I've been listening a lot to Keith Green today, thought that some might enjoy this article written by Leonard Ravenhill, Keith's pastor, after Keith's death in 1982.
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, Keith Green had one thing in common. They both saw the gates of hell. Booth saw them from the outside. Keith them from the inside. Keith had been to the bottom of barrel. He'd felt the horror and the misery. He was a prisoner and nobody could break the chains. But God rescued him! "Religion" couldn't do it. Vows couldn't do it. Psychology couldn't do it. But Jesus did it!
Keith had a radical New Birth experience plus a Baptism of Fire and became a spiritual revolutionary. God took him, cleansed him, occupied him, and anointed him.
Keith hungered to know about those heroes who moved their generation for God and he followed in their steps. He had a holy zeal and a purity I've seen in very few. I don't think Keith was preoccupied with the gospel Christ as much as he was with the person of Christ. I think that was his consuming passion. He wasn't preacher. He was a crusader. And he poured out the inner passion of his soul through the vibrant lyrics of his songs.
In that great Final Day, many will rise up and call blessed. He bowed his whole being before the One who said, "To bring fire on earth I come," and by Him he was ignited--his heart an altar and God's love the flame.
I'm in my 83rd year, but it doesn't necessarily mean I'm wiser or stronger. It doesn't mean I've done more. It's not the stretch of life that matters. It's the depth of life. It's not how long we live. It's how we live. Keith was a man who seemed to live on' the edge of eternity. And he was ready to step into it.
It can truly be said of Keith that, "He being dead, yet speaketh." And he will speak right on to the generations beyond us. I wish we had ten thousand people like him. pray that many will catch a vision from his life-and trust and obey.
The words of my favorite hymn paint a portrait of my dear friend Keith. I thank God Keith ever came my way.
I would the precious time redeem,
And longer live for this alone,
To spend, and to be spent, for them
Who have not yet my Savior known:
Fully on these my mission prove.
And only breathe, to breathe Thy love.
My talents, gifts, and graces, Lord,
Into Thy blessed hands receive;
And let me live to preach Thy word,
And let me to Thy glory live;
My every sacred moment spend
In publishing the sinners' Friend.
Enlarge, inflame, and fill my heart
With boundless charity divine;
So shall I all my strength exert,
And love them with a zeal like Thine;
And lead them to Thy open side,
The sheep for whom their Shepherd died.
Charles Wesley, 1707-1788