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Revival - the Power of God - D. L. Moody - and II Chronicles 7:14
Get Plugged In
My little granddaughter was helping me vacuum the carpet the other day. I began to push the vacuum across the floor as I allowed her to rest her hand on the handle. She loves to turn switches on and off. Discovering the switch on the side of the vacuum, she quickly hit the switch. She seemed shocked when the vacuum no longer performed its task. I was not surprised. I know that when the power source is disconnected, the vacuum will no longer do its job.
I also recently saw a commercial for the old television show, Candid Camera. A woman coasts her car down the street and the car automatically stops as she tries to drift up the entrance to a car repair shop. A mechanic comes out and opens the hood only to find there is no engine. Of course, this was a gag, and we laugh at the attendant’s reaction because we realize there is no power source.
The Christian life is no different. We need the power of God to do God’s work, but so often we coast down the road with no engine. We have killed the power switch, and wonder why things are not working as we know they should.
The forces of evil fight as fiercely as do the forces for good. If we are not properly prepared for battle, we will most surely be overcome. Please know that for every step forward that is taken for Christ, satan is always a half-step behind. We must be prepared for battle, and we must have the power of God upon us as we go.
Consider this. It was the power of the Highest that overshadowed Mary, and conceived the baby Jesus (Luke 1:35). We know that the miracles of Stephen were a result of his faith and power (Acts 6:8). Paul attributes his power in preaching to the Spirit of God (Romans 15:19). Furthermore, it was by the power of God that Christ was raised from the dead (Acts 4:10). Now, all power belongs to the Son (Matthew 28:18).
Romans 8:9 gives us this thought – “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” The (Holy) Spirit, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ dwell in you. God has not shortchanged you in any way. You have all you need to do God’s work on earth. You have been given all power through Christ, but with the gift comes tremendous responsibility. We must learn to wield the Sword of the Spirit which is the power of God. It takes time. It takes work. It takes commitment.
Think again on II Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
We know that “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). We must remain humble if we are to handle the power of the living God.
in verse 14. We are also told in I Thessalonians 5:17 to, “Pray without ceasing.” We are told that, “. . . if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29), we shall find Him. Furthermore, we know that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
You see, II Chronicles 7:14 is much more than a verse to teach us about revival. II Chronicles 7:14 paves the way for the power of God in our lives, but we must appropriate it. We must apply the teaching of the verse to our lives in a very practical way. We must be sure to be in a right relationship with God before we can expect to be endued with His power.
Waiting for the Power
Prior to the Lord’s ascension He told His disciples, “. . . wait for the promise of the Father, which . . . ye have heard of me” (Acts 1:4). What was the promise, and when did they hear it? Luke 24:49 gives us the answer. “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” The promise of the Father was to be endued with power. The disciples cloistered themselves in the upper room for ten days until the power came.
Being endued carries the idea of being covered, as in putting on a garment. The promise of the Father was to clothe his people with His Holy Spirit, but this wasn’t immediate. They were to wait – wait until they were prepared. They spent the time in prayer and in the Scriptures no doubt humbling themselves, seeking the face of God, confessing and forsaking their sin. We must do the same if we are to experience the power of God working in our lives.
The Story of D. L. Moody
The story is told of D. L. Moody and his enduement with power. “In the 19th century, evangelist D. L. Moody led more than one million people to Christ. His life changed when he heard a preacher say, ‘The world has yet to see what God will do with, and for, and through, and in, and by the man who is fully consecrated to Him.’
“Moody remarked, ‘He did not say a great man, nor a learned man, nor a smart man—but simply ‘a man.’ I am a man, and it lies with each man himself whether he will or will not make that entire and full consecration. I decided I would try my utmost to be that man.’
“Moody testified that although he was a Christian he had no power in his life and ministry. Two godly Methodist women in his church were praying for him. One day he asked them, “Why don’t you pray for the people?” They answered simply, ‘You need the power of the Holy Spirit.’
“Moody was perplexed by this response. He said to himself, ’Don’t I have the largest Sunday school and congregation in Chicago? There are some conversions. I am satisfied with things the way they are.’
“The women kept praying and continued talking about the fullness of the Holy Spirit. He finally asked them to explain their concern. Then they knelt and prayed for Moody to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. A great hunger came into his soul that he could not explain. His soul cried out to God as never before. The hunger increased until he felt that ‘I did not want to live any longer if I did not have the power for service. I kept crying out for God to fill me with His Spirit.
“Some time later, walking along Wall Street in New York City, it happened - an experience almost too sacred to describe. Moody’s testimony is that God revealed Himself in such a way and he had such an experience of His love that he had to ask the Lord to stay His hand. His life and ministry were changed. His sermons were not really all that different, but a new power
was on him and hundreds were converted.”
Experiences may or may not be a part of the fullness of the Spirit. We are not to seek signs and experiences, but there can be no doubt the power of God was upon Mr. Moody. What I do want you to notice are the events leading up to Mr. Moody walking and preaching in the power of God.
First of all, God sought Mr. Moody’s attention through using an unknown preacher to speak to Moody. Moody was attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. If you desire the power of God on your life, you must desire Him. By Moody’s own admission “The hunger increased until I felt that I did not want to live any longer if I did not have the power for service.
The patriarch Jacob went through a similar experience as he wrestled with the angel of the Lord – “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32:24-26). Jacob was insistent that God would give him the desire of his heart. We see that desire granted in verse 28 – “. . . Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Jacob’s name was changed, at least in part, because he was willing to struggle with God for His power – and God granted that to Jacob.
Getting back to Mr. Moody – his failure to possess the power of God was self-satisfaction and pride as he queried, “Don’t I have the largest Sunday school and congregation in Chicago? There are some conversions. I am satisfied with things the way they are.” Even though he was seeking God, he had not yet reached a sufficient level of humility.
But humility was growing. Moody reached out in prayer. “I kept crying out for God to fill me with His Spirit.” I find it interesting that in Moody’s search for the power of God others were praying on his behalf as well – and they specifically prayed for the power of the Holy Spirit upon his life. God answered their prayers. Is God any less able to answer yours? As he turned from the wicked way of his pride, humbled himself, sought God, and prayed, he obtained the promise of the Father.
Luke 11:9-13 encourages us to ask for the Holy Spirit. “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened . . . how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” You see, when kept in context the ask, seek, and knock Scripture is about seeking the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit. Are you asking, seeking, and knocking until God opens up the storehouse of His power and clothes you in the garment of His Holy Spirit? Just as a vacuum cleaner needs to be plugged in to a power source, so must you be plugged in to the Holy Spirit. Without Him, all your attempts are wasted. Be careful. Satan has a successful way of having us to think we are doing just fine. We do not need to seek any further. We have the power of God when in fact, we do not.
Obtaining the power of God comes not without great sacrifice and struggling. Are you willing to pay such a high cost?