Free Bible Study Magazine
Out of weakness were made strong (Heb. 11:34).
W. B. Godbey, an old-time revivalist and an excellent Greek scholar, was much used of God in his travels, and his constant petition to Conference was that he would be sent to the hardest and most difficult field of labor. He shares with us a secret he had learned from communion with the Almighty: “I am an old revivalist. We always had to have a repetition of Gethsemane and Calvary before we could reach the triumphant resurrection and the glorious ascension. On arrival, finding all elated over the new evangelist and shouting over the revival in sight, I knew that we had to get rid of great carloads of human lumber and trash before we could see the glory of God. Soon my plain, hard, rough preaching and earnest crying to God would disgust them, so all their hopes would evanesce, and giving up all expectation of a revival, they would be very sorry they had called me, feeling it was the mistake of their lives.
“Then came the salient point of the campaign. Frequently at that epoch they would run me off, of course defeating the enterprise outright. When they bore with me in utter desperation, all blue as indigo, feeling that it was infinitely worse than a failure, they all got out of the way and I was out of the way, because they were all disgusted with me. When we reached that significant crisis, a shout always began in the deep interior of my heart, because I knew victory was at hand. I never knew a failure when all human resources and hopes evanesced away. When we reached the place of nothing but insults, destitution, weakness, persecution, and tight places for Christ’s sake, then the dynamite came and blew down the walls of Jericho, burst the devil’s kingdom, revealed the glory of God and the victories of Christ on all sides to the unutterable surprise of everybody.
“In many cases when they all so fell out with me that I had no home, but stood for days and weeks alone with Jesus, preaching the truth fearless of men and devils, unearthing all the hidden things of darkness, exposing all Satan’s refuges of lies, cutting every cable with the sword of the Spirit, after the power came and the tide swept over everything, they almost pulled me to pieces to take me to their home. “Depend upon it as a maxim, never letting it slip: ‘When I am without strength then am I dynamite.’ Our resources, power, and hope must evacuate the field before omnipotent grace can glorify God. Poor humanity must get out of the way before the power and glory of God can be revealed. The reason why we don’t have revivals everywhere after the Pentecostal style is because we have too much power, too many resources, and too much encouragement. You will never see the glory of God till all this gets out of the way.
“‘But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, in order that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us’ (2 Cor. 4:7). All the splendor, pomp, pageantry, gold, silver, and adornment appertaining to the priesthood, tabernacle, and temple of the former dispensation had been entirely eliminated, not a vestige surviving. Hence the folly and impertinency of filling the world with it during the Gospel ages. It was all symbolic in its day and passed away with all the types and shadows superseded by the glorious Antitype. Hence the Gospel ministry is all in the valley of humiliation. . . . Whenever we bring in human power, learning, wealth, and influence, we thereby put a veil over the popular mind, disqualifying them to see the Invisible One. . . . “In every subsequent age, when human power, wealth, and culture come to the front, we see the Holy Spirit retreat away, leaving them to run their own machinery, and, pursuant to first principles, picking up others—poor, weak, and uninfluential—from the low places of the earth, and sending them out, the custodians of this invaluable Heavenly treasure. God is not going to change His Gospel economy to suit any of us, giving His glory to another. The humiliation of the Gospel is here exemplified by the Apostles themselves, down at the very bottom of society, the contempt of the world’s elite.”
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