By Norman P. Grubb
This completes what has been on my heart and mind to outline as God's way of continuous revival. I doubt that the use of much further actual illustration would add a great deal. I just mention a few points. I have learned in fellowship with others who have formed the habit of regularly testifying one to the other of God's immediate dealings in their lives. Many of these testimonies have told in simplest form of the first seed of some sin, such as worldly ambition, getting into their hearts, and how they have repented and been cleansed afresh in the blood. The thrill and value of such testimonies to me has been to see such sensitiveness to sin that when the first seeds are sown by Satan in the heart, they are recognized in God's light and dealt with. Whereas in so many of us we let such seeds lie and send down their roots, until ultimately they bear their evil fruit openly. I saw immediate sensitiveness to sin, as I had never seen it before.
In Africa, for instance, how used I had been to hearing about or seeing the tragedy of a fine young life, apparently fully dedicated to Christ and serving Him, suddenly switched off the the service of the Lord through love of material gain, a much bigger salary, finer clothes, more possessions (with all these things now pouring into Africa) but how well I knew that that did not happen in a moment. There were seeds of covetousness long down in their hearts, roots taking hold downwards and finally bearing their evil fruit upwards, but no one ever knew they were there! The walls were up and nothing was ever said about the inner struggle which finally ended in defeat. But when there was, what a thrill it was to hear one and another get up to fellowship with all about "desires for progress" getting hold of their hearts that week, and that they had seen that to love anything more than Jesus was sin, and had brought it to the cleansing blood. Sin was dealt with in its seed form!
The same applies to the awful hold on lives of the sins of uncleanness. So many times nothing is seen or known till the public fall, fornication or adultery, has taken place, and disciplinary action by the church becomes necessary. But where revival is, and walls are down, the first motions of those sins in impure thoughts or unclean looks are recognized as sin, judged, confessed and brought to the cleansing blood -- and it has never brought me embarrassment, but rather joy to hear a brother testify to the Lord's dealings with him that week in his thought life.
Then there is the constant flow of joy and praise which results from such testimonies. It is the very opposite to some morbid, depressing accounts of sins committed. Each testimony magnifies the precious blood; indeed I have never before seen the blood so praised and so precious, and hymns and choruses so much centering on "the fountain opened for uncleanness and sin," such as:
Glory, glory hallelujah,
Glory, glory to the Lamb!
Oh, the cleansing blood has reached me,
Glory, glory to the Lamb!
One other point was the quickness with which many have learned to "break," when conscious of sin. Whereas we so often remain unbroken and unrepentant for hours or days, too proud to break and witness, and thus we remain in darkness and heaviness of heart when we might come straight back into the light through the blood. In Africa again, in a formal Sunday morning service, I saw an interpreter who had been corrected in a mistaken interpretation by someone in the congregation, stand up five minutes later, as the service ended, to tell the whole congregation that God had dealt with him for having resentment and pride in his heart because he had been corrected. Not only did he have an immediate restoration of the joy of the Lord, instead of carrying about hardness and resentment perhaps for days, but the testimony released a moving of the Spirit among the people, who carried on testimony and praise meetings in groups outside the building.
One final word about the way revival starts. It begins by one person who sees from God what it is to walk in the light. But to walk with Jesus like this involves also walking in the light with one another, horizontally as well as vertically, and that means at least one other person with whom to walk in open fellowship. Of course, as one brother said to me, "One would naturally start walking like that with the person nearest to you -- husband and wife, brother and sister, friend and friend." In other words, revival starts with two people being revived, and starts at home!
The way to begin walking in the light in fellowship one with another in a more public sense is to do it. I have found it most helpful, after talking with a congregation on the subject, to suggest that we move straight on to a time of quiet open fellowship. There will be no pressure, no demands made on any, but just an opportunity
given to any to say anything, if they know the Spirit is telling them to do so; if others have no special word from God in their hearts, they are right to keep silent. But revival comes through obedience. Indeed revival is really just obeying the Holy Ghost. Where He tells to "break" and to testify to the light shining on sin in our lives, and on the blood which cleanses from all sin, then let us obey, and we will find at once that the Spirit is loosed in revival in our own hearts, and is moving in revival in the company. I have found it good to make this time of open fellowship a natural continuation of a meeting, rather than to ask folks to go into another room. We are not aiming at an after-meeting in the ordinary sense when folks are called upon to make some crisis decision, but rather to practise a season of fellowship in which folks can see and learn and share in walking in the light; for we are out, not for some sudden decisions, but to learn the way of walking in revival individually and as communities.
Yet let us keep always before us that we are learning a continuous walk with God and one another. Anything can so easily become formal and legalistic. Thus a set fellowship meeting can become the set time for open fellowship, whereas we are seeking to learn to walk all the time in the two-way fellowship, in the home, between husband and wife and children; in our church and social contacts; and in our business life: it is by this means that the revival will spread among saved and unsaved, when God has thousands walking in revival who can't help witnessing to the ways in which God is meeting them in the dusty walks of their daily lives.
With these rough outlines I close this small booklet. The blessed Holy Spirit can never be systematized. The wind bloweth where it listeth. He is always original, and all our fresh springs are in Him. We can, however, at least give humble testimony to this His way which has been revealed to us in our day, even as Paul told the Corinthians that he was sending them Timothy to "bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ." We write what we have seen and heard, and what we have tested by experience. May the Lord water the seed in hearts. God's plan in these last days is revival in His world-wide church, and through the revived church the reaping of a final great harvest of souls. I believe that what is outlined in these pages is the way of the Spirit, within the reach of all believers, both to begin and continue such a revival.