Who Will Be Part Of Today's Praying Remnant?
By M. Winterburn
There is no more urgent theme on the hearts of true Christians today than that of revival. In church history, revivals have visited mankind through methods that were varied. The Lord has used a thousand different agencies, and His ways have been past finding out.
But there have been spiritual principles which have been constant, principles which could be observed in every revival in every age, generation or country. One of these principles is that the Lord always moves the situation from dearth to plenitude, from death to life, from worldliness to holiness – by a spiritual remnant, a company of people which is spiritually prepared for the divine visitation.
The doctrine of The Remnant comes into prominence at a time of religious decline when the going is hard and the odds are against God's people. The Old Testament has 57 references on this subject, and they are all found between the books of First Kings and Zechariah. This is significant.
This period was one of spiritual decline. The nation which emerged at the Red Sea and gained ground rapidly through the leadership of Joshua, the nation which reached influence and glory through David and Solomon, now started on the downward trail.
Idolatry, compromise, heresy and affiliation with worldly powers, offered competition against the way of the Lord, and the gradual fall proceeded which culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem. But God has ever worked out His will through His remnants, and today they are the center of His interest. And always as of old, today God is working in sovereign grace and power in our nation and the world through His interceding, willing and obedient remnants.
"The poor of the flock that waited upon Me knew that it was the Word of the Lord" (Zech. 11:11).
The remnant is a company of people. We are in danger of fastening historical developments to individuals rather than companies. God is interested in companies: He revives through fellowship. He may use individuals as spearheads and leaders, but behind them there is a praying, witnessing, sacrificing company. Behind Peter in the revival at Pentecost there were a hundred and nineteen others filled with the Holy Ghost. As Peter preached, they created the atmosphere for the sermon.
The eighteenth century revival that visited Britain was not a one-man effort. Though John Wesley was undoubtedly the apostle of the hour, there were multitudes with him as preachers, class leaders and prayer warriors. What about John Nelson, Thomas Walsh, John Fletcher and a mighty following host?
It is often said today that we need a man to set the land on fire for God. It is very easy for God's people generally to escape their obligations to the Holy Ghost by committing the thought of revival to one man. A 'one man company' is not in God's order: He wants a holy remnant who will work together, move together, pray together and witness together.
Who will be part of today's praying remnant?