God Has His Men
By Leonard Ravenhill (1907 – 1993)
Let no Christian’s heart fail him because it seems that the enemy has come in like a flood, that the voice of the prophet is not heard in the land. God has His men hidden. They will come forth without price tags, with nothing to sell, nothing to promote but His message, nothing to organize, nothing to propagate but “holiness unto the Lord.”
John the Baptist came at a critical hour in the history of Israel. The parched souls sought him in the heat-laden desert. Remember again the stirring and, I think, stinging words of Professor Harold Kuhn of Asbury Seminary, “Christianity was not served to the world on a silver platter; it was born into a sophisticated world with a totalitarian power over it.”
England, dead under the teaching of Deism and thickly foul with corrupt politics, hardly offered loving arms of embrace to the Oxford scholar, Wesley. Injustice, unequal taxation, vice, drinking, etc., were all at a premium at Wesley’s entree. To the nation dead in politics and with icicles on the pulpits and snowmen in them, Wesley brought the torch of Spirit-anointed preaching and the nation melted before him.
The cultists and purveyors of false doctrines, with millions to spend on scattering their false doctrines worldwide, offer us greater challenges than Wesley or Finney had, but not greater than our God is able to deal with. Our present evangelism offers men a change of destiny – biblical regeneration offers men a new Spirit-born personality, then destiny.
Revival is the Lord’s doing and is marvelous in our eyes. Wet-eyed, heartbroken revivalists produce wet-eyed, heartbroken sinners at the feet of a holy God. “True revival,” said dear Dr. Tozer, “changes the moral climate of a community.” Men like John the Baptist burned their names on the history of the world.
I say again, the cost of getting near to the heart of God, hearing the voice of God, and doing the will of God, is great. God cannot be hurried. The back side of the desert, lonely, poor, uninviting, quiet, is the place where the bush burns, where the voice is heard, where the vision is given, where the marriage to His will takes place.
From the school of prayer, from the desert place, men fired in the furnace of revelation and coveting only strength to do His perfect will, emerge to upset nations and deliver the people. The school of the prophets is never overcrowded. There is no known curriculum. God shapes the man to suit the hour. One simple factor is obvious in them all, they are all lonely men, private men, passionate men, powerful men, persecuted men. They know that they have to bleed to bless.
Lord, Send Us Revivalists!
At the moment, we are a broken nation, broken financially, morally, and spiritually. If we were half as spiritual as we think we are, we would be going to the house of the Lord in sackcloth with a handful of furnace ashes to anoint our unworthy heads. But we still play church. We still delight in shallow preaching and offer shallower praying. Our sackcloth and ashes would be less conspicuous than Isaiah “walking naked and barefoot” (as a slave) for three years as a sign (Isa. 20:2-3).
Jeremiah mourned the sin of the people. His castigations of their iniquity cost him a spell in the stocks, the inside of a prison, and the misery of sleeping at the bottom of a muddy well. He knew better than to say, “peace, peace,” when there was no peace. He alone knew the pending judgments of God. He sat alone because of the wrath of God (Jer. 15:17).
Oh for men who will wait upon the Lord, hear His voice, get a baptism of His power and an authority to deliver His message to a sick church and a dying world.
We have labored in the flesh too long. We have interpreted success by material gain – bigger buildings, bigger crowds, bigger offerings as proofs of His favor. We have had weak preachers too long – God give us giants! We have had promoters too many, Lord send us revivalists. We have played evangelism with a hundred gimmicks; Lord give us, in this dark hour of human history, some John the Baptists to burn and shine, some Knox to say, “Give me Scotland, or England, or America, or I die.”
Revive Thy work, O Lord.
Give Pentecostal showers.
The glory shall be ALL Thine own.
The blessing, Lord, be ours.
– Excerpted from America Is Too Young To Die by Leonard Ravenhill. Copyright © 1979, 2012 by Offspring Publishers. Used by permission.