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Many of God¬ís children are longing for Jesus to come in Person, visibly to lead on His hosts to victory. But ever since that wonderful morning forty-five years ago when He baptized me with the Holy Ghost and fire, purifying my heart and revealing Himself within me, I have felt that He meant to win His triumphs through dead men and women--dead to sin, to the world, to its prizes and praises. He would triumph through men and women all alive to Him--filled with His Spirit, indwelt by His presence, burning with His love, glad with His joy, enduring with His patience, thrilled with His hope, daring with His self-renunciation and courage, being consumed with His zeal.
Jesus would triumph through men and women all conquering with His faith, rejoicing in "the fellowship of His sufferings," and gladly made "conformable unto His death." I expect the true Vine to show forth all its strength, its beauty, its fruitfulness through the branches.
I do not expect the love of the Father, the eternal intercession of the risen and enthroned Son, the wise and loving and ceaseless ministry of conviction, conversion, regeneration and sanctification of the Holy Ghost, the prayers, and preachings and sacrifice and holy living of the soldiers of Jesus and saints of God, to fail. Jesus is even now leading on His hosts to victory. Hallelujah!
I cannot always, if ever, comprehend His great strategy. My small sector of the vast battlefield may be covered with smoke and thick darkness. The mocking foe may be pressing hard, and comrades may fear and falter and flee, and the enemy may apparently triumph as he did when Jesus died, and when the martyrs perished in sheets of flame, by the sword and headman¬ís axe, mauled by the lion¬ís paw, crunched by the tiger¬ís tooth and slain by the serpent¬ís fang.
But the enemy¬ís triumph ever has been and ever will be short, for Jesus is leading on and up, ever on, ever up, never backward, never downward, always forward, ever toward the rising sun. Revivals, resurrection life and power, are resident in our religion. A dead church may, when we least expect, flame with revival fire--for Jesus, though unseen, is on the battlefield, and He is leading on. "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20).
In the lonely and still night, while others sleep, He stirs some longing soul to sighs and tears and strong cryings and wrestling prayer. He kindles utter, deathless devotion in that soul, a consuming jealousy for God¬ís glory, for the salvation of men, for the coming of the Kingdom of God; and in that lonely and still night and out of that travail, that agony of spirit, mingled with solemn joy, a revival is born.
Behold, "the kingdom of God cometh not with observation" (Luke 17:20). There may be no blast of trumpets, no thunder of drums, no flaunting of flags. The revival is born in the heart of some lonely, longing, wrestling, believing, importunate man or woman who will give God no rest, who will not let Him go unless He blesses. Bright-eyed, golden-haired, rosy-cheeked dolls can be made by machinery and turned out to order, but living babies are born of sore travail and death agony. So revivals may be simulated, trumped up, made to order, but not so do revivals begotten by the Holy Ghost come.
Three local officers of The Salvation Army were concerned about the spiritual life of their corps. Souls were not being saved. They agreed to spend time in prayer. Saturday night they did not go home. Sunday they were not in the meetings. No one knew where they were. Sunday night there was a great "break" among the sinners and lukewarm Christians. Many souls were at the penitent-form. Many tears were shed. All hearts seemed moved and softened.
About ten o¬íclock at night, with tears streaming down their faces, these three local officers came from under the platform where they had spent Saturday night and all day Sunday in prayer. That was the secret of the great meeting....Revivals are born, not made, and God waits to be gracious and aid and answer prayer!
Taken from The Guest Of The Soul.