Preparing The Way For Pentecostal Power And Fire
From a message by G. Campbell Morgan after his visit to the great Welsh Revival in 1904,
reporting to the congregation at Westminster Chapel in London.
What shall we do in the presence of this great movement? Imitate it? Imitation will be fatal. Let no man come back and attempt to start anywhere in London, meetings on the lines of those held in Wales, and for this simple reason: that no man started them there. If somewhere here or there should break out some great manifestation such as this, then God grant we be ready to fall in line. You cannot imitate this kind of thing.
What shall we do? If we cannot imitate, we can discover the principles. What are they?
First, let us listen for the Holy Spirit, confess Christ, be absolutely at His disposal. Oh, but you say to me, are not we all that? Well, I do not know. God help us to find out for ourselves. I think we are in terrible danger of listening to the Spirit, and when His voice speaks to us, quenching Him.
You say, something moved me to speak to that man about his soul, but I did not like to. That is how revival is stopped. Speak to him. Listening to the Spirit, confessing Christ openly, being absolutely at His disposal.
Let us in our church work not attempt to imitate revival, but let us prayerfully take hold of every organization and every method, and strengthen it. Strengthen it how? By seeing to it that through the organization the Spirit of God has right of way. Dear Sunday school teacher, bring your class into a new realm, and instead of treating it as a company of boys and girls you care for very much, that you teach, treat it as a company of souls to be saved. Begin to try and teach along that line.
Instead of treating our congregations as congregations to be instructed ever in holy things, treat them as men and women who are to be persuaded to holy things, and consecration, and Jesus Christ.
And in order to the doing of all this, what we supremely need is that we ourselves should be at the end of ourselves, that we should dare to abandon ourselves with some amount of passion to our work. Oh, we have been too "Icily regular, faultily faultless, splendidly null."
What we do need is the abandonment of ourselves to the great truths we know so well, to the great forces that indwell. Let us "strengthen the things that remain."
And all of us – shall we not turn ourselves – ministers and staff and officers and all the members – and shall we not say at the least let us take up our work and make it full with new devotion and life. At the least let us take hold of the thing that lies closest, and put into it the passion of a great devotion. We can begin there.
Needs of the Church
The church needs first to set itself to get things out of the way for God. What things? I do not know. All the things that are in His way: your habit that you know is unholy; your method of business that will not bear the light of day; your unloving heart toward a church member. You know what these things are. They are in God's way. They must be cleared out. That is the first thing.
There may be other things in God's way. Any organization in church life that does not make for the salvation of men is a fungus growth and the sooner we drop it off, the better. I know churches where classrooms are so tremendously full there is no room for a prayer meeting.
Are we ready to put things out of the way for God? I think we are. I think that if God manifests Himself and men begin to be saved, there is not a social we will keep. I do not think there is any bazaar coming on that will hinder it! If there is anything, we must be prepared to sweep everything out for God to have right of way. That is the attitude the church must be prepared to take.
Earnest, Constant Prayer
There is nothing more important than the saving of men, and when the church is ready, God will come. We need then to wait upon Him in earnest, constant prayer.
Oh, brothers, sisters, pray; pray alone; pray in secret; pray together; and pray out of a sense of the sin and sorrow all around us. It is so easy to be familiar with these things until they have lost their power to touch us.
Oh, the sin and the sorrow of the world! May God lay it upon our hearts as a burden. And out of that agony let us begin to pray and go forward the moment He opens the door and indicates the way. Let's be ready for God!