Are You Willing to Drink His Cup? # 3
In Scotland, nine miles out of Glasgow, there's a great big house, a national memorial to David Livingstone. In it there is a model that shows the room where he died, where for years and years he prayed. It's like some of those houses in India that are made of bamboo and leaves woven in. And there he is, kneeling over a bed, if you can call it that - two bamboo rods with some leaves on it and a candle flickering there. They said every night he would kneel at that bed and you would hear him crying with his hands raised, "God, when will the wound of this worlds sin be healed?"
He fought the Portuguese slave traders. He did many, many marvelous things. Why? Because he had a Gethsemane of his own. His precious wife died and he buried her in the jungle. And the baby she bore died. He buried the child at the side of its mother. Another child he had died and he buried that one.
But the grief didn't change his zeal for God. It added fuel to the fire. "The devils trying to rob me. The devils trying to hinder me." And he worked with greater zeal. He prayed more than ever he had prayed. They said that night after night his voice would echo through the forest, "Oh God, when will the wound of this worlds sin be healed?"
Dear God! all our pastors are concerned about is adding one or two members! Or getting another bus to bring the people in! I say again, there can be no revival without travail.
"I want my sons to set on thy right hand". Well, here's His answer.
"And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant" (Matthew 20:24-27). Well, that's a switch, isn't it? They wanted to sit on his right hand. He said, "The way into My kingdom is:
If you want to go up, you must go down.
If you exalt yourself, I'll abase you.
Be abased, and I will exalt you.
Save your life, you'll lose it.
Lose your life, you'll save it." It's reverse logic.
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life (v. 28). Not to give His theology; not to declare, "I have a mandate from the Father to instruct you." He gave them all He had.
He gave them the Sermon on the Mount.
He gave them evidence that He had dominion over sin, death, disease, and devils, and everything.
And yet, they were unbelieving!
"I'm straightened. I'm tied up. I can't do anything yet." That's what He said in Luke 12. "I have no release. I have to be baptized with. Before that word of John that startled you when he said, "when he comes, he'll baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire", but he didn't do that. NOT immediately. He said, "I have to go through the Father's will. The Father's will is Gethsemane. The Father's will is the Cross. The Father's will is that I go down into the depths, lead captivity captive, and give gifts unto men."
As I said, there are two great reasons we don't have revival.
We're content to live without it.
It's too costly.
We don't want God to disrupt our status quo.
The Christian life an only be lived one way, and that's God's way. And
God's way is that I leave all and follow Him.
God's way is that, in that hour when I think I've "arrived" at something, the Lord shutters that.
We think, "If I had the privileges of Mrs. So-and-so, I'd be a real saint."
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (vs. 27-28). I was reading a couple of pages in the Marechales life yesterday. I like to turn to that book. She was the oldest daughter of the founder of the Salvation Army. Even when she was 85 years of age she could preach up a storm. "One night," she said, "I went to Brussels. I went to a large mansion loaded with antiques and costly things. It was beautiful. It was owned by a Christian. I noticed a sweet girl there, at about nine o'clock each morning she would come out of the servants quarters radiant. I said to her one day, My dear, I want to ask you a question. I've noticed the last few mornings while having my breakfast, after coming out of your servants quarters, you are so radiant!" She replied, "I begin at 5 o'clock in the morning!" "5 clock? To what time?" "Well, breakfast is at 8. Usually I have the last fire going by about half past 7." "How do you do it?" "I just kneel in front of it. I sweep all the ashes on one side. I put them in a bucket. I get some paper and some kindling wood. (And boy, getting coal to catch is a job!) I go in that room and get that fire going, I go in to the next, I go to the next. I go back and the first ones gone out, so I do it over again. But eventually I get to breakfast a minute or two before 8 o'clock. I've lit my 12 fires." "Don't you get impatient?" "No." "Well, you say the fires have gone out?" "Yes, they often go out." "Well, do you get up early for devotions?" "No", she said. "Not very early." "Well, how do you maintain your spiritual life?" "She said, "Every time I light a fire, I say, Jesus, while I'm kindling this fire, kindle a fire in me!" Kindle a fire of Your love afresh in me this morning! Kindle a fire of Your devotions in me! Here's this precious little girl talking to one of the most powerful women in the world. A woman who, at 21 years of age, went to Paris and turned that city upside-down preaching to all the prostitutes. The queen of the underworld was there. Men came from the Sorbonne, the greatest intellectuals with their long beards and their pipes, and listened to her. And yet the Marechale said that young lady taught me more than most sermons I'd ever heard. She had to light the fire, get bellows, blow the things up and try to get them going. She said, "At every fire place, I never missed one morning saying, Lord as I'm kindling this fire, kindle Your fire in me." The fire of love for Your will. The fire of love. The fire of joy. The fire of peace. The fire of compassion. If this fire came to the Church, we'd turn America upside-down in six months!!
(continued with # 4)