Keeping A Revival Focus
By Lois J. Stucky
If you have turned to this page from reading the story of the Canadian Revival, you will be feeling something of the joy of this gracious work of God's grace in our day. The half cannot be told even in a first-hand report of it from the platform as we heard it at "Heart-Cry for Revival" conference, and certainly it cannot be told in the limited report we have space to print in Herald of His Coming. But our hearts should grasp enough to be thrilled at the greatness and goodness and graciousness of our God as displayed in the blessed work wrought in the Canadian Revival.
How wonderfully is the heart of God revealed in revival! It is in His heart that revival originates. "He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Oh, what a heart He has for mankind! We humans, who are born in sin and proceed to live in rebellion against Him, deserve nothing but His condemnation. We receive instead the unspeakable blessings of His perfect and fervent love that knows no limit! He saves all who will call upon Him for salvation and then He works faithfully to make us like His own dear Son. He is not satisfied to have us dwelling afar off. He longs to bring us closer to Himself, to have us abiding in the fullness of His blessing. God wants nothing between our soul and Himself. God loves us too much to be indifferent to our being cheated by Satan and by sin. Separating sin must be dealt with. He does not want us to skim the surface of the Christian life and miss the intimate, lovely life of close fellowship with Himself. He does not want us to have to face the disaster of seeing life's works one day burn up as wood, hay and stubble, because they were not wrought by the Spirit of God working through us.
How gladly He responds to those who call upon Him for revival! Thank God for those who do so. They enable God to pour out blessings that flow to the ends of the earth. Brother McLeod, whom God used to set things in motion in the Canadian revival, is a humble servant of God, and his congregation, in his words, was an "average" congregation. But Brother McLeod was a man with insight enough to see the need and with vision enough to know God has the answer, and a heart to pursue the answer.
Some of the congregation had to interrupt their nights of sleep to fill their slot on the prayer wheel. Deacons had to be willing to give time on Saturday nights for prayer, when they might be listening to the reports of the ball games of the day. The congregation had to forgo hurrying home from church on Sunday nights to settle before a television. These people came to mean business with God. Their focus was on revival. Is this beyond any pastor, beyond any church? Not if we are willing to pay the price.
Some who are reading this may be lone revival pray-ers in a local church, or maybe there are only one or two others who have this burden and vision. Brother McLeod would say, "You're on the right track. Stick with it!" and seek to interest others. Perseverance pays off. We never know how near revival might be. We do not know all God is doing in preparation that we are unable to see.
"The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple" (Malachi 3:1). Who knows when what begins as an ordinary day will become the extraordinary day when God breaks in? Keep faithful.
Keep obedient as well. A seemingly small act of obedience could well be the turning of the knob that opens the door to roomfuls of blessing. God help us to be sensitive to the least thing He wants us to do. Perhaps this was the thinking in Brother Moore's mind, when he told us time and again, "The least thing God wants you to do is more important than anything else in the world." Might we "hearken diligently" to that gentle voice of the Holy Spirit guiding us toward revival. God forgive us for the times we miss that voice because our ear is tuned to some other "station."
We must keep focused on God's promises. How full of hope and how faith-building God's Word is! This is a sin-darkened and foreboding day, with ominous, threatening clouds hanging low. But it is in the stormy sky that rainbows often appear, as the sun shines through the clouds and the rain. God's promises are like rainbows giving us hope and expectation in spite of stormy conditions. The covenant God made when He gave the first rainbow has stood firm through centuries, even millenniums. We serve a faithful God!
And so, God is faithful to His Covenant in 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
However, God says "IF..." IF we hearken, there will be healing. But IF we do not hearken--instead of healing there will be sickness, perhaps even sickness unto death!
Oh, along with faith and focus on revival, might we take very seriously to heart the message of Brother Daniel beginning on page one! There is before each of us, before our nations, the choice, offered by a gracious and pardoning God. Repentance--or Judgment.
He is a holy God and must be faithful to His holy nature. Sin must be put away. Might the cry of Brother Daniel echo and re-echo in our hearts and in our prayers, "Oh, God, give us America!" And we add, "America, America, God shed His grace on thee!"
There is not a Christian in the world but who can substitute the name of his or her country for America in that heart-cry. The whole world is sick and in need of revival among Christians and the evangelization of the lost.
A goal of Herald of His Coming from early days has been, "World evangelization through world revival!" It was reluctance to go soul-winning that focused Brother McLeod's attention on the need of revival in the church. Revival always results in fresh burden and zeal and power to win the lost. Let us not lose sight of that fact as we intercede for revival.
Revival will sharpen the cry from our heart as well, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" Too often the reason our cry for Christ to return is feeble or missing altogether, is our lack of love and enthrallment with our blessed Saviour. God forgive us and grant a renewal of fervent, first love where needed!
We thank God for the impetus toward revival that "Heart-cry for Revival" Conference was to our own hearts. Lord willing, we will share more messages from the conference in future issues of Herald of His Coming for the benefit of those who wanted to attend but were unable to do so. There was much good ministry from the Word of God at the conference. We esteemed and benefited from the speakers. We learned about revival not only from their messages, but from their sweet, humble spirit. Thank God for them!
As you read the articles taken from the messages of these servants of God, pray for the messengers. It is costly to minister about revival. Only the ministers know how costly. Pray they will be strengthened out of God's "glorious riches" to fulfil all God desires to do through them, as they walk and minister in the spirit of brokenness, in the spirit of the cross.