Friday, January 19, 2007

Oh that You Would Rend the Heavens and Come Down!

I'm still reading Brian Edwards book; "Revival - a People Saturated with God" and I found the following stirring quote;

"Unless we are favoured with frequent revivals and a strong powerful work of the Spirit of God, we shall in great degree degenerate, and have only a name to live; religion will soon lose it's vigour; the ministry will hardly retain it's lustre and iniquity will consequently about" - Thomas Charles, Bala, North Wales - December 1791.

When have we ever experienced anything like this account of the revival under Duncan Campbell in Lewis (1949)?

"At midnight Campbell turned to the local blacksmith ... the man prayed for about half an hour and drew his prayer to a close with a bold challenge; "God do You not know that Your honour is at stake? You promised to pour floods on dry ground and You are not doing it ... God, Your honour is at stake and I challenge You to keep Your covenant engagements". At that moment ... the whole granite house shook like a leaf ... they went outside. It was about two o'clock in the morning and they found the whole village alive, 'ablaze with God'. Men and women were carrying chairs and asking if there was room in the church for them!".

It is about time that we reconciled in our minds that while God is omnipresent and promised that He "would never leave you or forsake you" in revival the Spirit of God "comes down" in an unusual but desperately needed fashion.

My friend Pete shared with me that he felt strongly that part of the call to publish Ern Baxter's ministry would include appropriate "re-publishing". I have posted this sermon; "Sovereign Surprises" before but I feel I must re-highlight it. Ern Baxter preached it at my home church - New Covenant Church in Dunstable after one of the Bible Weeks he came to speak at. It was an awesome sermon packed full of accounts in the Word of God where God "came down" again and again. Here are the links. I have split it into 3 parts so it is not too much to read in one sitting. I put a few "taster" quotes to get your mouth watering;

- Part 1 - "We are the People of God! We are the new nation! We are the leavening agent! We are the light of the world – the salt of the earth! We are the people! Now in the light of that – look at yourself in the mirror and drop dead!".

- Part 2 - "I will suggest this morning that you and I are much more bound by circumstances than we are by revelation. We determine our tomorrows in terms on what’s going on rather than what God has said".

- Part 3 - "All I’m asking you this morning to do is open your heart to expect God to do something else that is going to be of such a nature as you hadn’t thought about before. How many would have believed the Pentecostal visitation at the turn of the century? How many would have believed the Charismatic visitation? In our own century we have had such divine manifestation that is unprecedented and exciting. God is not dead! He’s alive! If there’s any charge of death, it belongs here. We are dull of hearing. We are unexciting! We are unresponsive to the divine activity".

But oh! Rend the heavens and come down! Visit this vine which Thou hast planted! This is Your people Lord! You said you’d prune and visit and water them! You said you’d make them flourish and make them grow! And God we want to open our hearts to that element of surprise that has characterised You from that moment when You spoke worlds into existence right down to the time when you incarnated Yourself in the virgin womb of a peasant girl! Right down to that time when You came into our lives with such an impact of Your glory that we didn’t expect. Do it again Lord! Do it again!


Peter Day said...

These are wonderful quotes - both from Brian Edwards and Ern Baxter. I really sense a challenge to get on praying - urgently. "Will you not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?" (Psalm 85v6)

There is a very good account of the revival in the Hebrides on the "Transformations 2" video. It is well worth watching. We have all heard about that man's prayer, but the video highlights the growth of passionate prayer over the previous months that preceded the flood coming.

Yes I long for that meeting where, as it were, all heaven breaks out. But we must be prepared to sow in prayer and in tears (Psalm 126v5) in order to reap the harvest.

Baxter's Boy said...

Ah yes the wonderful "Transformations" videos!!

I shall never forget seeing video number 1 where they went to Columbia and showed the stadium PACKED with praying worshippers longing and pleading for the Spirit of God to come down.

Argue with the theology of praying mapping ... fine. But they are seeing results!