Yesterday I referred to a simple man who was wide open to God. In a little book called simply ‘Smith-Wigglesworth’, I read in one of his sermon-essays, that he was a humble plumber who was prayed for in 1907, and the fire of the Lord fell on him, and he became a spirit-filled, spirit-led leader, bringing many many people to Christ in a world-wide ministry.
Fifteen years later, in 1922, by which time he was 63 years old, he was asked ‘But will the spirit of revival blessing run out – will it last?’ Although not dealing directly with the question, he replied by giving this illustration:
“When George Stephenson made his first steam engine his sister Mary looked at it and said ‘George it’ll never go’.
He said: ‘Get in Mary’.
Again she said ‘It’ll never go.’.
Again he said “We’ll see – you get in.”
At last she did – the whistle blew – there was a puff and a rattle and the iron monster started off. Then Mary cried out ‘George it’ll never stop – it’ll never stop”.
That was Smith-Wigglesworth’s answer to those who are afraid that spiritual revival is a split second occurrence; a one-off moving of the immovable. Yes, it will move, and then we are afraid that there will be no stopping it- if we continually make room for more. In short, it is not God who put the brakes on.
Paul said in I Thessalonians 5:16-19:
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.”
Christians and churches put the fire out, or put the brakes on, without even realising it. Like Jacob we may waken up and say ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not’. While there is time, help us to be open to your Spirit.
Lord, grant us the grace which welcomes every movement of your Spirit within us, and forbid that we quench, stamp out, smother or deflect the Spirit you give to all those who love You.
Now read Ezekiel 37: 1-14.