“That world outside there is not waiting for a new definition of Christianity, it’s waiting for a new demonstration of Christianity.” ~ Leonard Ravenhill
Jesus is proved by humble, Spirit-filled people demonstrating the power of God over and over again. Its time christians stop blowing off steam with intellectual arguments all the time. It would be better if we were half as intellectual and twice as spiritual! Debate has its place, but there is far more talk than walk going on. “Weak sauce!” – Thats what the world says. I agree on that count. For the most part we are “weak sauce.”
This series called Proving Jesus is not so much about convincing a faithless world of Jesus, but to awakening shy, impotent and reclusive believers to what normal faith actually is. True disciples do what Jesus did. Actually they do even greater things than he did.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”- John 14:12
When we open the Bible and read it we can easily compartmentalize it to “once upon a time in a land far, far way.” Its NOT! Its real. I want to expose how abnormal and settled our faith has become- not just compared the to the book of Acts, but compared to documented modern christian history! This isn’t laa di da stuff! This is real. So, we’re going to take snapshots of normal men and women who decided to break with the “weak sauce” and quit living in a “fairytale” faith. They took hold of what a disciple of Jesus is to be. They determined to be living demonstrations of the reality and glory of God!
If you think about it, that’s what Jesus did. He didn’t spend much time on hecklers or doubters. He simply, humbly and consistently demonstrated the supernatural glory of God and preached truth. Likewise these men and women I will share about were used by God in astounding miracles, they overcame unimaginable hardships, suffering and humiliations for their devotion to truth. They came out of the fires of adversity like pure gold. The world was not worthy of them. Ready?
Wales. 1904. A young 20-something year old coal miner. A nobody. His name was Rees Howells. God met him and set him on fire during the welsh revival. He became the leader of a small band of young people who reached out the lowest of the low in the surrounding villages. He would work 8 hours a day mining on the coal face(the most difficult job in the mine). After work he would hurry home, wash the soot off his face, grab a bite to eat and then walk several miles into the villages to visit, preach, minister to the sick, and care for the homeless. Sometimes he would invite homeless men to stay with him. Sometimes he would give them his coat too. The next day he would often see the same homeless man as drunk as ever stumbling around with a bottle in his hand and no coat which he had sold for more drink.
Rees had a personal financial policy: First need, first claim. If he was saving money for something and someone came with a need. That need would be met with his money first. Crazy? God didn’t think so.
Rees was a praying man. When something came up and he sensed the prompting of God to pray, he would go up into his room. Close the door and pray often for weeks, even months on end. On one occasion he locked himself away for 90 days, only eating a bit of soup once a day. Crazy? God didn’t think so.
Revival was spreading in the townships. Alcoholics, prostitutes, criminals and even the well-to-do were repenting and their lives were being transformed by God. On one occasion he and some fellow workers were walking by a group of drunk women. One of his friends commented, “Where is the power to change these lives?” Immediately the Spirit of God prompted Rees that he must pray for the ringleader of these ladies who was a particularly evil woman. He did not know her nor did he have any connections with her. God told him simply to use prayer alone to “pray her into the Kingdom of God.” For six whole weeks he had no contact with her but laboured in prayer in his room. On the sixth week the Spirit gave him peace that he could now expect the answer. He stopped praying.
Suddenly the woman began to attend prayer and bible studies in a little cottage where they met. Still, no real change happened. Rees was tempted to keep praying for her(sounds crazy doesn’t it?) But he didn’t because he knew that any further prayer would be prayers of doubt about what God had already promised him. Christmas day arrived. It was a busy service, lots of noise and screaming babies. Not exactly a “powerful” service, but suddenly in the middle of the service this woman fell to her knees and began weeping, confessing her sins and calling out to God.
One man, touched heaven on behalf of that woman. This is the power of prayer.
This is normal christianity folks! Stop making excuses. Its time to face your abnormality head on. Don’t shrug it off. Be bold! Look in the mirror and face who you are. Humble yourself before God. Ask him where to go from here and start to risk yourself for God’s glory!
Rees Howells proved Jesus over and over. This was only the beginning of Rees’ journey and I hope to share more. God used him in even more astounding ways than this.
His biography is among the top most influential books in my life. Get the book “Rees Howells Intercessor by Norman Grubb.”
What christian biographies have most changed you? I’d love to hear your submissions. You can comment below.