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Your Personal Revival

By James A. Stewart (1910 – 1975)

    The burden of my life is that the Lord will revive His work.  For this reason, I am tried by many of God’s people because they are living only half-heartedly instead of being one-hundred percent for the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I am longing and praying for a worldwide revival because I believe the days of revival are not past.  As long as the blessed Holy Spirit, Himself the great standing miracle, abides and works on the earth, the church’s potential is the same as it was in apostolic days.

    I believe that God wants to send us a mighty tidal wave of the Spirit to all the churches.  We have seen this happen again and again in our own ministry, resulting in the salvation of thousands.  I have many reasons for believing that God wants to send revival in these days to you, my brother and sister, and these have to do with His plans and purposes for the lives of His redeemed ones.

    God is never content in any age for His people to live below the standard which He has set for His Son’s Bride.  No man is satisfied that his bride be subnormal.  Far less can our Father be content for one moment to see His church anything less than holy and powerful, living in vital communion with Himself as He has purposed.  A subnormal and backslidden church is an insult and disgrace to a holy, powerful, almighty God.

We All Need Personal Revival!

    What each child of God needs is a personal revival.  An old Methodist saint in Britain quaintly drew a chalk mark around himself and said, “O Lord, revive everybody within this circle!”  This was getting close!  That was making things personal and practical.  Are you prepared for such drastic measures?  Are you prepared to fast and pray to see what is hindering the Holy Spirit from using you in a deeper, fuller way?

    Mr. Moody put it very plainly when he said, “There are in the churches stores of unconsecrated wealth, unused or misused power, multitudes at ease in Zion, witnesses who give not witness for the Lord, workers without the Spirit’s conquering power, disciples who follow afar off, forms without life, church machinery substituted for inward life and power.”

    Alas, as the result of not being filled with the Holy Spirit, we have many believers deprived of untold riches in Christ which the indwelling Spirit would minister to them were He but permitted to fill them.  The illimitable resources and immeasurable power which are potentially theirs in Christ lie idle and unused, waiting to be realized in the life by the infilling and controlling presence of the Spirit of Christ.

    God’s power toward us is declared in the first chapter of Ephesians to be none other than that transcending might of God by which Christ was raised up from the dead and exalted and enthroned at the Father’s right hand.  As the deliverance out of Egypt was the token of God’s power on behalf of His covenant people, so Christ’s resurrection exemplifies the exceeding greatness of divine potency which is available in the Holy Spirit for the life and work of the church.

    Think of all the potentialities of a Spirit-filled life (Eph. 1:17-23).  But also see the tragedy in the fact that tens of thousands of Christians are selling their spiritual birthright for a mess of pottage.

    Oh yes, they are saved.  They have been regenerated by the work of the Holy Ghost.  They are bound for glory.  But oh, so many have no desire for the deep things of God, no yearning, no thirst to be filled with the Spirit, to possess all their possessions in the Lord Jesus.  Potentially, the moment He is received into the life as Savior everything that He possesses becomes the property of the believer.  But, ah, experimentally, one can only receive the marvelous gifts and enjoy the blessed experiences as he appropriates them for himself.

    What ignorance many of God’s people display, living as they do below the level of all the spiritual blessings which are wrapped up in the Lord Jesus Christ in the heavenlies, simply because their eyes are blinded by the devil.  They have become carnal and lack joy in the Christian life.  They have no desire to go on in the deep things of God.

    On the other hand, David prayed, “As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God!” (Psa. 42:1).

    There is a solemn indictment against the people of God.  It is that they are not hungering and thirsting after the things of God.  They are not longing to have a genuine work of God in their midst but instead they crave excitement.  They are often bored, not interested.  Yet the only way to see God working in the life, the only way to be filled and anointed with the Holy Spirit, the only way to experience a revival – is by hungering after Him!  “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood up and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink” (John 7:37).

    We must remember that there is all the difference in the world between the believer’s possession of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit’s possession of the believer.  We can never say that a believer has not the Holy Spirit, but there is a sad possibility that the Spirit of God does not possess the believer.

Greater Depths and Heights

    What a tragedy, what a heartbreak it would be for us to reach the Gloryland and have to look back and see that we were not all that God intended us to be, that we were living disappointed, meager Christian lives when all the time we should have been multi-millionaires in our risen Christ.  It is the Holy Ghost who is rejected, and yet it is only He who can bring the believer experimentally into a wealthy place in Christ and reveal all that divine power which potentially is his in Jesus Christ.

    Only the Holy Spirit can make these things real and precious and true in our hearts and lives.  It is sadly possible to have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ and to be on the way to Glory and yet to be only half-hearted, following afar off.  The life of one who is not a soul winner, who has no passion for souls, no hunger for God’s Word and no thirst for a fuller richer life in Christ, is a contradiction to the glorious Gospel of the dear Redeemer.  He does not carry the fragrance of the Lord Jesus.  The one remedy for this deplorable condition is to be filled with the Spirit.  Then the life will be full of power and will tell for the Redeemer.

   – From Your Personal Revival (currently out of print) by James A. Stewart. Used by permission of Revival Literature, P.O. Box 505, Skyland NC 28776.

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