|He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear|
A Sermon By Dr Charles S. Price
the tenth chapter of Hebrews and the thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth verses we read:
Cast not away, therefore, your confidence which has great recompense of reward, for ye have need of patience that after ye have done the will of God ye might receive the promise.
As I have traveled up and down the countryside on my evangelistic tours during the last few years, I have been deeply impressed by the spirit of anticipation, which is prevalent in the hearts of the people who love the Lord. It is perfectly scriptural for us to believe that there will be a light of revelation and understanding born within the hearts of Gods people, for are we not told that Day should not overtake us as a thief in the night, neither should we be caught unawares by the great events which are to happen? In my own life, I am absolutely convinced that something is on the way!
We all know, of course, that the coming back to earth of our blessed Lord is an event that cannot be in the very far distant future, but it is not of this that I wish to particularly speak. It is the consciousness that something is about to break! The moving of the Spirit of God in the hearts and lives of the lovers of the Lord points unerringly to the possibility of an outpouring of spiritual power such as the world has never experienced. It is my personal conviction that the cycle of this Church age, which began with the outpoured Spirit, will end with the same divine power! It started with 120 who were so filled with Gods power and glory that they revolutionized their times and turned the world upside down, not only by their preaching but by the evident manifestation of the power which was dwelling within them.
Our evangelism today is elementary compared to theirs. While I do not deprecate what the Lord has done and, indeed, is doing I cannot close my eyes to the fact that there is a wide difference between the manifestation of the power of the Early Church and the manifestation of the power as it is exhibited today. They were evidently armed with the Word of Authority that we have not possessed. When Peter said to the lame man at the gate of the temple, Such as I have, give I unto thee, the resurrection life of Jesus flowed through that mortal body until the man was electrified into instant activity. Leaping and jumping and shouting, he followed them into the temple, declaring all the while the praises of God! You cannot read the Acts of the Apostles which, after all, were the acts of the Holy Ghost without being lifted in your spirit as you behold the marvelous things which the Lord did in them and through them. The whole secret was, of course, that they were indwelt by the Person of the Paraclete. They were merely the channels through which the Holy Spirit operated. They were yielded to His leading and were submissive to His guidance.
No one believes for a single moment that they had become the recipients of a power by which they were enabled in their strength to accomplish the miracles which were wrought. If they spoke, it was the Holy Spirit who was speaking through them! If they worked, it was the Holy Ghost who was working in them! If there was manifestation of power, it was the power of the indwelling Presence! Nowhere did they claim it, and constantly they denied what some enthusiasts would say relative to their greatness and their goodness. The Name of Jesus to them was not a mere formula to be used as a kind of miracle word which would open locked doors, banish darkness, and restore health. There was more than the use of definition in their use of the Name of Jesus. They were not empowered to do by the Holy Ghost, but they were empowered to do with the Holy Ghost. His would be the ministry, and they would be merely the medium through which that ministry would find expression and manifestation. Let me say again that I have noticed a deepening sincerity which is leading people to a place of absolute surrender and complete consecration to the will of our blessed Lord! This is resulting in a more pronounced recognition of the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit and a corresponding assurance that we are traveling toward an apocalypse of glory, the light of which is already illuminating the Eastern Hills! Jesus did not pray in vain when He said, Thy Kingdom come! Believe me, it is coming! All the powers of hell can never stop it! Christ is not defeated. He is still on the Throne and He will be the ultimate Victor over every earthly and satanic force which has been opposed to Him during the march of the centuries.
A New Day
My whole spirit burns and is aflame with the conviction that we are living in the dawning of a new day in which we shall experience that manifestation of His power and the glory of His wonderful Presence. I am not saying there is not going to be a world revival. I am not preaching that millions will not be won to Christ from the paths of sin and from the highways of iniquity. But I am saying that upon those people who love Him and are willing to serve Him, the fullness of the Spirit will be poured in fulfillment of His own prophetic Word and in the completion of His own divinely appointed program and plan. It is perfectly natural for us to get super-enthusiastic about these things and to endeavor to bring about through our human efforts and by our human methods, the things of which we dream.
We see the vision and then, immediately, begin to work. We must never forget that it is not by might nor by power but by my spirit says the Lord! It is useless for any evangelist to attempt to hold revivals unless it is the order of the Lord and the purpose of our Heavenly Father for the day in which he labors. These human spirits of ours are wont to run away with our spiritual judgment along the ways of enthusiasm until our zeal will eat us up! We must learn the lesson of waiting patiently for the Lord! It is far better to obey than to endeavor to do! The results for which we dream and glories that we believe lie just ahead will never be experienced because of our endeavor or our labor, but can come only in the fullness of Gods own appointed time. Our business is to do the Will of God for today and wait patiently before Him for the manifestation of his glorious Presence in His own way and in His own time!
It is no use trying to work ourselves up into a state of religious excitement and fervor. If we are not carried by the Spirit to the place of His divine appointment, let us be perfectly content to wait in the valley until the Day of the Lord arrives! Let us count the cost of complete surrender; and when we are willing to meet it, let us lay everything at the Masters feet. We can then set out with a new vision of Jesus to climb that wonderful hill called Calvary and witness our own crucifixion in the vicarious death and suffering of our blessed Lord! It is only when we recognize that eternal fact that we shall see the tremendous possibilities of the unborn days and stand waiting for the revelation which may come tomorrow.
It is almost proverbial that we talk about the patience of Job. We wonder why he was kept waiting so long; and why there seemed to be such an interminable delay before God gave him the answer to his question and solved the problems which confronted this godly man. It was not until he had listened to the philosophies of the three so-called comforters, and had gone along the roads of bewilderment and perplexity, that the light at the end of the trail began to shine. It burst forth with a radiant glory which superseded anything he had ever known before. What did God do? He doubled his possessions; he increased him in everything that had been lost. Even though it had been destroyed, it was returned to him again in multiplied measure.
But far richer than those earthly possessions were the things which came to him during the time of his waiting. Those were jewels of such value that the diamonds of a coronet would sink into insignificance in comparison. His night was the preparation for the glory of the day which was to come!
Look at Elijah, climbing with his servant up the steeps of the mountain-side, after the fire had fallen from heaven and the Lord had vindicated His prophet! Rain had been promised and yet the rain did not come. Time and time again he sent his servant to the edge of the promontory which stretched out over the sea, to look for the sign of the cloud appearing in the distant sky. You say it was good for him to pray. I am not so sure. Perhaps it would have been richer on his part and a sign of greater confidence in the Word of the Lord, if he had simply sat down and patiently awaited the gathering of the thunder-heads and the falling of the water from the skies! He should have known that God never goes back on His own Word! When the Lord says it is going to rain, it will always rain! It never fails!
Tomorrow Belongs to God
How much we miss, in this life of grace, by our constant worry and our lack of patience in our dealings with the Lord. I read sometime ago of a tragedy which befell a home somewhere in the middle west. In the middle of a cold, winters night an accident occurred which took the lives of a man and his two sons. A day or two later, a widow with snow-white hair, turned from the side of an open grave and started for the carriage which was to take her back to what, seemingly, was an empty home. Sympathetic eyes watched her every move. Hearts were beating in compassion for this woman whose hair had turned to silver and who had been left without very many material possessions with which to carry on. People wondered where she would go and what she would do.
They knew it was useless for her to try to run the farm on which she had lived, for that was a mans job; and help was not plentiful in the community. So the officiating minister followed her into the house and, seated on the opposite side of the table, he sympathized with her in her tragic bereavement, and then asked her about the future. He said, What are you going to do and how are you going to live? A smile came across her wrinkled countenance, and the love-light, which came shining from her eyes, was merely an expression of the Christ Who dwelt within, and an indication of the trust that she put in her Lord. Slowly she answered, I cannot tell you. I do not know. All I know is that today is mine. But tomorrow belongs to the Father. There was no worry; there was no fear gnawing at the vitals of her heart. Rather there was a deep, abiding consciousness of the lovely Presence of our Lord, and an assurance that He would take her through. Step by step God leads His children over the rough highways of life to the place where the road is smoother, or to the meadows where our weary feet can rest.
It is only as we learn the lesson of taking one step at a time that we can understand the sublimity of patience. We do not gather the manna to last us for an indefinite period in the future. We get enough today, merely for the day in which we pick it up. So it is with the grace of God! Moment by moment we receive the inflow of His divine life! There is virtue in enthusiasm; much to be admired in zeal; and ambition is admirable. But let us remember we can never hasten Gods days. We cant put the hands of Gods chronological clock ahead. No amount of endeavor on our part can accomplish the ministry which He, alone, has purposed; and which He, alone, can perform. Happy are we when we learn the lesson of resting in the Lord and waiting patiently for Him!
It is far better to go to sleep and leave it with Jesus, as did Peter in his cell, than try to pick the lock, or work our way out to the freedom we desire! Leave your burden at the Masters feet. If you know that you are living in the center of His will if you have put your all on the altar, and your life has opened to the indwelling of His lovely Presence then it is your privilege to wait with patience for the fulfillment of His promises, and the answer to your prayer. Do not spoil a happy tomorrow by necessitating the regret that you were so foolish as to be impatient today! Leave it with Jesus! Lay it at the feet of the Burden-bearer, and then let your heart sing His wonderful praise! Learn to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him and He shall give you hear it, He shall give you the desires of your heart!
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Thursday March 03, 2011 05:05 PM -0500