is Christ enthroned. If the secret of holiness is in the complete filling of the soul with the life of Christ; if the baptism with the Holy Spirit is, in its final analysis, the revelation of Jesus; if the beauty of Christian character comes from the incorporation of his personality in mine, surely the great need of the Christian church today is a clean heart.

"Revival is a community saturated with God. That is the difference between revival and successful evangelism. God is sovereign in his movings among men, and the need is not a new technique in the field of evangelism, not a new approach to truth, not better organization, but a baptism of cleansing, making us fit vessels that God can use. This glorious, mighty, and complete deliverance comes not from any effort of our own but by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing is plainer than the promise of God on this point."



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