Uplifted Gates By Paris Reidhead* “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the ‘King of glory shall come in” (Psa. 24:7). In this booklet the gates speak to us of hindrances in our Christian life. We shall answer three questions. What is sin? What happens when a Christian sins? How is a Christian restored to fellowship with God? Though the purpose of God in grace is to save us from sin, the problem that confronts all of us is, “What does a Christian do when he discovers that sin has come into his heart?” Several things have been proposed, but there is only one right way. God’s great purpose in grace is to make us like Jesus Christ, and to bring us into a vital personal union with Christ now. Too many times we have been told, or have supposed from what we have heard that His great purpose in grace was to take us to heaven when we die. Salvation from hell, as wonderful as it is, is a by-product of God’s grace and is not the prize product. For if He cannot save His people from their sins, how is it that He will be able to save them from the consequences of their sins? The Word has spoken to this point. For instance, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:21). In other words, He became what you were, so that you could become what He is. Again we read in Titus 2:14, “The great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” What happens when you who have been awakened by the Spirit of God, convicted of your sins, brought to repentance, have been forgiven of all past sins, justified freely through the blood, born of His Spirit, made partakers of His nature, and thus adopted into the family of God with the witness of the Spirit to your heart that you are a child of God; what happens, I say, when you are tempted, and instead of employing the way of escape you yield to sin? Let us remember that the true Christian is against the counterfeit. He doesn’t want to sin. When he sins he does something he does not want to do. The basic purpose of his heart as a Christian is to please God. For God has given us a new heart, and we are a new creation in Christ. When a Christian sins he is doing something that he basically doesn’t want to do. WHAT IS SIN? All sin is transgression of the law, and all sin is the decision to gratify a good appetite in a bad way. That will stand as a working definition. Temptation is the proposition to gratify a good appetite in a bad way, and sin is the decision to do it. Let us distinguish between appetite and the decision to gratify it against the will of God. Let me dwell upon that a moment and expound what I mean. When God made man in the garden, He said to the man that He had made, “It is good.” That included all things that He had made. God made man with an appetite for food. God in His wisdom ordained that this man should live by continually taking in nourishment. In order that man might not forget to take the nourishment that he needed, God gave him a combination of impulses and reactions which man could interpret as hunger. This hunger was a very essential thing, for this frail being that God had made was dependent upon continual nourishment. So, there was that urge, that propensity, that drive for food. God gave man an appetite for knowledge. God knows everything simultaneously. The man was capable of knowing, but he would have to learn in sequence. So, lest man should become indolent and not press on to know, God gave to him an appetite for knowledge, a hunger to know. God intended man to enjoy all that He had provided; so He gave him an appetite for pleasure so that man could appreciate the kindness and thoughtfulness of God. This appetite for pleasure was given of God. Then He gave to man an appetite for sex, because it was His purpose that this family should be completed by this means that He ordained. The drive or urge for sex was simply God’s further provision that there should be the proper way of completing the family of the beloved that He was making. For, remember that God’s purpose in making man was to provide for Himself someone like Himself that He could love, that would love Him and would understand. Him, and that would love Him in return to satisfy His heart. This is why He took great care and pains in making man just the way He did. He gave to man an appetite for status because it was His intention that man should stand up erect and should rule over creation. Man is made in God’s image. Everything that God is infinitely, man is finitely. We possess the miniature of what God is in the infinite. Consequently, God gave to man this appetite for status, to take things and shape them and mold them into something useful. God made the tree, man makes the chair. God makes the iron and man makes the nail. God made the clay, and man makes the bricks, and makes the house. Now Adam and Eve had these urges, and God said to Adam and Eve, “It is good.” HOW SIN ENTERED IN What happened? Satan came to mother Eve and suggested that she satisfy a good appetite in a bad way. There was not anything wrong with the appetite. Of course, he was lying because she could not be happy when she did. She could only be happy when she allowed God to choose for her. But this was a difficult proposition that Satan presented—You satisfy this good appetite in this forbidden way. There was an appetite for experience. It was not only good to look at, it satisfies your appetite for beauty, but is pleasant to eat and satisfies your appetite for food, and it will make you wise. You will be like God. This was the appetite for status. Temptation is a proposition presented to the mind, to the intellect by the memory or by some immediate stimulation to gratify a good appetite in a bad way. We must remember this. We are not talking now about the eradication of appetite when we are talking about victory. A young man came to me some months after I had ministered at Harvard. He said, “It doesn’t work.” “Why doesn’t it work?” “I have been listening to you talk about victory, and it doesn’t work.” “Why?” “I am still being tempted.” Then I tried to explain to him that I never suggested or intimated that there was any work of grace in the heart that would keep a person from being tempted. If something should happen to you that would immunize you to temptation or insulate you so that you couldn’t be tempted, well, may I say it reverently, you would be holier than the Lord Jesus, because He was tempted in all points like we are and yet without sin. We are not talking about something that will keep you from being tempted, but we are talking about something which will keep you from yielding to temptation. As long as you are alive, you are going to be tempted. There will be memory and stimulation that you will see as you go down the years which will be presented to you and will reactivate this. Your mind is going to think of the alternatives to the will of God. You are going to contemplate, “Why, yes, I could say, or do that, but I choose not to.” When a child of God sins, he is consenting to satisfy a good appetite in a bad way; whether it is on the mental level, the emotional level, or the actual physical level. Sin is the decision to satisfy a good appetite in a bad way. You notice what I say--the decision to do it. It does not even have, to be carried out. He that hateth his brother, or intends to harm him is a murderer. He hasn’t had a chance to do it yet, but God counts it murder from the time the intentions are fixed in the heart. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHRISTIAN SINS? Now, what happens when a child of God sins? There are five immediate consequences to sin in the life of a Christian. You need to be acquainted with them because there is the possibility that they have happened to you, or certainly there is the possibility that they will happen to you. The first thing that happens when a Christian sins is that fellowship with God is broken. The Word of God is clear on this point. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” (I John 1:7) But, if we choose to turn aside from the path of light and of the clear will of God, then that immediate awareness of fellowship, that sweet joy of fellowship is broken. It is called grieving the Spirit by Paul. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30) Grieving the Spirit is that sense in which one becomes aware that the warm communion with God has been broken. If you are aware of this communion, you immediately become aware of when that communion is broken. You need to remember this. When we speak of revival, we are talking about this sense of communion and oneness and fellowship with God. If you are not living in fellowship with God, you are not aware of when you grieve Him. It is like the dreadful disease of leprosy. One type of leprosy afflicts the nerve endings. When we were in Africa, we would see a woman come out of her hut in the morning with her hand burned away. During her sleep in the night, she had thrown her hand into the fire, and instead of withdrawing it as a normal, healthy person would, she would just leave it there until the end of her hand and arm was burned away. You see, all of the nerves were dead. When a child of God sins, fellowship with God is broken, and unless it is dealt with at the moment of awareness of broken fellowship, there is that anesthetizing. One thing can lead to another and to worse sin. Thus it is very important that we should keep a conscience void of offense to God and toward man. We should keep short accounts with God. The great revival of which Norman Grubb speaks so fluently out in East Africa is based upon a principle of instantaneously dealing with whatever grieves God, because if you allow sin in your life, fellowship with God is broken. The second consequence of sin in your life is that God no longer uses you. You may use Him, but He isn’t using you. He has said, “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” F. B. Meyer1 tells about a fountain pen that he had. (Isa. 52:11) It was a wretched little instrument that would never write when he wanted it to. It was dry as the Sahara when he was trying to pen his thoughts, but it spewed ink all over everything when he was not using it. When he wanted to write, it wouldn’t give a bit, but when he didn’t want it to, ink came out of every crevice. Finally a better pen was made, and he purchased it and put the first one in his drawer. When he would get ready to go on a trip and would arm himself with something with which to write, he would reach into the drawer into the little compartment that held his pens. Feeling for one that would suit his purpose, he would come to this first pen, still his, but instead of taking it, he would roll it a little bit back further in the drawer; and the pen, if it could have thought, would have said something like this, “I feel his hand; I know I still belong to him, but I never go with him anymore. There was a time when I knew his thoughts before any other, but now I seldom feel his touch. I wonder why? Why is it that he doesn’t use me?” And the answer that would come, “Little pen, I can’t use you, because you get me dirty.” God never uses the instrument that gets Him dirty. When a child of God sins, God doesn’t use Him. Oh, we go on using God, but God doesn’t use us. How many there are who once had a keen witness for Christ, but something happened. God isn’t using them; they are put on the shelf. Paul said, “Lest I myself should be a castaway.” (I Cor. 9:27) Paul feared being put on the scrap heap. The third thing that happens when a child of God sins is this, prayer is unanswered. David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” (Psa. 66:18) Sin does not even have to get to the lip or be manifested in our life, but if it is in our heart God will not hear. Peter said that husbands and wives should dwell in unity and in peace and in love lest their prayers be hindered. God, you see, is sensitive. When there is that in our lives which grieves Him, then our prayers aren’t answered. Sin becomes a barrier and breaks the connection of prayer. Therefore, it is supremely important that you should constantly keep a conscience void of offense. We should not wait until the next meeting to confess our sins. R. R. Brown2 said, “I think we are rapidly becoming like the Catholics. They go to confession periodically, and we have our annual or our semiannual meeting. How strange it is that the same people come forward at every meeting and confess the same sins year after year.” It should not be that way. We are not to deal with our problems once or twice a year. The very instant that you grieve God ought to be the moment that you do that which He prescribed, or in that interim your prayer is unanswered. The fourth thing that happens when a child of God sins is that the fence is broken around him. The Word says the angel of the Lord encampeth around them that fear him. Tommie Titcombe, one of my missionary friends, in Africa, told of thirteen days in which he and eleven others were in a little hut while savages were chanting the death cry around them. They were, preparing to sacrifice him to the evil spirits and to eat his flesh along with the flesh of his fellow national Christians. Later when he asked 1 Frederick Brotherton Meyer (1847-1929) A Baptist Pastor 2 Robert Roger Brown (1885-1964) Pastor and Radio Evangelist some of these men that had spent the thirteen days in war paint why they didn’t burn that little thatched house and destroy them, they said, “We could not. There was such a high fence of light that we couldn’t get our arrows or, torches through it.” “The angel of the Lord encampeth around them that fear him.” (Psa. 34:7) Are you afraid of God? Oh, you say, We shouldn’t be afraid of God anymore. Wait just a moment! We are to serve Him with reverence and Godly fear. The fear of the Lord means that you are afraid to sin because you know that God is too honest, upright, and holy to let you get by with it. He won’t let you get by with it because He loves you too much. Don’t tell me that I don’t love my children when I turn them over my knee and, paddle them. I do it because I love them. I want them to realize that I am doing it because I care, and God does it because He cares. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. When you sin, God has to do something about it, and what He does is chastening. That demonstrates His love. You say, “Well, I know some Christian who is living in sin, and God is not chastening him.” If a professing Christian is not chastened of God when he sins, it proves that he is not a Christian. God never lays a finger on the devil’s family? Did you know that? Even though, they know a lot of Scripture verses and profess something, God knows it is all the heaven they are going to have, and that when they die, it is hell forever. God takes hold of His own children, because He knows this is all the hell they will, ever know; and when they die, it will be heaven forever. That is why He chastens every son and purges every child, but He never touches the devil’s family. When a child of God sins, that fence is broken. Can you visualize a board fence around your life? As long as you are in fellowship with God there is a fence; but when sin kicks the pickets loose, the devil’s dogs get in. The devil’s dogs are sniffing around every Christian’s life. When they get their nose against a picket in your fence and they see that they can get in, they don’t crawl in right away. They go back to the gate of hell and bay. You don’t hear it, but it echoes down into the chambers of the pit. “One of God’s children, one of His family, has left the pickets loose.” Then Satan dispatches a whole pack of the hounds of hell. They come in very craftily, and once one gets his snoot under, they all shoot in. Then, they touch body and business and family and children and home and happiness and church life. Why do you think that God said, “Give no place to the Devil?” (Eph. 4:27) Do you know why? Because if you give it, he will take it. That’s why! He is a roaring lion. Some folks think Satan goes around roaring. They have not had much experience with lions. I have been where they were. I have been where they were when they were hungry. I have been there when they came up alongside my cot at night when they were hungry. I know that when lions are hungry, they won’t roar. You know when they roar? When they catch something. If you will watch what happens when the Devil gets a preacher to do something that isn’t right; he puts his head back, and all the newspapers resound with the echo of the roar. You let, something happen to a Christian in the church and watch what will happen. Who spreads the news? The Devil! He makes a lot of to do over a child of God that has grieved God. But while he is catching, he doesn’t roar. The Bible says give no place to the Devil, because if you give it he will take it. When you allow sin in your life, then you have tied the hands of God from protecting you from the attacks of Satan. Five terrible things happen when a Christian sins: broken fellowship, on the shelf and not used, unanswered prayer, chastened of the Lord, and exposed to the ravaging attacks of Satan. It is far too costly for any child of God to allow sin in his life--far too costly. HOW TO BE RESTORED TO FELLOWSHIP What are you going to do, dear child of God, when you discover that sin has come into your life? Sin is the decision to gratify a good appetite in a bad way. How does it work? Well, here is a matter of status. Some person says something against you. Instead of saying, “Thank you, Father, it could be true even if it isn’t, and it couldn’t have touched me unless you’d let it,” you take it into your hands to defend yourself; and the way you defend yourself is to become bitter toward that one, and bitterness is sin. If there is bitterness, there is strife. Friction is set up. The Apostle James says that strife and bitterness in the heart is earthly, sensual, and devilish. God hasn’t used worse words of any sin in the Bible than strife and bitterness. Whispering and backbiting are set up next to haters of God and murderers. When you come to the Word of God, you discover that anger, wrath, and malice are up next to drunkenness and adultery. God put these things together in such a way that the sins of the mind and the sins of the heart and the sins of the spirit are to be associated in degree of effect with the sins of the body. Therefore, we are to keep a conscience void of offense toward God in respect to our thought life, our word life and our deed life. We are to keep free, clean, open, clear, and transparent before the Lord. When, therefore, you, have allowed in your life: strife, bitterness, whispering, backbiting, or any of the things which grieve Him whose name is holy, what do you do about it? God has been very explicit about what you are to do. You don’t hide it or try to forget it. JUDGE YOURSELF The Word of God says quite clearly, “If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” What does it mean to judge yourself? It means to sit at the bar as the judge and bring YOURSELF up as the culprit. You are your own prosecuting attorney about YOURSELF; so as the prosecuting attorney considering YOURSELF the culprit, you say to YOURSELF, the culprit, YOU broke this Word of God., YOU disobeyed the Lord. YOU sinned against Him and His light and His truth. Judge YOUR SELF. Then, YOU as judge look at YOU as the culprit and listen to YOU as the, attorney and YOU say, “Yes, that’s absolutely true.” YOU disobeyed the Lord. YOU knew His Word. YOU knew His truth. YOU knew what He said. YOU knew there were provisions of grace, and yet, instead of committing the vengeance to the Lord and praying for them who despitefully use you, YOU took the matter into your own hands and said something. Now, YOU have sinned against God. Who’s doing this? YOU! I’m speaking to YOU about what YOU did. YOU are judging. Judge YOURSELF! Sitting as the judge over YOURSELF, using the law book of the Word, condemn YOURSELF. God has a very good. reason for this. The only people that He can help are the people who cannot help themselves. As long as you think you can help yourself by hiding or by running or by misrepresenting, God can’t help you; but when you stand before God and say, “Yes, God, I did,” then you are in the place where He can help you. It is imperative that you judge yourself if you are to know His help and deliverance. FORSAKE YOUR SIN The second thing that we must do is found in the Book of Isaiah where he said, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isa. 55:7) When a Christian sins, he is to forsake his way; the thing he did. He is to forsake his thoughts which made that thing seem reasonable and right at the time he did it. I am, through with this thing, whatever it is. I will no longer have any part of it. This is my temperament, my trait, my disposition, my habit of mind, but I abhor it. I am done with it. Until you come to that place, there is neither forgiveness nor victory. But when you come to the place where you say, “I am utterly sick of myself, and I will not make excuses anymore; I am to the place now where I have to become transparently honest,” then there is help. Perhaps your temperament is one of self-pity. You feel terribly sorry for yourself if you don’t get recognition or if you don’t get your own way. Perhaps yours is one of lustful thoughts. When you say, “Well, I just can’t do anything.” The moment that you say, “I can’t do anything,” you are that one who will be as you say you are. But if you come to the place where you say, “I am utterly through with this; I will not; I will physically die, but I will no longer go on in this.” Then you are to the place where God can meet you. You have forsaken your way. You have judged it to be sin, and you have determined it will no longer be part of your thought life or of your actions. CONFESS YOUR SIN Then we come to the third step: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” (I John 1:9) What does this mean? I will tell you what it does not mean. It does not mean to get down at the side of the bed about eleven o’clock when you are so bleary-eyed from watching television and so tired from the day that you can’t really remember what has happened during the day, and you do a little half-curtsy before God, touch one knee lightly to the floor and say, “Dear Lord, if I sinned, please forgive.” That is not confession. Confession is to be done at the time the offense occurs, when you are utterly alert to the significance and meaning of the event. You could be on the street car or bus or in your home or washing dishes or at work at the office. When sin is there in mind or heart or word, you instantly judge it; you instantly forsake it; you instantly confess it. It does not take a long time. It is a matter of attitude. This can transpire in a matter of moments, less time than it takes to tell it. Before the Lord you call sin by its name. That’s what confess means—to say with God. I was at one of the Christian colleges a year or so ago, and one evening after the message I sent the students home. I said, “If you can possibly get out of this room, don’t come forward. I only want to deal with those who are desperate.” Several came. I went to talk with one young woman, and she said, “Oh, I am desperate!” “Why?” “Last summer I was working at a certain place and a certain situation and I worked nights, and the owner of this shop...” And she told the same sordid story that has gone on for centuries. She was deeply moved and said, “I know I’ve got to confess my sin.” I said, “All right, let’s pray.” We got down on our knees, and she started out, “Oh, Lord, You know none of us are perfect, and You know that we live in these houses of clay, and You know that we are frail, and You know Lord how...” I said, “Get up. You are wasting God’s time, and you certainly, are wasting mine.” “Get up,” she said, “I thought we were going to pray.” “But,” I said, “you are not praying. You said that you were going to confess your sin. You haven’t.” “I was getting around to it.” “You were not getting around to it; you were beating around the bush. Confession means to say with God, to call sin by name.” “You mean that I have to use that word?” “Yes, you have to use that word.” “I can’t!” “Well, you had better go home. I told anyone to go home who wasn’t desperate.” “I am desperate. Let’s pray.” We turned around, kneeled again, and with brokenness from the depths of her heart she said, “Oh, God, I am a...”, and then there was the breaking up that wasn’t there until she came to the place that she was willing to name her sin with God. The thing lay like a poultice of misery on her spirit until she was ready to confess and name her sin with God. Confession is not only with God. If you have sinned against a person and that person is aware of it, the issue isn’t settled until you have gone to the person and confessed your sin to him. I don’t believe in the flagrant confession of sin, but I believe that sin should be confessed as widely as it is known and as widely as it has injured. There are many things which are settled alone with God. There are some things which have been settled with God which ought not to be brought up. Such confession results in brokenness of spirit. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity , whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isa. 57:15) The life of victory and the life of the fullness of Christ is experienced only by those that are of a broken and contrite spirit. Unless you are prepared to deal with the things that you know that now grieve God, He is not prepared to deal with you on the things that you would like to have Him do. The new business does not supersede the old business. Get the old business cared for, and the new business can be transacted. You can’t build on a straw foundation. There has to be a breaking up of the fallow ground if the rain from heaven is to find soil in which it can bring forth fruit. Consequently all the spiritual progress you make is going to be made on the basis of your dealing with the controversy that God has with you now. If your conscience is void of offense toward God and toward man, don’t try and manufacture difficulty; but if there is difficulty, don’t try to move unless you deal with the area that God has put His finger upon. Furthermore, it is not only an event; it is an attitude. Because every step of the pilgrimage you are going to be tempted, or possibly can be tempted, and at any point in the pilgrimage you can grieve God. Though you have walked with God for five years and have known joyous victory through His indwelling presence, it could be that five years and one day hence you will revert to some attitude that characterized you in other days. What are you going to do then? Just as I have prescribed. When my little David was in the first grade, he came home and said, “Oh, Daddy, it is wonderful; the teacher told me what you told me. You said, ‘Two and two make four,’ and she said the same thing.” In the first grade we learn that two and two make four. But we do not have to go through the rest of our life saying that two and two make four, two and two make four..... just to keep in practice. It is the principle that we use whenever the occasion necessitates. Do you see? We learn the principle; and. this is the principle, that whenever you grieve God, you meet it in this way. You judge it; you forsake it; you confess it. There is no growing beyond it. This is a principle you will carry right through to the day when we will see the Lord face to face. Nothing that you are going to say and nothing that you are going to hear is going to supersede the necessity of your fastidious obedience at this point. You must learn this principle and accept it as a principle and walk in it as a principle. HOW REVIVAL BEGINS This is the place where revival begins; the place of brokenness and confession. You perhaps have heard of the great revival about twelve years ago in the little islands north of Scotland called the Hebrides Islands. There were not a great many people involved, just a few tens of thousands, but it was, a very significant move of God. Every one of these islands was in the established church; that is, the Church of Scotland. All were formal; all were Calvinistic; all taught in the Scripture; all established; and all dead, it seems. Everybody a member of the church; everybody enrolled in the church at birth and death. But there were two, dear, godly women that said, “Lord, it ought not to be this way in your house. It hasn’t always been this way.” They went to prayer and asked God to raise up some men that would carry the load. One man who was a lay leader in a little church had a farm from which he made his living. He talked to two other brethren and said, “I feel we ought to go to prayer for revival for our islands.” So they fitted up an old barn and met three times a week to pray. Sometimes they prayed until seven in the morning from which they would go to their work. They prayed for three months. At the end of three months the leader of this group was seated at home reading from Psalm Twenty-four, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Psa. 24:3,4) As he read this his heart was overwhelmed. It said lift up your gates and the King of Glory shall come in, and he said the King of Glory has been hindered from coming in because there have been gates in my life. He began to see the bars that barred the Lord’s coming. There was the bar of spiritual pride, and there was the bar of lovelessness, and there was the bar of criticism, and there was the bar of self-pity. Every bar that he saw broke his heart. To think that he had spent those months in prayer and hadn’t dealt with the basic conditions for answered prayer. He judged his sins; he forsook his sins; and as he confessed, he knew cleansing, and he knew forgiveness. As a result he had a new level of relationship with the Lord because he had dared to break. When he met with the other two brethren, he said, “It is so different tonight, because God has been dealing with me. I want you to know, brethren, that the full reason for lack of answer to prayer lies with me. I have seen in my heart the spiritual pride, the arrogance, the resentment, the bitterness, and God has forgiven me. Oh, brethren, will you forgive me?” And because God was in it, the other men broke and dropped their heads and their eyes filled with tears. They told of what God had shown them in their lives. And that night was spent in brokenness, but there was a new note in their praying. They prayed a month on a new level of expectancy and in faith. There was a new release of the Holy Spirit because of their brokenness. Within two weeks there wasn’t a young person between the ages of 12 and 21 who hadn’t knelt at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. Farmers in the villages surrounding the church got up in the morning with disdain and in their dour, Scotch accent said, “Maybe there are fanatics in town, but we are not going to be there. We will not have any of this nonsense.” He would harness his horses and go out to plow in his little field; and when the dinner bell rang and rang and rang and rang and he didn’t come in, the mother of the house would go out and there would find him lying in the furrow, in the lowest place he could find in the field, his face down in the dirt, sobbing, “My sins; oh, my sins. What answer is there to my sins?” Like the fog creeps across the meadow in the morning, the presence of the Spirit of God crept across the Islands of the Hebrides. Men that had no contact with the meetings fell prostrate on the street under a deep sense of conviction. Where did it begin? It began with two women who said, “God must be glorified.” It began with three men who were willing to meet God. Where does blessing begin? It always begins at the place of brokenness. For He said, “If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; Then will I hear from heaven and I will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.” (II Chr. 7:14) Our God is a covenant-keeping God. Whether it is you alone, or any company, there are the conditions for blessing. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” * Reference such as: Delivered at Missionary Crusader, Lubbock, TX, About 1964 by Paris W. Reidhead, Pastor. ©PRBTMI 1963-1965
Be the first to react on this!