Thoughts for Thursday 17th September 2020

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45; Exodus 15:22-27; 2 Corinthians 13:1-4

 

Thursday 17 September

 

Whenever I read this passage from Exodus, and it’s the same with Numbers 33:9-10, I’m always reminded of the Elim Pentecostal Church, and how well-named it is. The symbolism, it seems to me, of an oasis close to the Desert of Sin (see Exodus 16:1), with 12 springs of water and 70 palm trees (when 12 was the number of Hebrew tribes, and 7 a Jewish symbol for perfection); why, it’s like something out of John Bunyan’s ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’!

 

The Elim Pentecostal Church was founded out of a revival movement, and I’ve often wondered whether (and even at times I’ve prayed for) a revival in the life of a church, is something I might ever see in my lifetime. All I’ve known so far, I’m sorry to say, has been decline!

 

To give it its Sunday name, though, the ‘Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance’ was founded by George Jeffreys (1889-1962) who, as a teenager, had become a Christian along with his brother, Stephen, at the time of the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905. The ‘foursquare’, by the way (which is also a very good name, I think, reminding us, for example, of Christ as a cornerstone), actually refers to the Elim Pentecostal Church’s belief in Jesus as 1)Saviour, 2) Healer, 3) Baptiser in the Holy Spirit, and 4) Coming King.

 

If it’s happened before, I find myself thinking, then God can maybe make it happen again. And while it does tend to be something that always happened elsewhere – like Wales, or there was the Toronto Blessing of 1994 – I am encouraged to know that something similar did once take place in, of all places, Cambuslang; where, known as the Work (or Wark), in 1742, 30,000 people gathered to hear George Whitefield, one of the founders of Methodism, preach out in the open air.

 

Let us pray:

 

Whitefield’s Prayer

 

Yeah that we shall see the great Head of the Church once more . . . raise up unto Himself certain young men (and women) whom He may use in this glorious employ. And what manner of men (and women) will they be? Men (and women) mighty in the Scriptures, their lives dominated by a sense of the greatness, the majesty and holiness of God, and their minds and hearts aglow with the great truths of the doctrines of grace. They will be men (and women) who have learned what it is to die to self, to human aims and personal ambitions; men (and women) who are willing to be 'fools for Christ's sake', who will bear reproach and falsehood, who will labour and suffer, and whose supreme desire will be, not to gain earth's accolades, but to win the Master's approbation when they appear before His awesome judgment seat. They will be men (and women) who will preach with broken hearts and tear-filled eyes, and upon whose ministries God will grant an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Spirit, and who will witness 'signs and wonders following' in the transformation of multitudes of human lives,

 

Amen.

 


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