So my little boy is climbing on the sofa next to me and appears to have lost interest in ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’. He was on the desk next to me a moment ago, and I’m doing that ‘strategic ignoring’ thing. How long can I blog for before he says in that upward-rising tone: “Duaaaddddeeeeee!”?
There we go – not long! Now I have a moral dilemma – do I respond to his cry or do I carry on blogging? I have given him ten minutes, and we’ll go outside somewhere. My wife is away today, as I guess most people in church noticed this morning when I was trying to lead the meeting!
I am bowled over at the moment every time I pick up ‘Why Revival Tarries’. This book is all about timing, as well. Ravenhill gives a blistering message in every chapter; a real old-time revival preacher. Some Christians don’t like being shouted at. They don’t want a challenging message. It’s very important to get the balance here. It says in 1 Peter that fervent love covers over all sins. So we’re called to fervently love the preacher who is shouting at us (in frustration, perhaps, at their own impoverished and weak prayer life), but also we’re called to fervently love THE LOST.
And this is where I’m bowled over by Ravenhill. He says that a million souls a week are tumbling into hell. What does Ravenhill say about how we will be judged as believers? (A long sermon but an awesome one that I read in tears). He comments that William Booth wanted the final two weeks’ training for Salvation Army soldiers to be suspended over hell, and viewing the lost souls in torment there.
I think the best prayer that we can pray is “Give me souls, Lord”. Foxe prayed: “Give me Scotland or I die.” David Brainerd prayed himself sick and into an early grave, but he saw an amazing revival amongst the American Indians. Ravenhill quotes him here:
He was a young American who died at the age of 28. All he possessed was a cowhide that he wore with a rope tied around it. He used to ride over the Susquehanna River to follow the Indians. David had a severe case of tuberculosis and only weighed about 95 pounds. I remember reading his diary once. He said, “I got up this morning and the Indians were still committing adultery and drinking and beating their tom-toms and shouting like hell itself. I prayed from a half hour after sunrise to a half hour before sunset. There was nowhere to pray in the Indian camp. I went into the woods and knelt in the snow. It was up to my chin.” No, he didn’t have a heater with him or anything else. He was just there in the frigid snow, tuberculosis and all. He continued, “I wrestled in prayer until a half hour before sunset, and I could only touch the snow with the tips of my fingers. The heat of my body had melted the snow.” What amazing intercessory prayer!
Right, now Ethan’s climbed up onto my lap. My time here is limited. Let me finish by quoting from Ravenhill. Ethan’s trying to balance on one of my knees and not having much success!
Fortunately, it is much easier to get the Father’s attention than it is for my boy to get my attention! Signing out with this quotation:
There are two indispensable factors to successful Christian living. They are vision and passion. Men battle mountainous seas of human, carnal criticism and storm the flinty heights of devilish opposition to plant the cross of Christ amidst the habitations of cruelty. Why? Because they have caught a vision and contracted a passion. ..
Friend, if you were as good at soul-cultivation as you are in developing your business, you would be a menace to the devil, but if you were as poor in business matters as you are in soul, you would be begging for bread….
Charlie Peace [listening to a priest reading about hell before he went to the scaffold]: “if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worth while living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!”
My reader, because the Church has lost Holy Ghost fire, men go to hell-fire! We need a vision of a holy God. God is essentially holy. The cherubim and seraphim were not crying “omnipotent! omnipotent is the Lord” nor “omnipresent! and omniscient!” is the Lord, but ‘Holy! Holy! Holy!”…
To wait tremblingly before this thrice-holy God before we leave home for the day’s work would be a mighty soul-stimulant. He who fears God fears no man. He who kneels before God will stand in any situation.
Better go. Be blessed!