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In the Day of Thy Power: Introduction

By Arthur Wallis

      And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of My Spirit. . . and your young men shall see visions (Acts 2:7).

      Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it" (Hab. 2:2).

      It was springtime in the year 1938. A boy in middle teens stood in the little schoolroom adjoining Moriah Chapel, in the small Welsh mining town of Loughor, Glamorganshire. A strange feeling of awe and wonder filled his heart, for this was the very room that witnessed the beginnings of that great outpouring of the Spirit, the Welsh Revival of 1904. He listened to his host and guide, himself a convert of the revival, speak of those memorable days when the hardest heart were melted by the presence of the Lord, and when the hills and valleys rang again with the songs of Zion. It was almost too wonderful to be true, but it created questions deep down in his heart for which he could find no answer.

      If God can achieve such mighty things in times of revival, and if the spiritual labours of fifty years can be surpassed in so many days when the Spirit is poured out, why, he wondered, is the church today so satisfied with the results of normal evangelism? Why are we not more concerned that there should be another great revival? Why do we not pray for it day and night?

      The boy returned to his home in England. The questions that had puzzled him were temporarily forgotten, crowded out by many other youthful interests, but an indelible impression had been made upon his soul. The fires of that 1904 Awakening, burning still in many a Welsh breast, had lit a flame in his young heart. In that corner of South Wales which had been the heart of the Welsh Revival a strange longing had filled his soul: "O God, wilt Thou not do it again?"

      It was autumn in the year 1951. In the largest Island of the Outer Hebrides, Lewis and Harris, a young man was travelling along the narrow, winding road leading to the village of Barvas.

      The surrounding countryside was bare and bleak, strewn with rocks and boulders, and marked here and there with the familiar peat-banks. At length the village itself came into view, with its irregular clusters of crofters' cottages and bungalows.

      With intense interest he gazed at the plain, stone-built kirk standing alone just beyond the edge of the village. He felt again something of the awe and wonder he had experienced as a boy in the little school-room at Loughor. It was here that God had come down in power in December 1949. This parish church had witnessed the beginning of the Lewis Awakening.

      True, there had not been the wide-spread, sweeping movement of the Welsh Revival. In scope it had been a local movement, confined to scattered villages of Lewis and Harris and some of the adjoining islands. But the marks of heaven-sent, Spirit-wrought revival were all there.

      God had done it again. Thoughts flooded into the visitor's mind. If God had sent revival to Lewis was He unwilling to do it elsewhere? Was God using these favoured isles as a sort of spiritual arena in which to demonstrate in miniature that He could and would "do it again"?

      Was this awakening, away in the Western Isles, the harbinger of a modem era of spiritual revival? The visitor seemed to find an answer in his heart to these questions as quickly as they came to him, nor had he to wait long for some confirmation of his inner convictions.

      Later he enjoyed the warmth of true Scottish hospitality in the homely manse at Barvas. The following morning, while alone upon his knees, the Lord spake to him. It was as though he was looking across a vast open prairie to where, on the far horizon, a small fire was burning.

      It seemed to be coming slowly, very slowly nearer. The scene faded from view. Again he saw the prairie, but now the fire was very much nearer, and stretching like a continuous wall right across the prairie as far as the eye could see. Slowly, inexorably, the wall of flame and smoke moved forward till again the picture faded from view.

      Then it seemed as though a vast and endless desert stretched away to the horizon. There in the far distance some small dazzling object lay on the sand, shining like a star. As he watched, it grew larger and larger, filling out with blue as it did so, till even the shining framework was eclipsed by the blue, and there in the midst of the desert was a lake of water. Almost at once there came back to his mind a rendering of Isaiah 35 verse 7 he had heard quoted only the previous day. "And the mirage shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water" (R. V. margin).

      When he rose from his knees he opened his Bible and commenced to read Isaiah 43. The word of the Lord seemed to fall upon him with greater authority and power than anything God had said to him before. Like a great rain from heaven the word seemed to descend upon his thirsty soul: "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour. . . I will work, and who shall let it? . . . Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; . . . Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

      Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."

      Perhaps the reader will forgive the recounting of these personal reminiscences, since they present the background for the writing of the book, and provide some explanation for its appearance. The message of the following pages has flowed out of God's personal dealings with the writer in regard to revival. The vision and the burden have been the mainspring of the book. Throughout its preparation there has been a sense of the quiet compelling of the Spirit, and it is this that has brought it through many hindrances and delays to see the light of day.

      Behind the message that follows is the solemn conviction that grows ever clearer with the passing of the days, that we are surely moving towards a day of God's power. "His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth" (Hos. 6:3). How soon this may be we cannot say, "For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hasteth toward the end, and shall not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay" (Hab. 2:3).

      Our concern is to see that we are a people willing in the day of His power.

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See Also:
   Foreword by Duncan Campbell
   1. What Is Revival?
   2. A Sign Spoken Against
   3. The Latter Rain Of Promise
   4. This Is The Purpose
   5. Distinctive Features
   6. Distinctive Features
   7. The Prepared Heart
   8. The Praying Heart
   9. Lifting Up Holy Hands
   10. The Dynamics Of Prayer
   11. Wielding The Weapon
   12. Preparing The Way
   13. Paying The Price
   14. The Sound Of Marching
   15. The Solemn Alternative


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