“I once knew a little cripple who lay upon her death-bed. She had given herself to God, and was distressed only because she could not labor for Him actively among the lost. 

Her clergyman visited her, and hearing her complaint, told her that there from her sick-bed she could offer prayers for those whom she wished to see turning to God. He advised her to write the names down, and then to pray earnestly; and then he went away and thought of the subject no more. 

Soon a feeling of great religious interest sprang up in the village, and the churches were crowded nightly. The little cripple heard of the progress of the revival, and inquired anxiously for the names of the saved. 

A few weeks later she died, and among a roll of papers that was found under her little pillow, was one bearing the names of fifty-six persons, every one of whom had in the revival been converted. By each name was a little cross, by which the poor crippled saint had checked off the names of the converts as they had been reported to her.” 

— D.L. Moody

“I think just now of a certain island . . . I am on this island, and I felt the going fearfully hard. Oh, it was difficult to preach–you felt your very words coming back and hitting you. And I was a bit distressed. I turned to one of the other ministers and I said, “Now don’t you think that we should send for the praying men of Barvas?”

Let me say in passing that the praying men of Barvas were praying for us just now, there were at least five of them in this part of God’s vineyard who promised to do that and I believe they were keeping to their promise. However, I sent for them and in the conversation that I had with this businessman, one of the praying men, I said, “If it is at all possible will you bring little Donald Mc_____.” Now I will tell you later how Donald came to know the Lord. But bring him.

Now Donald had a remarkable experience on the hillside a fortnight after he was born again. And God came upon him — the Holy Ghost came upon him. He had a mighty baptism. I hope you believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost as a distinct experience. You may disagree, but I believe in it…this young fellow had such a baptism of God among the heather, that he forgot about coming home and a search party had to be sent out to find him in the hills. And they found him on his face among the heather repeating over and over, “Oh, Jesus, I love You. Oh, Jesus I love You.” And wasn’t he near to Jesus if he spoke like that? He was, of course.

Well, I asked the men to bring little Donald with them. And now we are in the service in the church. And I am preaching from the text, “Who is this that cometh from Edom . . . this that is glorious in his apparel traveling in the greatness of his strength. I that speak in righteousness am mighty to save” that was the text. But oh, I tell you, the going was hard. The going was hard.

I looked down and I saw little Donald sitting there in the seat. And I saw that his head was bowed and I saw that the floor was wet with his tears. And I said to myself, “Well, now, there is a young lad nearer to God that you or I. Oh, there is a young lad who is in touch with God.” And I stopped preaching. And looking down at this young lad, I said, “Donald, I believe God would have you lead us in prayer. ” It was right in the midst of my address.

And that young lad stood to his feet. Now that morning at family worship they were reading Rev 4 where John has the vision of the open door. “I saw a door opened in heaven.” And as that young man stood, that vision came before him. And this is what he said in his prayers. “God, I seem to be gazing in through the open door. And I seem to see the Lamb standing in the midst of the Throne. He has the keys of death and of hell at his girdle.” Then he stopped and began to weep. And for a minute or so he wept and he wept. Oh, the brokenness. And when he was able to control himself, he lifted his eyes towards the heavens and he cried out, “God, there is power there–let it loose! Let it loose!”

And suddenly, the power of God fell upon the congregation. Of course in Lewis and in other islands of the Hebrides, they stand to pray, they sit to sing. And now, one side of the church threw their hands up like this. Threw their heads back and you would almost declare that they were in an epileptic fit, but they were not. Oh, I can’t explain it. And the other side they slumped on top of each other. But God, the Holy Ghost moved. Those who had their hands like this stayed that way for two hours. Now you try to remain like that with your hands up for a few minutes and you will find it hard–but you would break their hands before you could take them down. Now, I can’t explain it–this is what happened.

But the most remarkable thing that night was what took place in a village seven miles away from the church. There wasn’t a single person from that village in the church. Not one single person. Seven miles away, it was a while away certainly but while Donald Mc_____ was praying, the power of God swept through __________, that’s the name of the village. Swept through the village and I know it to be a fact that there wasn’t a single house in the village that hadn’t a soul saved in it. Not a single house in the village.

A schoolmaster that night looking over his papers 15 miles away from this island on the mainland suddenly was gripped by the fear of God. And he said to his wife, “Wife, I don’t know what’s drawing me to Barvas, but I must go.” His wife said, “But it’s nearly 10 o’clock and you’re thinking of going to Barvas. I know what’s on your mind, I know that you are going out to drink and you are not leaving this house tonight!” That was what she said to him–he was a hard drinker. And he said to his wife, “I may be mistaken, oh, I maybe mistaken, but if I know anything at all about my own heart and mind, I think I say to you now that drink will never touch my lips again.” And she said to him, “Well, John, if that’s your mind, then go to Barvas.”

And he got someone to take him to the ferry, someone to ferry him across, and I was conducting a meeting in a farmhouse at midnight and this schoolmaster came to the door and they made room for him and in a matter of minutes he was praising God for salvation. Now that’s miracle. I mean you cannot explain it in any other way.

A father, a mother and two daughters and a son were saved that night in this village but one of the daughters who was in the medical profession was in London. She was in London. A very clever girl. She is walking down Oxford Street after leaving a patient and she is suddenly arrested by the power of God. She went into a closet and cried to God for mercy and God saved her there–the whole family saved! My dear people, these are facts. And I tell you of them to honor God”

— Duncan Campbell

“No lover of the Lord Jesus has ever said that he has had enough of Christ’s love. When Madame Guyon had spent many a day and many a month in the sweet enjoyment of the love of Jesus, she penned most delicious hymns concerning it; but they are all full of craving after more, there is no indication that she wished for any change of affection to her Lord, or any change in the object of her affection. She was satisfied with Christ, and longed to have more and more of his love. Ah, poor drunkard! you may put away the cup of devils because you are satiated with its deadly draught; but never did he who drinks of the wine of Christ’s love become satiated or even content with it; he ever desires more and yet more of it…

Oh, may God grant to us, dear friends, to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge! I feel sure that, while I am preaching on such a theme as this, I must seem to some here present, to be talking arrant nonsense, for they have never tasted of the love of Jesus; but those who have tasted of it will, perhaps, by my words, have many sweet experiences called to their minds, which will refresh their spirits, and set them longing to have new draughts of this all-precious love which infinitely transcends all the joys of earth…

It is wonderful, in reading the history of the saints, to notice what the love of Christ has fitted them to do; I might almost say that it has plucked up mountains, and cast them into the sea, for things impossible to other men have become easy enough to men on fire with the love of Christ. 

What the Church of Christ needs just now to strengthen her, is more love to her Lord, and her Lord’s love more fully enjoyed in the souls of her members; there is no strengthening influence like it…the love of Christ is the grandest stimulant of the renewed nature that can be known. It enables the fainting man to revive from his swooning; it causes the feeble man to leap up from his bed of languishing; and it makes the weary man strong again. 

Are you weary, brother, and sick of life? You only need more of Christ’s love shed abroad in your heart. Are you, dear brother, ready to faint through unbelief? You only need more of Christ’s love, and all shall be well with you. I would to God that we were all filled with it to the full, like those believers were on the day of Pentecost, of whom the mockers said that they were full of new wine. Peter truly said that they were not drunken, as men supposed; but that it was the Spirit of God and the love of Christ filling them with unusual power and unusual energy, and therefore men knew not what it was. God grant to us also this great power, and Christ shall have all the glory of it!”

— C.H. Spurgeon

May you dare to believe that God makes all things new! One day, He will restore all things; He will redeem every aspect of your story; He will once-and-for-all renew your strength and revive your heart. He’ll give you a new body that will not decay, health that’ll never diminish, and joy that continually overflows. 

That day is coming. But even now, He is working on your behalf! Are you looking for Him? He’s moving in your midst, tending to prayers you prayed some time ago. Are you listening? He speaks words of wisdom and revelation to those who revere Him. Do you believe He’s more powerful than the enemy of your soul? He intends to restore what the enemy has stolen.

 May faith rise up this very hour! May you embrace a joyful heart, not because of what your eyes see, but because of what your heart knows: that God is good, He is for you, and He will not fail you. He is mighty to save and He has set His affection on YOU! Have a blessed day.”

— Susie Larson

“Once, as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man, and his wonderful, great, full, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension. This grace that appeared so calm and sweet, appeared also great above the heavens.

The person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent, with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception — which continued, as near as I can judge, about an hour; which kept me the greater part of the time in a flood of tears, and weeping aloud.

I felt an ardency of soul to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to lie in the dust, and to be full of Christ alone; to love him with a holy and pure love; to trust in him; to live upon him; to serve and follow him; and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure, with a divine and heavenly purity. I have several other times had views very much of the same nature, and which have had the same effects.”

– Jonathan Edwards

“Up until my wedding, I had been very active in God’s work in college and in the hospital. But now, I was just sitting at home (a home that was not even mine), without much money and having a small child to look after. I became very discouraged and started drifting away from the Lord in my mind. I did not do anything wrong externally. I still went to the church- meetings. But I was miserable inside. I knew that God had led me to marry Zac. But I wondered why we were suffering like this. I did not feel like praying, or even reading the Bible. In addition, our baby was keeping me awake at night and I was constantly tired.

At this time of utter discouragement, a sister whom I had never met before, came to our home. She asked me if we could pray together. I agreed and took her to my bedroom and we prayed together. The freshness in her prayer challenged me. It made me long for such a freshness in my own life. That sister then suggested that I go to her house next time for prayer. So the next time, I took my baby and went to her home. We both knelt down on the floor and prayed while my baby was sleeping between us. I prayed saying, “Lord something has happened in my life. At one time I was so close to you, but now I have gone so far away from You. Please have mercy on me and bring me back to You.”

Then the Lord began to show me how I had wrong attitudes in my heart against some people. My father and I had become distant from each other. My husband’s parents were very good to me, but I was not happy in their home. The Lord opened my eyes and showed me that the problem was not with others but with me. So I started crying and said, “Lord, forgive me. I am such a rotten sinner. Outwardly people think I am good. But I am full of bitterness inside.”

Suddenly I felt God touching my heart. I felt like a little child in His arms. He picked me up and my tears stopped. He filled my heart with joy and peace once again. As I started to praise and thank God, I found myself speaking in a new language. I was surprised. My church background was “Brethren” – and I did not believe in the gift of speaking in tongues. I wondered what was happening to me. I didn’t want to be praying in that strange language. So I started praying in English again. But it was a struggle now to pray in English. I found it easier to pray in the new language God had given me.

I just poured out my heart to the Lord and praised God in this new language. I felt in my spirit as if I was no longer on earth. There was such a great joy and peace in my heart. I came back home and told my husband what had happened. And in the coming days, he saw a real change in my life. A new freshness had come into my life. I felt as if the dry barren desert in my heart had suddenly turned fresh and green! That joy and peace has never left me since that day….God stood by me and strengthened me and answered prayer. I came to know Him more and more intimately as my Father.

God then opened my eyes to the great truths of the New Covenant that He had established in Christ. He showed me that He had given me the power of the Holy Spirit so that I would not live for myself anymore, but only for Him. I saw that God wanted to change me into the likeness of Jesus – and He began to change me slowly. He taught me patience and helped me to overcome my anger and filled my heart with love for people.”

— Annie Poonen

“Leonard Ravenhill once said that modern Christianity has accepted a counterfeit version of joy and peace by looking to Hollywood and professional sports to bring us delight. We look to movies and television and football games to bring us the pleasure that our King desires to give. And by leaning on worldly entertainment for rest and refreshment, we find only a temporary fix; not lasting happiness or true fulfillment…

Yes, there are a few movies that can actually edify our spirits and lead us closer to Christ. But very few fall into that category. And the bottom line is that the area of worldly entertainment, for most young Christians, has an unhealthy strangle-hold upon us. 

As I said in Authentic Beauty, one of the ways that you can tell something is an “idol” or “other lover” in your life is that you are unwilling to let it go; you can’t picture living without it. Most of us, if we were honest, would have to admit that we are unbelievably attached to the world’s entertainment…the reality is that movies (or T.V. shows) that actually bring glory to God and lead us closer to Christ are the rare exception, not the rule.

When we sit in front of sights, images and messages that are the opposite of God’s Kingdom, we allow our minds to be subtly manipulated by the voices of darkness, whether we realize it or not.

Most of us are far more influenced by pop-culture than we are by the Word of God…And we wonder why Christ feels distant. But it’s not just movies and T.V. that has us in its controlling vice. It’s an overall pre-occupation with pop-culture. Music artists, professional athletes, and movie stars claim far more of our applause and attention than Jesus Christ does. 

Little children, keep yourselves from idols are the closing words that sum up the entire book of first John. (1 John 5:21 KJV)

Idols are not just golden statues that people bow down to in ornate temples. An idol is anything that claims our attention and affection above Christ. Most of us verbally declare that Jesus Christ is more important to us than our fetish for music or movies. But what does our life say? Where do we spend the best hours of our day? What do we turn to for enjoyment and comfort?

Tauler wrote, 
“A pure heart is one to which all that is not of God is strange and jarring.”

Pop-culture floods our minds and senses with things that are not of God. But for most of us, the glamorized sin that surrounds us is not strange and jarring. It’s normal and accepted. In fact, we go out of our way to enjoy and participate in it. We even spend a huge amount of our time and money on it. And we allow it to capture our mind, emotion, and attention.

Christ makes it clear that we cannot love both Him and the things that charm and ravish this world. We cannot be dazzled by the images of pop-culture and captivated by the King of all kings:

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.”  (I John 2:15-16 NKJV)

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

…Does God stand up and cheer over American Idol? Does He smile with delight over the new Twilight movie? Does He get excited about the latest Cold Play album?

Or does He grieve over our distracted, wandering, divided hearts?”

– Leslie Ludy

“The great part of the night I lay awake, sometimes asleep, and sometimes between sleeping and waking. But all night I continued in a constant, clear and lively sense of the heavenly sweetness of Christ’s excellent and transcendent love, of his nearness to me, and of my dearness to him…

My heart and soul all flowed out in love to Christ, so that there seemed to be a constant flowing and reflowing of heavenly and divine love, from Christ’s heart to mine; and I appeared to myself to float or swim, in these bright, sweet beams of the love of Christ, his light like the motes swimming in the beams of the sun, or the streams of his light which come in at the window. 

My soul remained in a kind of heavenly elysium. So far as I am capable of making a comparison, I think that what I felt each minute, during the continuance of the whole time, was worth more than all the outward comfort and pleasure, which I had enjoyed in my whole life put together. It was a pure delight, which fed and satisfied the soul. It was peasure, without the least sting, or any interruption. It was a sweetness, which my soul was lost in. It seemed to be all that my feeble frame could sustain, of that fulness of joy, which is felt by those, who behold the face of Christ, and share his love in the heavenly world. There was but little difference, whether I was asleep or awake, so deep was the impression made on my soul…

This lively sense of the beauty and excellency of divine things, continued during the morning, accompanied with peculiar sweetness and delight. To my own imagination, my soul seemed to be gone out of me to God and Christ in heaven, and to have very little relation to my body. God and Christ were so present to me, and so near me, that I seemed removed from myself. The spiritual beauty of the Father and the Saviour, seemed to engross my whole mind; and it was the instinctive feeling of my heart, “Thou art; and there is none beside thee.”

I never felt such an entire emptiness of self-love, or any regard to any private, selfish interest of my own. It seemed to me, that I had entirely done with myself. I felt that the opinions of the world concerning me were nothing, and that I had no more to do with any outward interest of my own, than with that of a person whom I never saw. The glory of God seemed to be all, and in all, and to swallow up every wish and desire of my heart….

My soul was filled and overwhelmed with light, and love, and joy in the Holy Ghost, and seemed just ready to go away from the body. I could scarcely refrain from expressing my joy aloud, in the midst of the service. I had in the mean time, an overwhelming sense of the glory of God, as the Great Eternal All, and of the happiness of having my own will entirely subdued to his will. I knew that the foretaste of glory, which I then had in my soul, came from him, that I certainly should go to him, and should, as it were, drop into the Divine Being, and be swallowed up in God.”

— Sarah Edwards, wife of Jonathan Edwards

At the behest of her husband Jonathan Edwards, his wife Sarah wrote out the narrative of her experiences in the manifest presence of God, from a two week period of time when revival came to Northampton. However, such experiences for her were not confined to this particular time alone. Jonathan believed that reading her testimony of these things would be of benefit to the saints. Below is a one beautiful excerpt…

In Sarah’s own words: “I never before felt so far from a disposition to judge and censure others, with respect to the state of their hearts, their sincerity, or their attainments in holiness, as I did that morning. To do this, seemed abhorrent to every feeling of my heart. I realized also, in an unusual and very lively manner, how great a part of christianity lies in the performance of our social and relative duties to one another. The same lively and joyful sense of spiritual and divine things continued throughout the day – a sweet love to God and all mankind, and such an entire rest of soul in God, that it seemed as if nothing that could be said of me, or done to me, could touch my heart, or disturb my enjoyment. 

The road between heaven and my soul seemed open and wide, all the day long; and the consciousness I had of the reality and excellence of heavenly things was so clear, and the affections they excited so intense, that it overcame my strength, and kept my body weak and faint, the great part of the day, so that I could not stand or go without help. The night also was comforting and refreshing.

This delightful frame of mind was continued on Monday. About noon, one of the neighbours, who was conversing with me, expressed himself thus, “One smile from Christ is worth a thousand million pounds,” and the words affected me exceedingly, and in a manner in which I cannot express. I had a strong sense of the infinite worth of Christ’s approbation and love, and at the same time of the grossness of the comparison; and it only astonished me, that any one could compare a smile of Christ to any earthly treasure. 

Towards night, I had a deep sense of the awful greatness of God, and felt with what humility and reverence we ought to behave ourselves before him. Just then Mr. W — came in, and spoke with a somewhat light, smiling air, of the flourishing state of religion in the town; which I could scarcely bear to see. It seemed to me, that we ought greatly to revere the presence of God, and to behave ourselves with the utmost solemnity and humility, when so great and holy a God was so remarkably present, and to rejoice before him with trembling. 

In the evening, these words, in the Penitential Cries, – “THE COMFORTER IS COME!” – were accompanied to my soul with such conscious certainty, and such intense joy, that immediately it took away my strength, and I was falling to the floor; when some of those who were near me caught me and held me up. And when I repeated the words to the by-standers, the strength of my feelings was increased. The name – “THE COMFORTER” – seemed to denote that the Holy Spirit was the only and infinite Fountain of comfort and joy, and this seemed real and certain to my mind. These words – “THE COMFORTER” – seemed as it were immensely great, enough to fill heaven and earth.”

“Genuine revival will not be a bandwagon. So-called “revival” is a popular movement in the church today. Everybody seems eager to join in. But genuine revival will not be popular with everyone. It may have a polarizing effect. It will divide between those who are walking after the flesh and those who are walking in the Spirit, between those who want to build their own kingdom and those who want to build the Kingdom of God, between those who are attached to their own ideas and those who are committed to the Word of God.

In the current climate, it is possible to promote “revival” without risking anything–our image, our reputation, our position within the denomination or the evangelical world, our sophistication, our schedule, our convenience, or the respect of others.

But when God pours out His Spirit in genuine revival, the participants and leaders of the revival may find themselves losing popularity contests, even in the church. They may be misunderstood, ridiculed, scorned, ignored, or dismissed as fanatics. Yet, though it cost them everything, they must be prepared to speak the truth to the people of God and to our world.

We must guard against “revival” becoming just another popular program or emphasis in the church. In its quest for results and success, the church tends to gravitate to trends and to jump from one new thrust to the next…The church of Jesus Christ does not need one more novel idea or approach. “The answer” is not a program or an effort. What we need is the presence and power of God…we must seek His face.”

— Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth