The Apostles and the early Church rapidly spread the Gospel throughout the known world, changing lives and transforming cultures in the process. We might think, this being the case, that they were eloquent, witty, charming, charismatic, and exciting, for those are the types of people we see drawing crowds and influencing our society today.
In his second letter to the Corinthian Church (6.3-10), the Apostle Paul paints a much different picture. Paul and Timothy’s letter of “commendation” consisted of great endurance, afflictions, hardship, calamities, beatings, sleepless nights and hunger. Their tools were purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, genuine love and ultimately, the Holy Spirit; their means were truthful speech, merciful love, and the power of God.
As we pray for revival – for changed lives, renewed churches, and a transformed culture – our tendency might be to want to enlist those who possess the eloquence and organization that so readily appeal to us. But God’s manner of bringing revival has often called on everyday people to endure affliction, hardship, and suffering, much as He did with Paul and Timothy. He calls them to envision the coming day of blessing, to give Him thanks for His abundant goodness in the present, and in the midst of whatever may be their daily hardships or struggles, to sow seeds of prayer for revival to come, and to come with power (Ps. 126).
Throughout the Church’s history, God has brought revival through men and women who so longed for and desired His kingdom that they were willing to suffer and persevere as did Paul.
In the weeks ahead, we will revisit some of these men and women, that we may learn from them and be inspired by them. God used them to transform and renew their respective cultures through the Gospel.
Brethren, what might we be willing to do to?
Ralph Lehman, Men’s Prayer Coordinator
T. M. Moore, Principal
Download “Men of the Church: A Solemn Call” for free by clicking this link. Make copies for all the men you know, and urge them to join you in this movement of Men at Prayer. Order your copy of Restore Us! and start your own regular Revival Prayer Group.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.