Don and Leia Schulze
This modern-day spiritual odyssey takes you on a heartwarming, soul-stirring exploration of faith. Join Don and Leia and their family on their adventures across America, Asia, Europe, and Central Africa. Real stories about real people and real, modern day miracles! You will also discover practical steps to seeing your own daily walk with God add up to a life of miracles. . You will laugh, you will cry, you will cheer... you will believe
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A message from Don….
The following article is a 1936 letter from John E. (Joe) Church M.D., a missionary of the Ruanda Mission to friends and groups of supporters and friends at home in Great Britain. The letter was written to ask for prayer groups to be formed or dedicated for the specific purpose of supporting the revival movement that was breaking forth in Ruanda and to ask God for such a movement worldwide.
I hope to share more about the principles of revival that ignited East Africa in the last century as I put the information I have gleaned into an appropriate format. In the meantime I couldn’t wait to share the ‘old’ but very timely and relevant message contained in this letter with you. Revival begins with “me”… that is you and I individually. We need to pray for revival for the Church at large, but largely we need to apply these thoughts first to our own fellowship with Christ.
Now on to Dr. Church’s message…..
A Plea for Revival Prayer Fellowships
THE NEED IS URGENT
Behind the apparent success of Christian missionary work in Central Africa, those who know have seen that "life has become stagnant" and they have wondered, "What power can make the dead bones live?"
We are now witnessing God's remedy for man's backsliding. The Holy Spirit has come in power and is making dead bones live. From 1933 till now a movement of Revival has started in the Ruanda Mission, and God is calling out bands of consecrated men and women on many stations far beyond the borders of Ruanda. These people, once lifeless and formal Christians, though leaders in the Church, have passed through deep conviction of sin and have emerged absolutely changed men.
From among these, bands of men and women have gone out as "Bible Teams" fired with a longing to bring this new life to others. In every place they have visited they have left behind groups of people bound together in a deep prayer fel-lowship. They have a vision of the fire of Revival spreading right through Central Africa to our own home country.
The object of this leaflet is to link up those prayer fellowships, growing up on widely separated stations and in different nations, and to mobilize prayer for this Revival at home among those who know the power of prayer. We send this out with a sense of urgency. It is one of the tides of God's Spirit "to be taken at the flood".
God has shown us quite clearly that the conditions for the granting of His bless-ing to this fellowship have been the common bond of absolute surrender to Christ. And the only praying that is certain of results is that of those who know this same secret.
So we ask you, who will join in upholding these Bible Teams, to seek as you pray to find this same blessing through a heart that has become a cleansed chan-nel. God will send Revival through your prayer if he has first revived you. That prayer so used in China is coming to our Africans: "Lord, bring Revival and begin it in me."
THE WAY TO VICTORY
To us European missionaries, this Revival has been a searching experience and most humbling. Time and again we have found that it is we who have hindered God's blessing. We have had to be humbled to the dust. So it is not superfluous for us all, as we pledge ourselves to pray for this Revival, to see again the Way to Victory.
The secret of all true Revival, and the fellowship that knows no barriers of race or class or privilege, is personal unbroken communion with Christ.
McConkey says: "It must be simple. God would not have made it difficult. It is we who have made it ambiguous by our doctrines, theories, and theologies. We take refuge in prayer . . . pleading . . . social service . . . giving our wealth. Thus we dodge the real issue, which is absolute surrender to Him Who was received at con-version. It may be years or at a single bound, but every saint of God knows that this crisis must be passed . . . The Devil will fight for the last stronghold of the soul . . . God states His condition of blessing: there is no other."
One cannot organize a Revival; it is mysterious as the wind. All human attempts at working up Revival are mere emotionalism — are man-made fire. Even the organization of prayer can be mechanical; there is an invisible bond that unites the hearts of men who are truly on fire.
We need to remember that this Spirit-filled life is the will of God for every one of us, and that anything less than full surrender is sin. It is sin to be lukewarm. It is sin to fear, for fear is either pride or doubting God. A self-centered life is sin. The smallest compromise on moral standards is sin. And sin separates. If we are to abide in the place of power and blessing we must, with instant and continual obedience from the heart, yield these sins to the cleansing victory of Christ.
Once right with God as far as we know, we can enter by grace this place ol Revival immediately. We do not have to wait for God: he is waiting for us. And the secret of continuing here is constant obedience. We cannot live on the merit of a past obedience. But perhaps we have for years been living surrendered lives, and a mass of hidden sins have been allowed to creep in and clog the life: and so we have grown cold and ineffectual in the service of the Master.
AM I LIVING THE VICTORIOUS LIFE?
May we suggest, as a practical daily test when we meet with our Lord, we ask our-selves a few questions, and so daily renew our vows. People sometimes "sign the pledge" — why should not we sign a pledge against the subtler sins of hypocrisy, pride, jealousy and malicious gossiping? When we deliberately hand these things over to Christ we experience immediate victory. The Lord Jesus remains the saint yesterday, to-day and for ever. The Victorious Life is free to every Christian, and no sin or human failing is unknown to Christ or barred from the list.
Let us ask ourselves then about some of the things to which we have become "addicted". They can still lead us to "squander our living," and they can even lead us into that very real prison, "bondage to self".
Am I experiencing defeat along any line in my life, such as jealousy, impure (a) thoughts, fear, hypocrisy, mistrust? Am I running away from life?
(b) Have I an uneasy conscience or any unforgiven wrongs? If so, the remedy is simple, and there is only one. "Leave your gift at the very altar and go away) first be reconciled to thy brother" (Matt, v, 23, 24; Moffatt).
(c) Am I doubting God? Doubt and unbelief are perhaps the worst sins of Christians. We say to God: "You can't change me"; "I'm made that way"; "I can't love so-and-so." This is the I-dolatry of believers, and is in reality doubting the Holy Ghost. But the Cross is "I" crossed out (Mark 4:5-6; Hebrews 3:12),
(d) Have 1 fallen into spiritual pride by saying,: Lord, I thank thee that I am not like so-and-so," or have I acquired that subtle superiority complex towards
men of other nations and of other colors?
(e) Do 1 grumble and complain? Remember Moses' words: "Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord" (Exodus 16:8). Oswald Chambers says: "If we give way to the luxury of self-pity . . . we banish God's riches from our own life, and hinder others entering into His provision .... Self-pity puts self-interest on the throne." Augustine prayed: "Lord, save me from self-vindication."
"The receiving of the Holy Spirit is God's answer to repentance and faith, and the fullness of the Holy Spirit is God's answer to surrender and faith" (McConkey).
So many stop short at repentance and acts of re-surrender. They lose sight of the basis of it all which is real faith, that is, the staking of all Life is and all it holds on the One Who "is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Many have spent years praying, whereas God was all the time waiting for them: "All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." Do not let us blame God.
REVIVAL IS COMING, IF — !
Here, then, in simple obedience to him lies the secret of blessing, and here only can real Revival Prayer be prayed and mountains be moved. That is why we stress it now . . . How miraculous is the result of this praying!
Revival is like an African bush-fire: as it burns and spreads over the mountain-side all that lurks in the long grass, the snakes and the rats, have to flee for their lives.
Revival is like the storm of long-expected rain, which comes at the end of the dry season and brings life again from the dusty veldt. But before the reviving rain falls, black clouds will appear and trees will bow and fall before the wind.
Revival is like a delicate and beautiful flower that can thrive and bloom only in prepared soil. The soil is the surrendered heart, and the garden looks upward lo the sun. But all "roots of bitterness" must be daily weeded out.
Revival is the fruit of the Spirit, and is, therefore, normal spiritual life. God's command is: "Be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians v, 18), and God's promise is: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abun-dantly" (John 10:10). We must never blame God if we have not the fullest peace and joy in this life. He is holding it out to us to take, if only we have faith to do so. It is not by works. "Works belong to the workshop. Fruits belong to the garden."
As we face these things it may mean for us an entirely new surrender of our lives to Christ. This may be a humiliating experience, accompanied as it is bound to be by restitution and reconciliation, but there is no other way and no short cut to Revival.
"Men ablaze are invincible. Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees. Fire cannot compromise. Sin, worldliness, unbelief, hell, are proof against everything but Fire. The Church is powerless without the Fire of the Holy Spirit. Destitute of Fire, nothing else counts: possessing Fire, nothing else really matters. The one vital need is Fire" (Samuel Chadwick).
And so we ask you in Jesus' name to take up the burden of prayer for Revival and to enter into this invisible bond of fellowship with the bands of men and women who, fired with a new life, are carrying the flame of Revival into these Central African kingdoms. Effectual praying might bring about a mighty move-ment of God's Spirit from Congo to Kenya and throughout the whole world. Let this prayer, well known, but so searching, be ours daily:
"Lord, bring Revival, and begin it in ME, For Jesus Christ's sake. Amen."
Please pray often for these Prayer Fellowships. What could not God do
through bands of surrendered men!