The Pastor And Revival
By Harold Vaughan
“There is more moral persuasion in a good man’s life than in the highest efforts of an orator’s genius.” – Thomas Chalmers
“A man set on fire is an apostle of his age. ...Tell me, is your ministry a burning and shining light, or a smoking wick, slowly dying out to ashes? …It is a strange custom that we should supply a minister with a glass of water; if only we could supply him with a bonfire in the pulpit, a spiritual bonfire. We need the dynamic of a flaming ministry that will set the church on fire.” – Samuel M. Zwemer
“Revivals are among the charter rights of the church. ...A revival means a heartbroken pastor. A revival means a church on its knees confessing its sins – the sins of the individual and the church – confessing the sins of the times and of the community.” – E. M. Bounds
Godliness with contentment is great gain, but contentment apart from an obvious sense of God’s presence is a tragedy. As ministers we must do more than put in time, more than put out fires, more than just get by, more than maintain, more than make a fair show in the flesh, more than hang on until retirement.
Every pastor has a variety of duties to which he must be faithful. Chief among these are prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). But your primary task is your own holiness. Walking in step with the Spirit is the prerequisite for experiencing the power of God. As you commune with God, pay attention to your sanctified desires. “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psa. 37:4). When you are filled with the Spirit, the things you want are what God wants. God gives direction to His servants through holy longings and aspirations.
Leadership Is Influence
As an under shepherd, you are not called merely to “wait on your congregation;” you must lead them. Too often the shepherds are following the sheep instead of the sheep following the shepherd. It is a serious and awesome obligation to be responsible for a group of people. Leadership is influence, and people are influenced more by passion than position.
…Pastor, the best thing you can do to promote revival in your church is to be revived personally. J. D. Drysdale said, “We accomplish more by our radiations than by our exhortations.” I remember a prayer meeting where a brother prayed, “Lord, bless the preacher. Lord, bless the preacher. Because if You bless the pastor, we will get blessed too!” Life touches life.
Jonathan Edwards recorded these words as God was preparing him for the great revival of 1739: “I rode out into the wood and in a retired place dismounted. There I had a view of the glory of the Son of God – a view which continued for about an hour, which kept me for the greater part in tears. I felt an urgency of soul to be emptied, to lie at His feet; to be filled with Christ and Christ alone.” Here was a man possessed with a consciousness of the divine that created within him a strong confidence in the power of God.
Our mission is to permeate the courts of time with the atmosphere of eternity. In order for this to happen, we must operate under the potent anointing of the Holy Spirit. What happens “in” us determines what happens “through” us.
Away with the theology that puts God out of business! Away with the ministerial complacency that does not stir a person to pursue God with intensity! Away with the all-too-common addiction to the mediocre!
Brother, look to the Lord in faith for a season of reawakening. Heaven’s resources are waiting to be appropriated. You may have suffered a setback. The devil may have launched an all-out attack on you, your family, and church. Maybe you are profoundly discouraged through your own failure or circumstances beyond your control. You do not have to remain under that juniper tree! God’s grace is greater than anything hell may throw at you. If you have been knocked down, do not stay down. Get on your knees, get clean, get filled, get up, and get going!
You can pray for, preach for, and prepare for the invasion of the Spirit both personally and corporately. Someone asked Alan Redpath if he thought the church was out of touch with people in his generation. He replied, “No, we are not out of touch with our generation. Our problem is we are out of touch with God!” As you get in touch with God your heart will be quickened with promises from His Word. Lay hold on these promises in faith. Like Jacob, refuse to let go until you receive God’s best.
You may not be a pastor, but he desperately needs prayers and support from his flock. There is not a more difficult and demanding assignment on earth. Do everything in your power to encourage and assist God’s man.
– Taken from Revival in Our Time: Outside the Box – Inside the Book! by Harold Vaughan. Copyright © 2011 by Harold D. Vaughan. Used by permission of Christ Life Publications. www.christlifemin.org