Archive for June, 2007

Revival & Experiencing the Fullness of the Spirit

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

I am speaking on revival and the reception of the Holy Spirit these days in Christchurch New Zealand. Of course revival is all about the Holy Spirit and a return to God that changes everything-and people pray and do many things to receive the Holy Spirit. In the Moravian’s case, in a moment, “all self-love, all self-will, and all disobedience disappeared” when the Holy Spirit came on August 13, 1727! Wow. I want that new experience for myself. I hope you do too. But how do we obtain it? We find the following very insightful thoughts in James McConkey’s 3-Fold Secret of the Holy Spirit (available on path2prayer.com). What do you think?

““The question is have you YIELDED? Bought with a price, and not your own, have you taken your hands off your own life and consecrated it wholly, unflinchingly, eternally to the Lord Jesus Christyour, to be His loving bond-slave forever? It is not now a question of His fullness; that is limitless. It is a question of YOUR receptiveness, your surrender. Is He worthy of trust, of absolute trust? Then how child-like will you trust Him? How absolutely will you yield to Him? With what self-abandonment will you throw yourself upon Him? How far up toward the height of His perfect surrender will you climb? He will meet you where you meet Him. The only limit to His fullness is that which you impose in the limitation of your surrender. The more absolutely, sweepingly, irrevocably you yield yourself, time, talents, possessions, plans, hopes, aspirations, purposes, yea all to Jesus Christ, vouching yourself His loving bond-slave to do and suffer His will, the more you shall know the blessed fullness of His Spirit. You may have all the fullness you will make room for. James McConkey

I hope you will join me in seeking the fullness of the Spirit!

Revival: The Pathway to Revival

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Nancy DeMoss is one of the clear thinkers of our generation and has written on revival. Read and pray!

Our generation has been programmed to pursue happiness, wholeness, good feelings about ourselves, positive self-image, affirmation, and cures for our hurt feelings and damaged psyches. But God is not as interested in these ends as we are. He is more committed to making us holy than making us happy. And there is only one pathway to holiness—one road to genuine revival—and that is the pathway of humility or brokenness. Read more on Brokeness…

Forgetting to Remember

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Charles Spurgeon once reminded his parishioners of the many blessings that came to them through prayer. Though he has long since died, his sermon remains and continues to bless countless people. Here is a sample.

“The worldling may say this morning, “How absurd to think of taking little troubles to God.” Ah! it might be absurd to you, but to God’s children it is not. Though you were God’s prime minister, if you were not his child, you would have no right to take your private troubles to him; but God’s meanest child has the privilege of casting his care upon his Father, and he may rest assured that his Father’s heart will not disdain to consider even his mean affairs. Now let me think of the innumerable little things God has done for me. In looking back, my unbelief compels me to wonder at myself, that I should have prayed for such little things. My gratitude compels me to say, “I love the Lord, because he has heard those little prayers, and answered my little supplications, and made me blessed, even in little things which, after all, make up the life of man.”

This sermon lists seven areas of blessings that come through prayer. Read the rest of the sermon at path2prayer.com and be encouraged!

Take Away the Battlements!

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Apparently God’s ways are not our ways as we find in the following. We seek to be strong; He strives to bring us to a weakness in which He will be strong. Note the following:

“Take away her battlements; for they are not the Lord’s.” Jeremiah 5:10

Failure, the breaking down of men’s confidences, the going to pieces of men’s plans—failure means many things. One of the things which it means is this: that God will not let the soul hide behind any protection which He knows is insecure. His whole love binds Him to let the soul know its blunder before it is too late. . . . If you have known any such experience as that, you have been taken into one of the richest rooms of God’s schoolhouse, one of the rooms in which He makes His ripest and completest scholars. Oh, if our souls today could mount to the height of some such prayer as this: “Lord, if I am building around the prosperity of my life any battlements which are not Thine, any defences of deceit or injustice or selfishness, break down those battlements whatever pain it brings, however it may seem to leave my hopes exposed.”—Phillips Brooks.

I suspect many of us would be happier if we would happily accept God’s way of bringing prosperity!

Learn more on God’s way of victory at path2prayer.com.

Speaking of Humility

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Here is something worth pondering relative to humility. Wow. Takes the concept to a whole new level! What do you think? Read and be blessed.

“Humility is a great mystery to itself. It is the amazement of the redeemed soul before itself, or rather before Christ in itself. It may take the shape of modesty before men, or it may not; humility is not anything which we have in the sight or thought of other men at all. It is the soul’s attitude before God. . . . It can take very active, assertive, and even fiery shape in dealing with men. It is not timidity or nervousness. It is not shy, not embarrassed, not hesitant, not self-conscious, not ill at ease, not a seeker of back seats or mien of low shoulders and drooping head. Yet it is not self-sufficient in a proud and Stoic reserve, nor self-assertive in a public Pharisee fashion. It can never be had either by imitating the humble or by mortifying the flesh. Devotion is not humility, though humility is devout. It is only to be had by the mastery of the Cross which taketh away the self-wrapped guilt of the world.

“With humility goes patience as a supreme confession of faith. Do not think that patience is a way of bearing trouble only. It is a way of doing work—especially the true secret of not doing too much work. It is a way of carrying success. It is not renouncing will and becoming careless. It is an act of will. It is a piece of manhood. To part with will is to become a thing. It is not mere resignation or indifference, which often goes with despair and not faith. It is a form of energy, even when it curbs energy. It is the Christian form of bravery, and it has the valor often to be called cowardice. It is the form of energy that converts suffering, and even helplessness, into action. . . .

“It is not very often, comparatively, that the New Testament writers offer Christ as our example. But when they do, it is almost always in connection with His humility and patience and self-sacrificing love. It is His spirit, His faith and love, that are our example, not His conduct, not His way of life.

“Humility is a frame of perfect mind not possible except to faith. It is no more depression and poverty of spirit than it is loud self-depreciation. It rests on our deep sense of God’s unspeakable gift, on a deep sense of our sin as mastered by God, on a deep sense of the Cross as the power which won that victory. It is not possible where the central value of the Cross is forgotten, where the Cross is only the glorification of self-sacrifice instead of the atonement for sin. A faith that lives outside the atonement must lose humility, as so much Christian faith in a day like this has lost it, as so much worship has lost awe.

“It is very hard, unless we are really and inly broken with Christ on the Cross, to keep from making our self the center and measure of all the world. This happens even in our well-doing. We may escape from selfishness, but it is hard to escape from a subtle egotism which it is not quite fair to call selfish. This personal masterfulness of ours needs mastering. In many respects it is very useful, but it must go ere God in Christ is done with us. And it is mastered only by the Cross as the one atonement for sin.”—P. T. Forsyth, Christian Perfection.

Learn more about humility at path2prayer.com.

The Sin of Prayerlessness?

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Consider the following from Stephen Olford:

“It is my conviction that we are never going to have revival until God has brought the church of Jesus Christ to the point of desperation. As long as Christians people can trust religious organization, material wealth, popular preaching, shallow evangelistic crusades and promotion drives, there will never be revival. But when confidence in the flesh is smashed, and the church comes to the realization of her desperate wretchedness, blindness and nakedness before God, then and only then will God breathe in. Yes, there must be the point of desperation but there must also be the point of intercession. Oh, that God would bring us to this place of intercession! We cannot think or talk, let alone taste of revival, without intercessory prayer. Indeed, the reason for an unrevived church in the last analysis is the sin of prayerlessness.”

I think this is something worth praying about. What do you think?

Read more on revival at path2prayer.com

School of Prayer – 18: Commanding God?

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Andrew Murray makes the following intriguing statement:  “As God’s viceroy he (man) was to fill God’s place: himself subject to God, he was to keep all else in subjection to Him. It was the will of God that all that was to be done on earth should be done through him: the history of the earth was to be entirely in his hands.” 

Murray goes on to suggest that God still looks to us to fill the same “representative” role, and holds up prayer as the venue where this is especially true. In this connection, we think of Isaiah 45:11 where it says, “Concerning the work of my hands, you command Me!”  Do you agree with Murray’s conclusions? Read the rest of this chapter at path2prayer.com

School of Prayer – 17: Understanding God’s Power

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Andrew Murray considers a vexing challenge in prayer in the following words: “While prayer and faith are so simple that the new-born convert can pray with power, true Christian science finds in the doctrine of prayer some of its deepest problems. In how far is the power of prayer a reality? If so, how God can grant to prayer such mighty power? How can the action of prayer be harmonized with the will and the decrees of God? How can God’s sovereignty and our will, God’s liberty and ours, be reconciled?–these and other like questions are fit subjects for Christian meditation and inquiry.” 

Have you tried to reconcile God’s sovereignty and your will? How about God’s sovereignty and the will of many believers who are all praying at the same time? More than one person has stumbled over this matter of sovereignty and the power given through prayer. Speaking for myself, I can’t understand it, nor do I need to understand it! I only know that God is somehow able to specifically answer my requests and has done so countless times.  Not everyone is convinced however, and Andrew Murray’s conclusions are accordingly most helpful. Read them here: path2prayer.com

Asking Questions

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Luke 9:45 “But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him abut this saying.” 

The context of this verse is Jesus telling the disciples that He was going to be betrayed into the hands of men. As Matthew Henry points out, they had been dreaming of  a temporal kingdom and therefore resisted any suggestion of a different outcome. In spite of their resistance, Jesus continued to gently instruct them regarding his forthcoming death, but because His instruction went against their longed for aspirations, they chose not to ask further. Somehow the unwillingness to hear also resulted in an inability to hear. 

I wonder how often our own perceptions of what God is presently doing, or will do in the future, hinders our ability to recognize and understand His ongoing communication to us.  

I recall speaking with a couple who had not been successful in seeking to sell their home. At some point in the conversation I asked, “Have you asked God if it is His will that you sell your home?” “No,” came the quick response. “Why not?” I queried? “Because I don’t want to hear that it isn’t His will.” 

Today God is wanting to lead us into a deeper relationship with Himself, and communicate the deeper secrets of His Kingdom. The disciples, in their day, had an opportunity to understand what Jesus was facing and what the future held. It would have helped them endure the closing scenes of Christ’s life, and they could have sympathetically entered into what He was facing and been a great comfort to Him. Sadly, their fear kept them from understanding what Jesus was warning them about, or sympathetically entering into His struggles. I wonder, Are we doing any better in our day?

The Power of the Indwelling Spirit

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

One of my favorite authors is Gerhard Tersteegen. He lived in Germany in the late 1600s. You will understand why I enjoy him so much after you read the following quotation. I pray the Spirit’s indwelling brings the same blessed results which he describes!

““When the Spirit enters into the heart, He fills it entirely, so that the world finds no more room or place in it, because this Guest makes Himself sole Lord and Master of it. The first disciples and believers were so entirely taken possession of by this blissful dominion of the Pentecostal Spirit that they were no longer masters of their own tongues or any other member. They were compelled, as it were, to speak, even as the Spirit gave them utterance. They could not long speak according to their own judgment, knowledge, and learning. No! They were constrained to do and speak as the Holy Spirit would have them. Thus it is with every one with whom the Holy Spirit takes up His residence. He then experiences the blissful dominion of our Lord Jesus Christ in his heart. The Holy Spirit is then the scepter which is sent forth out of Zion into our hearts. He takes possession of all our will and desire, all our actions and deportment, all our inclinations and affections and makes us entirely subject to Him. He dwells in our hearts like a king in the realm of his palace. He ordains and accomplishes in us that which is pleasing and acceptable to Him. He creates in us another principle and beginning of life. He becomes to the soul, as it were, the life of her life. He renews her daily more and more in the image of Him that created her, and forms her into a temple of truth and righteousness-yea, to a living temple of God in Jesus Christ. All the glory of earthly kings and princes are only vain shadows and child’s-play compared with the single Pentecostal heart which is deemed worthy of receiving the Sprit of Jesus Christ in such plenitude.”

Has God done a great work in your lately? Write me and let me now about it.

Find more from Gerhard Tersteegen at path2prayer.com