God’s Power And Holy Fire For Our World-Sized Task
By Wesley L. Duewel
There is no limit to what God longs to do if we can only stay humble enough and hungry enough. I believe that He is wanting to quicken our consciences and call us anew to reach our generation for God. I wish to plead for a new vision of God, a new touch of fire and a new commitment to the unfinished task.
A New Vision of God
Thank God for all that we have realized of His graciousness, goodness, and holiness. But we need a new vision of God. We have understood too little of His holiness and His power. We need to see God in all His divine dimensions. Who is sufficient for this age? Only God. We need to clear our vision of the clouds of our finite involvements. We need to see God as He really is – the God of a great creation who is interested in every man, woman, boy, and girl in this whole wide world. We need to see Him as a God of repeated sovereign, holy intervention on behalf of His people. We need the haze of our doubts and questionings to be blown away by the wind of God.
The God who has a plan for the world has a plan for each one of us. He has a plan for our involvement in His worldwide cause. We need to see again God high and lifted up, until we can see our place in the plan and the purpose of God. He plans for us to be more involved in Calvary’s harvest than ever before. We must stop measuring God by the failures of our past. We must even stop measuring God by the prayer answers and providences which we have known hitherto. They have been so glorious. But the past is only God’s sample of what He is longing to do for us. If we become so hungry, so humble, and reach out to God, He wants to reveal Himself anew. We are living in a generation that knows too little about God. They will not understand God until they see His power in your life and mine. Oh, that God would somehow strip away the veils from our eyes and reveal the secrets of His spiritual power.
We need a new vision of the God of prayer. World intercessors must assume a greater role than ever before. The centuries of covenant history in the Old Testament and sacred history in the New Testament have demonstrated a prayer-hearing and a prayer-answering God. Why pray we so little when God has proved His faithfulness so often? History is punctuated by divine interventions when God’s people have sought God’s face. God is keeping His covenant. God is fulfilling His promises. Oh, for grace to reach out and trust Him for greater things than we have ever known before. If any generation ought to have a realization of the greatness and the nearness of God, it is our generation. With the history of missions behind us, with so many great testimonies of lives transformed by God’s grace, of impossible situations yielding to the power of united prayer, oh, what a day to prove God! What a day to see God at work!
We have world-sized tasks to complete before Jesus comes. But, oh, the tragedy of our small souls. If any generation needed a new vision of God, we need it today. We must know in livingreality the dynamic day-to-dayworking of the power of God in our lives. The Holy Spirit must be more than a doctrine. We need more than a second definite experience of God’s grace. We must experience the power of the living God surging through all our lives out to the world in need. We need a new vision of God. We need a new word from God. We need a new experience of God. God wants to take us, like Isaiah, into the temple, alone, and there be unveiled before our eyes – until in the hush of His holiness, His graciousness, and His nearness our hearts are melted before Him.
We must see Him anew. The harvest fields must feel the impact of holy men of God looking, like Moses, at the face of God. God’s voice is calling to us today: “Behold your God! Behold the God of answered prayer! Behold what prayer can do! Behold what faith can do! Behold how God can lead!” God wants us to lift our eyes from the plane of the natural to the plane of the supernatural.
Let us thank God for all that He has done, but let us look at the world that is waiting; let us look at the Christ who is beckoning; and let us look at the God who is waiting to be gracious to us with new revelations of His power.
A New Touch of Fire
We need a new touch of fire! The early church was sealed by the fire of the Holy Spirit. It was revival flame that swept across the city of Jerusalem. It was revival flame that leaped across to Samaria. It was revival flame that like a prairie fire began to leap from country to country and place to place. Brothers and sisters, the church of Jesus Christ moves too slowly unless it is living in the environment of a continuing revival flame.
We cannot do without that holy fire today. We need fire-baptized people whose souls are aflame with a holy passion, who have felt the touch of God, to whom have come the seraphim with the fire from off the altar and set their souls aflame. We need that cleansing. We need that empowering flame. We need the glory of God’s Shekinah to settle upon us again. There is only one way to have it, and that is to pay the price – the price of hunger and the price of prayer.
Over and over, the fiery cloud descended upon the tent of meeting when Moses went outside the camp to get alone with God. The fire came down from heaven on the altar as David prayed. The fire descended from heaven on the offering as Solomon prayed. Watch Elijah, his soul aflame for God, lift up his eyes to heaven and beseech God and see the holy fire descend until the unbelieving pagans cried out, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” (1 Kgs. 18:39).
With the shortness of the ages pressing in upon us, and Christ’s return nearing, there is only one way we can reach our generation for God and fulfill the task that Christ has for us. We must keep aflame for God. The fire came down upon the Upper Room and settled upon the head of every one of the 120 as they met and tarried before God. Prayer is the only way to get the fire of God down upon us today.
Without God’s holy fire, we go through the mere routine, the duty, and the busy life and mechanics of modern missions. Without God’s holy fire, evangelism only has decisions, it doesn’t have mighty transformations. Without God’s Shekinah glory, the world ignores us. There is no substitute for the fire of God in our work! We must have a new touch of fire. We must have cleansed workers aflame for God.
We cannot afford anything that dampens that fire. We cannot afford anything that will hinder that flame from burning its brightest. We cannot afford human bigness without divine depth. We cannot afford the confusion and the bustle of an unanointed busyness. There is so much to be done, and if we are not careful we become too involved in our activities.
There is no substitute for the power of God. There is no substitute for the Throne of Grace. We dare not be busier than we are blessed. We dare not attempt more than we can saturate with prayer. We dare not be more active than we are anointed. We dare not substitute our training or our brilliance for fire-touched glory. We dare not be satisfied with growth without revival. We dare not multiply our projects unless we also multiply the power.
Will you join me in seeking constantly for a new touch of the fire of God, a new descent of God’s Shekinah? It is the pillar of fire that must lead us on. We need mighty and ever new outpourings of God’s Holy Spirit. Oh, that God would descend upon us and make us His instruments for only His glory. It is not “by might” – the term there suggests the might of bigness and numbers. It is not “by power” – that word implies the strength of great personal power. It is nothing that we have in ourselves, nothing that we can contribute. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6).
A New Commitment to the Unfinished Task
Lastly, we need a new commitment to the unfinished task. As the fire of God swept over the soul of Isaiah, he overheard the voice of God – that holy voice which had been echoing over the centuries. But Isaiah had not been prepared to hear it. God always has a message if people have ears to hear. Zedekiah came to the prophet and asked, “Is there any word from the Lord?” The prophet said, “There is” (Jer. 37:17). There is always a word from the Lord. God, give us ears to hear it! You can know God’s will today. We have no right to go forward unless we know that holy will.
Children, God has a word to you. I know how deeply God called me when I was just a child. And I want to tell you children it is not too early to begin your prayer lists, to begin saving and giving for missions, to help His Gospel reach the ends of the earth. You can become involved in missions, children.
Young people, God has a word for you. God deserves your best, and God deserves your whole life – not just the latter portions of it. Don’t dissipate your powers, don’t dissipate your youth by anything that is second best. Are you willing to pay the price of preparation? Are you willing, young people, to volunteer for the harvest? If there is any generation that God is calling to be involved, it is our generation.
Fathers and mothers, pastors and laymen, how can we become more involved for God? What can you do to become more deeply involved? To enlist others? Take someone along with you; let them pray with you; let them sense the burden of your heart. Fire kindles fire. Burden kindles burden. Vision kindles vision. Are you prepared to be God’s leaven, God’s instrument, God’s nucleus to spread the holy fire?
Grandfathers and grandmothers, keep living for God. My senior brothers and sisters, keep busy for God.
Brothers and sisters, use your time for God. You will thank God through eternity for every prayer you have prayed and every hour you have invested for God. Join in prayer and in hunger for souls. Join in renewing your vow to God. I plead for your prayer. God’s work is suffering from the lack of prayer. As much as there is anything in us, let us give ourselves to God, to souls, and to prayer. Oh, that God would somehow renew our vision! Oh, that somehow He would give us a new touch of fire! Oh, that somehow He would send us out with a new commitment to the unfinished task for the sake of God and souls!
– Adapted from the message Wesley Duewel delivered at the time of his installation as president of The Oriental Missionary Society (OMS) on June 29, 1969. Used by permission. OMS is now known as One Mission Society.