Broken, Melted, Filled Anew
But how is this to be brought about? Most of us are familiar with the hymn, "Itís me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer. Not my brother or my sister, but itís meÖItís me, itís me, itís me!"
A vivid memory is before me of a remarkable revival in Northern China many years ago. Twelve missionaries on the compound on which I was living, hungry and eager for a mighty movement of Godís Spirit, banded together to meet daily for prayer. Schedules were full, and at first it seemed impossible to give hours daily to prayer. But when the urgency of our need pressed in upon us, a way was found.
The noon hours were chosen, and prayer was accompanied by fasting. Well do I remember the first gathering. Sincere and earnest prayers were offered, but the burden of our prayers was for our Chinese co-workers. If only Brother Wang, and Brother Chou, and Brother Chung could be revived! If only God would meet their needs. But before long Godís faithful Spirit revealed our error Ė our eyes began to turn inward.
"If My PeopleÖHumble Themselves"
We soon realized that revival had to begin in us. Startling revelations came to us. Under the illumination of His Spirit, we discovered depths of spiritual need before unrealized. Day by day and for many hours we passed through the valley of humiliation. In the bright light of Godís revelation much of self, sin, prayerlessness, and powerless service were recognized and confessed. We were broken, melted, cleansed, and filled anew with the Holy Spirit.
And then it was that our first petition was answered. We called our Chinese co-workers in to join us, humbled ourselves before them, asked for forgiveness, and witnessed to Godís grace. One by one their hearts were broken. Some who had previously appeared so hopelessly hard were brought low at the foot of the cross. A true revival was born that did not stop on the mission compound, but had far-reaching results. It was born in Godís order: "Itís me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer!"
The great revival in Wales broke forth as the result of the heart cry of one young man, Evan Roberts. His cry was "Break me! Break me!" That manís heart was literally broken over the appalling need all about him. The result? It is known to all of us Ė a mighty moving of Godís Spirit which swept through Wales.
The far-reaching revival which broke out in Korea early in the last century was preceded by weeks of prayer. But one night a group of missionaries sensed that they were standing in the way of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. One after another stood before the Korean brethren and made confessions of their sins, backbitings, lukewarmness, etc. Godís Spirit began to work mightily. The door had been opened. A revival swept Korea which resulted in Koreaís becoming the most fruitful mission field in the world.
If God could begin such a revival in our hearts Ė in our prayer groups, in our churches, and on our missionary compounds we would see the massing powers of darkness driven back and the Spirit outpoured on every continent. Perhaps we have not been guilty of the defiling sins of the flesh, but perhaps our sins have been those of disposition. Unloveliness has characterized some of our actions; instead of constantly revealing the Christlike spirit we have fallen far short.
The Word of God gives us the unfailing conditions for revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14. The opening words, "If My peopleÖ." indicate that revival must begin with us! We must be humbled. If God through His searching Word, whether spoken or read, can awaken us to our need we will be humbled. We will be broken over our failures. We will then turn from our defeat and sin, and anew seek His face for forgiveness, cleansing, renewing, and a fresh baptism of His love and power.
May God help each one of us to pray, asking Him to show us our need until from the depths of our souls comes the cry, "Itís me, O Lord, standing in the way of revival."
"Now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and mercifulÖ and of great kindness" (Joel 2:12-13).
Reprinted from an early Herald of His Coming.