By B.J. Funk –
The Holy Spirit is so amazing! He is always fulfilling his main purpose of pointing to Jesus. As Oswald Chambers says, “The Holy Spirit is the One who makes real in you all that Jesus did for you.”
I am rejuvenated as I dive into my many resources on the Spirit, as I did in the late seventies. Using several guides, I go again and again to Catherine Marshall’s wonderful book, The Helper. Why? Well, I believe the Holy Spirit will play a vital part in the upcoming and yet unforeseen revival. The following story is from her book.
You probably know the name, Dwight L. Moody. Moody Bible Institute in Chicago was named for him. He was a great success as an evangelist in 1871. His tabernacle drew the largest congregations in Chicago. But according to Moody’s own estimate of those years, he was a “great hustler” and his work was being done largely in the energy of the flesh.
Two humble Free Methodist women used to attend those meetings and sit on the front row. Moody could not help seeing that they were praying during most of his services. Finally, he spoke to the women about it.
“Yes,” they admitted “We have been praying for you.”
“Why me? Why not for the unsaved?” the evangelist said, a bit perturbed. One of them answered. “Because you need the power of the Spirit.” After some weeks of this, Mr. Moody invited the women to his office to talk about it. “You spoke of power for service,” he prodded them. “I thought I had it. I wish you would tell me what you mean.” So, these two ladies told Moody what they knew about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then the three prayed together. And the women left.
Moody wrote, “From that hour there came a great hunger in my soul. I really felt that I did not want to live if I could not have this power for service.”
One late autumn day in 1871 Dwight L. Moody was in New York walking up Wall Street. Suddenly, in the midst of the bustling crowds, his prayer was answered: the power of God fell on him so overwhelmingly that he knew he must get off the street. Spotting a house he recognized, Moody knocked on the door and asked if he might have a room by himself for a few hours. Alone there, such joy came upon him that “at last he had to ask God to withhold His hand, lest he die on that very spot from joy!”
From that hour, Moody’s ministry was never the same. Dwight L. Moody lived another 28 years. His work continues today through Moody Bible Institute, the Moody Press, and other avenues that carry his faith.
We think today’s troubles are bad, and they are. However, Catherine Marshall writes, “Christianity was born into a world of trouble. The Roman world of the first century was awash in a rising tide of demoralization and evil. Today, we can see thought-provoking parallels between the period of the decline of the Roman Empire and our own time.”
Outpourings of the Holy Spirit have five common elements, according to The Helper. 1.) Revival usually comes from the common people. 2.) The gospel is made easy to understand. 3.) There is love and joy in huge amounts. 4.) Music plays a large part – new songs and hymns are born. 5.) There is moral and ethical reform.
Furthermore, always the Spirit comes when evil has been rampant, men and women were depressed and in bondage, and the fires of faith burn low. Can you see our Society, and indeed our world, wrapped in the cloak of these three situations?
But there is good news. Jesus knew how much we would need the Helper during these difficult times. “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you,” (John 16:7).
Won’t you join me in praying for a move of the Spirit that tugs at our hearts for revival? Get out those books on the Holy Spirit, dust them off, and find the treasures God has for you through the Amazing Holy Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful.