9. Holy Spirit Revival

Be Filled With the Spirit

 

Over the last several weeks, we have looked at the way the Spirit of God reveals His mercy and grace to those who will come to Him and receive meekly. In His grace, He wants to stretch His people beyond their own abilities and, empowered by the Spirit of God, He wants to use each person to reach out to a darkened and sin-controlled world. The enemies of God will not passively and willingly give up territory to the Church; we should expect spiritual warfare as the Church advances. We face a time, I believe, where the Church worldwide will face persecution.  Many countries are already experiencing this.

 

We should not think that we would escape this in the West; in fact, we should be expecting it:  “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20). We should be prepared for whatever lies ahead for the people of God by getting close to Him and learning to hear His voice. Historically, we see that when there has been persecution, there has also been a great outpouring of the Spirit, just as there was during the persecution that broke out after the murder of Stephen in the Book of Acts:

 

19Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch (Acts 11:19-26).

 

In verse twenty-three, we are told that Barnabas “saw what the grace of God had done.” What do you think he witnessed? How was he able to “see” God’s grace?

 

Of course, we cannot be sure as to what Barnabas witnessed, but verse 26 tells us that, they were so like Christ; they were called “little Christ’s,” or Christians. It is obvious that the Spirit of God was poured out on them in such a way that they experienced what we would call today a revival. That’s our topic for today, i.e. the need for a Holy Spirit Revival. What does it look like and what’s our part in birthing it?

 

The Moral Decline of the United States in the Early 1800s

 

In this message today, I would like to take a look at the state of men’s souls in the United States in the 1820s through to the 1850s. Then, I want to compare it to the need we have for the Spirit of God to do something similar in our day. The need then and now is for a powerful move of the Holy Spirit, what the Church calls a revival.

 

You would have to have been asleep for the last fifteen years or more to not notice the onrush of evil that is taking place all over the world. Edmund Burke is quoted as saying, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Is it okay for good men and women to go on as usual when the need is so great for a moral turnaround?

 

In the face of incremental evil descending on the world, what do you think good men and women should or could do?

 

Not many people realize that in spite of the awakening that preceded the American Revolution and its successful outcome, twenty years later, in the early 1800s, there came a time of moral bankruptcy. Drunkenness (like drug –use today) became epidemic. Out of a population of five million, 300,000 were confirmed drunkards, of which fifteen thousand died each year. Profanity was of the most shocking kind. For the first time in the history of the American settlement, women were afraid to go out at night for fear of assault. Bank robberies were daily occurrences.

 

What about the church throughout America? The Methodists were losing more members than they were gaining. The Baptists said that they had their most wintry season. The Presbyterians in general assembly deplored the nation’s ungodliness. In a typical Congregation church, the Rev. Samuel Shepherd of Lennox, Massachusetts, in sixteen years had not taken one young person into fellowship. The Lutherans were so languishing that they discussed uniting with Episcopalians who were even worse off. The Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New York, Bishop Samuel Provost, quit functioning: he had confirmed no one for so long that he decided he was out of work, so he took up other employment. The Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, wrote to the Bishop of Virginia, James Madison, that the Church "was too far gone ever to be redeemed." Voltaire alleged, and Tom Paine echoed, "Christianity will be forgotten in thirty years."

 

Look at the liberal arts colleges at that time. A poll taken at Harvard had discovered not one believer in the whole of the student body. They took a poll at Princeton, a much more evangelical place: they discovered only two believers in the student body, and only five that did not belong to the filthy speech movement of that day. Students rioted. They held a mock communion at Williams College; and they put on anti-Christian plays at Dartmouth. They burned down the prayer room in Nassau Hall at Princeton.[1] They forced the resignation of the president of Harvard. They took a Bible out of a local Presbyterian church in New Jersey and burned it in a public bonfire. Christians were so few on campus in the 1790s that they met in secret, like a communist cell, and they kept their minutes in code so that no one would know. In case this is thought to be the hysteria of the moment, Kenneth Scott Latourette, the great church historian, wrote: "It seemed as if Christianity was about to be ushered out of the affairs of men." The churches had their backs to the wall, seeming as if they were about to be wiped out.

 

How did the situation change? It came through a concert of prayer. Finally in September 1857, a praying Christian businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier started a prayer meeting in the upper room of the Dutch Reformed Church Consistory Building, in Manhattan, New York City. In response to his advertisement, only six people out of the population of a million showed up. However, the following week, there were fourteen, and then twenty-three, when it was decided to meet everyday for prayer. By late winter, they were filling the Dutch Reformed Church, then the Methodist Church on John Street, then Trinity Episcopal Church on Broadway at Wall Street. In February and March of 1858, every church and public hall in downtown New York was filled. Horace Greeley, the famous editor, sent a reporter with horse and buggy racing around the prayer meetings to see how many men were praying: in one hour, he could get to only twelve meetings, but he counted 6100 men attending. Then, a landslide of prayer began, which overflowed to the churches in the evenings. People began to be converted, e.g. ten thousand a week in New York City alone.

 

The movement spread throughout New England, the church bells bringing people to prayer at eight in the morning, twelve noon, six in the evening. The revival raced up the Hudson and down the Mohawk, where the Baptist, for example, had so many people to baptize that they went down to the river, cut a big hole in the ice, and baptized them in the cold water: when Baptists do that, they really are on fire! When the revival reached Chicago, a young shoe salesman went to the superintendent of the Plymouth Congregational Church, and asked if he might teach Sunday School. The superintendent said, "I am sorry, young fellow. I have sixteen teachers too many, but I will put you on the waiting list." The young man insisted: "I want to do something just now." "Well, start a class.""How do I start a class?" "Get some boys off the street, but don’t bring them here. Take them out into the country and after a month you will have control of them, so bring them in. They will be your class." 

 

He took them to a beach on Lake Michigan and he taught them Bible verses and Bible games; then, he took them to the Plymouth Congregational Church. The name of the young man was Dwight Lyman Moody, and that was the beginning of his ministry that lasted forty years. For instance, Trinity Episcopal Church in Chicago had 121 members in 1857, in 1860, 1400. That was typical of the churches. More than a million people were converted to God in one year out of a population of thirty million.

 

Then, that same revival jumped the Atlantic, appearing in Ulster, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, then England, parts of Europe, South Africa, and South India—anywhere there was an evangelical cause. It sent mission pioneers to many countries. Effects were felt for forty years. Having begun in a movement of prayer, it was sustained for a generation by a movement of prayer. [J. Edwin Orr. Personal Notes.][2]

 

What is the great enemy of your prayer life?

 

In the year 1835, Titus Coan landed on Hawaii to share the gospel with the islanders. On his first tour, multitudes of people from miles around came to hear him. Many listened with tears and would not go home. The people remained and crowded around him so earnestly that he had no time to eat. The Holy Spirit was drawing and touching the people’s hearts in a remarkable way. In the places where he spent his nights, they filled the house to capacity, leaving scores of people outside. All wanted to hear about Jesus. On the Sabbath day, on the way to the place he was scheduled to preach, there was a line of four villages not half a mile apart. Every village begged for a sermon before he could get to the scheduled preaching place. Starting at daylight he preached in three villages before breakfast at 10am. Many were cut to the heart by the sermon and wanting to get their lives right with God.

 

Within a short while, he was ministering to 15,000 people. Being unable to reach all the people, they came to him and settled down to a two-year camp meeting. There was not an hour day or night when an audience of 2,000 to 6,000 would not rally to the signal of the bell for the next gospel message. There was trembling, weeping, sobbing, and loud crying for mercy, sometimes too loud for the preacher to be heard, and in hundreds of cases his hearers fell in a swoon. Some would cry out, “The two edged sword is cutting me to pieces.” The wicked scoffer who came to make sport dropped like a dog, and cried, “God has struck me!” Once while preaching in the open field to 2,000 people, a man cried out, “What must I do to be saved?” and prayed for God to have mercy on him, and at that, the entire congregation took up the cry, also, for God to have mercy on them. For half an hour Mr. Coan could get no chance to speak, but had to stand still and see God work.[3]

 

True Holy Spirit Revival is a Move of God in Answer to Prayer.

Many today have become so resigned to the evil that so pervades our society that they think there is now no hope and that we should just wait for Jesus to come because, after all, what can we do? That was not the case with two senior ladies on the Islands of the Hebrides just off the northern coast of Scotland:

Between 1949 and 1952 a revival swept through these islands in answer to the prayers of Peggy and Christine Smith.  At that time, they were 84 and 82 years of age, and Peggy, the eldest, was  completely blind. After hearing an update about the low spiritual state of the Hebrides, there being not one young person attending church services, Peggy and Christine began to pray and ask God to change the situation in their church. Unable to attend public worship, their humble cottage became a sanctuary where they met with God. To them came the promise: "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground” (Isaiah 44:3). They took this scripture and made it their prayer. They pleaded this scripture before God, day and night in prayer. One night Peggy had a revelation from God. She felt that God had answered her prayer and had given her assurance that revival was coming –a  revival that would cause the church of her father’s to be crowded again with young people!

The evangelist, Duncan Campbell, was asked if he would come to the Islands and preach. When he declined because of previous commitments elsewhere, God rearranged his schedule, and he was able to attend this small church in the Hebrides. Here in his own words is Duncan’s testimony of what happened:

 

They had arranged for me to address the church at a short meeting beginning at nine o'clock that night. It was a remarkable meeting. God sovereignly moved, and there was an awareness of God, which was wonderful. The meeting lasted until four o'clock in the morning, and I had not witnessed anything to compare with it at any other time during my ministry. Around midnight, a group of young people left a dance and crowded into the church. There were people who couldn't go to sleep because they were so gripped by God.

 

Although there was an awareness of God and a spirit of conviction at this initial meeting, the real breakthrough came a few days later on Sunday night in the parish church. The church was full, and the Spirit of God was moving in such a way that I couldn't preach. I just stood still and gazed upon the wondrous moving of God. Men and women were crying out to God for mercy all over the church. There was no appeal made whatsoever. After meeting for over three hours, I pronounced the benediction and told the people to go out, but mentioned that any who wanted to continue the meeting could come back later. A young deacon came to me and said, "Mr. Campbell, God is hovering over us."

 

About that time the clerk of the session asked me to come to the back door. There was a crowd of at least 600 people gathered in the yard outside the church... Someone gave out Psalm 102 and the crowd streamed back in to the church, which could no longer hold the number of people. A young schoolteacher came down front crying out, "O God, is there nothing left for me?" She was a missionary in Nigeria at the time when this was written. Then there was the story of a busload of people coming to the meeting from sixty miles away. The power of God came into the bus so that some could not even enter the church when the bus arrived. People were swooning all over the church, and I cannot remember one single person who was moved on by God that night who was not gloriously born again. When I went out of the church at four o'clock in the morning there were a great number of people praying alongside the road. In addition to the schoolteacher, several of those born again that night are in foreign mission work today.

 

From Barvas, the move of God spread to the neighboring districts. I received a message that a nearby church was crowded at one o'clock in the morning and wanted me to come. When I arrived, the church was full and there were crowds outside. Coming out of the church two hours later, I found a group of 300 people, unable to get into the church, praying in a nearby field. One old woman complained about the noise of the meetings because she could not get to sleep. A deacon grabbed her and shook her, saying, "Woman, you have been asleep long enough!"

 

There was one area of the islands, which wanted me to come, but I didn't feel any leading to accept the invitation. The blind sister encouraged me to go and told me, "If you were living as near to God as you ought to be, He would reveal His secrets to you." I agreed to spend a morning in prayer with her in the cottage. As we prayed, the sister said, "Lord, you remember what you told me today that you were going to save seven men in this church. I just gave your message to Mr. Campbell and please give him wisdom because he badly needs it." She told me if I would go to the village, God would provide a congregation. I agreed to go, and when I arrived at seven o'clock, there were approximately 400 people at the church. The people could not tell what it was that had brought them; the Spirit of God had directed it. I spoke for a few minutes on the text: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). One of the ministers stopped me and said, "Come see this." At one end of the meetinghouse, the most notorious characters in the community were on their faces crying out to God.

On a trip to a neighboring island I found the people were very cold and stiff. Calling for some men to come over and pray, I particularly requested that a young man named Donald accompany them. Donald, who was seventeen years old, had been recently saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit about two weeks later on a hillside. As we were in the church that night, Donald was sitting toward the front with tears falling off his face onto the floor. I knew Donald was in touch with God in a way that I was not. So I stopped preaching and asked him to pray. Donald rose to his feet and prayed, "I seem to be gazing into an open door and see the Lamb in the midst of the throne and the keys of death and hell on his waist." Then he stopped and began to sob. After he composed himself, he lifted his eyes toward heaven, raised his hands, and said, "God, there is power there. Let it loose!"

And at that moment the power of God fell upon the congregation. On one side of the room, the people threw up their hands, put their heads back and kept them in that position for two hours. It is hard to do this for ten minutes, much less two hours. On the other side, the people were slumped over, crying out for mercy. In a village five miles away, the power of God swept through the town and there was hardly a house in that village that didn't have someone saved in it that night.”[4]

 

How would you feel if the Spirit came in a similar way to your life, your town or city? Would you be resistant or receptive? What is the fruit of a true revival?

One cannot plan to have a revival. It is totally something that God does. Churches might call a series of meetings a revival, but it is really a conference until God shows up in power. Only when that happens can it truly be a revival. It is the power of God displayed over the human heart—often it is an outpouring of grace over a territory or a country. Many times in answer to prayer, God prepares a particular person that He uses. As long as the person keeps a heart that is humble before God, the revival continues. God has used revivals such as these to change the spiritual environment of whole cities and countries, bringing many into the kingdom.

 

Charles Finney gave his life to Christ in 1821, and was powerfully filled with the Spirit. God seemed to inhabit his words, finding that just a few words here or there to individuals were the means of having their hearts bared before God and converted. He said his words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. He talked in this way about the Spirit’s power:

 

Sometimes I would find myself, in a great measure, empty of this power. I would go and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray, with the same result. I would then set apart a day for private fasting and prayer, fearing that this power had departed from me, and would enquire anxiously after the reason of this apparent emptiness. After humbling myself, and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life.

 

This power is a great marvel. I have many times seen people unable to endure the Word. The most simple and ordinary statements would cut men off their seats like a sword, would take away their strength, and render them almost helpless as dead men. Several times it has been true in my experience that I could not raise my voice, or say anything in prayer or exhortation, except in the mildest manner, without overcoming them. Many times great numbers of persons in a community will be clothed with this power when the very atmosphere of the whole place seems to be charged with the life of God. Strangers coming into it, and passing through the place will be instantly smitten with conviction of sin and in many instances converted to Christ. When Christians humble themselves and consecrate their all afresh to Christ, and ask for this power, they will often receive such a baptism that they will be instrumental in converting more souls in one day than in all their lifetime before. While Christians remain humble enough to retain this power, the work of conversion will go on, till whole communities and regions of country are converted to Christ.[5]

 

I am convinced that this is what is needed today. The church today is battling against a wicked tide of evil that threatens to engulf the world, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19 KJV). If ever there was a need of Holy Spirit revival, it is today. Where are the intercessors today that will pray and cry out to God for what is needed? If God could raise up two elderly women in their eighties to pray in revival, why not today? Billions of people are heading toward a Christless eternity unless the church rises to the need. God will do His part if the church will pray: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

 

Often we don’t hear the conditions of this scripture, the word if that starts the promise. We are to humble ourselves, pray, examine ourselves in the light of God’s righteousness in order to turn from all unrighteousness (confess our sins to God), then God will act to forgive our sin and heal the land. If we don’t do these things, then guess what – we will not receive the blessing. Often, the act of praying together, confessing our sins to God, asking for forgiveness of our brothers and sisters, and getting our lives right before God will restore relationships and bring a spirit of unity. This has always been God’s way to the path of revival. The enemy will often sow discord among the people of God to try to shut down any move of the Spirit. When Peter and John were used of the Lord to heal the lame man at the Gate Beautiful, the response of the religious elite was to warn them not to talk about Christ. What did the disciples do? They maintained the unity of the Spirit, and God’s gracious power was on them to continue to preach Christ:

 

32And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. 33And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all (Acts 4:32:33).

 

How close is your relationship to other brothers and sisters in Christ? Would you say that there is a sense of unity among you and your Christian friends?

 

Verse 33 states that with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of Jesus. How do you think people were able to witness this power?

 

Dr. A. T. Pierson once said, "There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer." L. Nelson Bell said, “Power in the Christian life depends upon our communication with the source of power.” Then, there is the comment by Francis Fenelon, “It is amazing how strong we become when we begin to understand what weaklings we are!”

 

When the Spirit is powerfully moving, He will often place such a heavy burden of prayer on individuals that their whole being cries out in prayer for the lost. John Smith, an English soul winner, said, “I am a broken-hearted man; not for myself but on account of others. God has given me such a sight of the value of precious souls that I cannot live if souls are not saved. Give me souls or else I die.”

 

The Irish Revival of 1859

 

After hearing of the Spirit’s work in North America, many prayer meetings began to pray for the Holy Spirit to visit in power. It began with the visit of a Christian lady, Mrs. Colville, of Gateshead, England, to the town of Ballymena, Ireland. Mrs. Colville was gifted with courage and faith to lead people to Christ. In the course of visitation and tract distribution, she began sharing Christ with a lady. A young man, Jeremiah McQuilken, overheard the conversation. He heard her graciously say to the woman, “You have never known the Lord Jesus.” The words went as an arrow to McQuilken’s heart. He was smitten with the thought that, professing Christian as he was, this truth applied to him. For two weeks he had no peace, day or night. Then, he found it in Christ. His first convert was a friend named Jeremiah Meneely, and these two began to meet for prayer, with two other young men, John Wallace and Robert Carlisle. These four began to pray for the Spirit to come in an awakening in Ireland as He had done in America. The Revival flame began to kindle. People were crying for mercy in open-air meetings. A singing-class was turned into a prayer meeting, and many met to pray, on occasion, all night.

 

It was with extraordinary fervor that the movement spread into Ahoghill and other parishes. In barns, schools, and private houses, meetings were conducted and addressed by converts, and the gatherings were attended by multitudes of people. At Ballymena, the whole town seemed suddenly to arouse. “The difficulty used to be to get the people into the church,” wrote a minister, “but the difficulty now is to get them out.” The benediction would be pronounced again and again, but each time the irrepressible petitions of the praying people would burst forth afresh, or the cry of the penitent, mourning over sin, would break upon the ear, and so the meeting would of necessity be protracted—perhaps into the early hours of the morning.

 

The astonishing character of the spiritual revolution wrought in Ballymena is demonstrated by the testimony of Rev. S. Moore, who said: “On my return, after two days’ absence at a Meeting of Synod, I found the town in a state of great excitement. Many families had not gone to bed for two or three nights. From dozens of houses, night and day, you would hear, when passing along, loud cries for mercy from those under conviction, or the voice of prayer by kind visitors, or the sweet, soothing tones of sacred song. Business seemed at a standstill.”[6]

 

I have shared these accounts from the past to give you an idea of what happens during a time of revival. One thing stands out to me, and that is, when God moves in a supernatural way during a time of revival, there is no rational explanation for how it happens. I am sure that at times like this, people who were outside of the kingdom of God were unable to explain the phenomenon.

 

When there is true revival, the fruit is evident in changed lives, many people coming to Christ and turning from sin, repenting and confessing Christ as their savior. In my opinion, anything short of that is not true revival. God is in the business of salvation. He has not come to merely give us a feeling, a spiritual high, or even a physical healing, but total salvation. I love it when God visits us with His presence in a strong way, i.e. when we see healings and the gifts of the Spirit at work, but His will is that people come to know Him. He wants His house to be full, and He will work through us if we make ourselves available.

 

I have been concerned with the lack of emphasis in the western church in particular of preaching the Gospel. I look back to the time when I accepted Christ. I responded to the message of Christ on the cross. Prior to that, I had been in meetings and had witnessed and felt the power of God at work. I saw the joy on people’s faces. However, had I not heard what Christ had done for me, and how He saved me, I may not have made my decision. If we get a chance to pray for someone, to show them the love of Christ, to pray for healing, then that is great! That is doing the works of Jesus!

 

Sometimes, it takes more than one encounter, more than one time hearing the gospel before a person responds. However, we should be ready to explain the gospel to those who are willing to listen. The gospel, the good news of Christ and what He has done for us, needs to be spoken. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was manifest as tongues of fire. People spoke in other tongues as a witness to those gathered around the building. We know that this was a supernatural phenomenon, and yet it caused confusion and speculation among the onlookers.

 

Sound familiar? When God moves, there are all kinds of responses. We should not expect God to be “tidy” and “play nice,” according to our expectations. It is messy at times, but the phenomenon was followed up with Peter’s message to the people about Christ. The message of salvation and of repentance was crystal clear. There was no doubt about the response that was needed.

 

I want to finish by focusing on our part, what we can do to be part of the move of the Holy Spirit. This is to recap on how we make ourselves available to God to be used of the Spirit.

 

1) Draw near to God. We can do this in prayer and in reading His word.

 

2) Confess whatever the Spirit brings to your attention. Do not harbor un-forgiveness or bitterness in your heart, as this is a roadblock to the Spirit of God.

 

3) Study the Word of God and especially the words of Jesus, which will afford the Holy Spirit opportunity to use what has been stored in your heart (Psalm 119:11). He brings to remembrance what we have hid in our hearts to use at the moment of opportunity, so prepare your heart with the Word of God.

 

4) Place yourself in fellowship with the body of Christ. When the Spirit moves in power, He comes to where His people are in unity. This does not have to be a large gathering, but wherever His people are coming together in unity, this is a place where He can be invited. Do not think you can experience Christian life on your own and of your own choosing. Be with the family. Seek unity. Join your hearts in prayer.

 

5) Do what you know. Obey what is clear in Scripture, and seek God for the rest. One of the things that the Holy Spirit has promised us is that He is our guide, our Teacher.

 

The two women that I mentioned who started a prayer meeting in their house did not know where it would lead. The revival that spread through the islands of the Hebrides was a direct result of their obedience to start drawing near to God in prayer, together. Had they not responded, God would have called someone else. However, what a blessing it must have been for them to witness God moving in response to their prayers and longings! How wonderful it must have been for them to finally arrive home and see the fruit of their prayers for revival—many lives saved and in heaven with them. My prayer is that you too will invest your life in the same way.

 

Finally, do not rely on your feelings, but on the Word of God and what you know about Him. I have been to meetings where I have felt nothing, yet wonderful things seem to be happening around me. Has that ever happened to you? Do not doubt God’s love for you at times like these. Do not trust your feelings, but trust what you know about His character and His love for you. If you feel that your heart is hard, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anything that you need to put right in your relationships with others. If that is all done, it could just be that you are right where He wants you to be, and He is building your faith.

 

I want you to think for a moment about the early Church when 120 gathered together for prayer. They did not know what was going to happen. Were they on a spiritual high? Certainly not! Many of them were frightened with the door of the upper room locked for fear of the Jewish elite. I imagine that they may have also been disillusioned. They were crying out to God out of desperation. They did not have total understanding. They were still coming to grips with the story of salvation as it was unfolding. Many were still in mourning, feeling that a golden era had passed. They were about to witness a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God, but they did not know that then. They were just doing what they knew to do, gather together to pray. They were just being obedient, putting themselves into position for the Spirit of God to move. That is what we need to do.

 

We do not need to pull down Christ from the heavens; we do not need to go somewhere to seek for Him. He is in our hearts and in our midst. Let us put ourselves in the way for Him to use us where we are and to be open to what He wants to do in us and through us.

 

Prayer: Father, we pray that You will visit us in the 21st Century in a powerful move of Your Spirit that will awaken and draw millions to You in these last days. Fill us with Your Spirit in such a way that Your Church will rise with a new anointing to fulfill Your longing that Your house will be full. Amen!

 

Keith Thomas

Email: keiththomas7@gmail.com

Website: www.groupbiblestudy.com

 

[1] Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, copyright Princeton University Press, 1978.

[2] (From a sermon by Dennis Davidson, Commitment, Confession, and Challenge, 5/16/2011)

[3] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/1830ff/coan.html

[4] http://www.revival-library.org/ When the Mountains Flowed Down by Duncan Campbell.

[5] Oswald J. Smith, The Revival We Need, WRT Books, www.wrtbooks.com Xulon Press, Fairfax, VA 22030. Page 52

[6] http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/1857ff/harding.html