Greetings this morning in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for that singing. We'll see how the time goes, I'm supposed to have form 9:00 to 10:20, [laughs] but I agree with brother Ken, if you ever get an opportunity to lead the singing, you'd take it. It's a blessing, but if you ever get to preach, you'd better take that duty, because it's even more of a blessing.
All right, let's stand before the Lord, should we do that? Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name, O Lord. Hallowed be Thy name, God. Have mercy on us this morning. Father, we trust you Lord, for the grace, God, that we all need, to give and to hear these words this morning, and we trust you dear Father for the outworking for all of it. Oh, may it extend it the glory of your Son, where ever we go. Have mercy on us, Father, we all pray. In Jesus' name, Amen,
All right, this morning we want to speak on this subject, "Endowment of Power" - how it is obtained. So, get out your notepads, it's ten steps to power this morning, right? Wrong. No, God will not allow Himself to be put in any box like that. He will not allow it. As soon as you think you have it all figured out and put it in a box, and put into ten steps, He'll turn right around and do it different for someone else. He moves in mysterious ways and varied ways, and I think we all need to acknowledge this fact as we enter this subject, yet we do need to cover this subject.
The one hundred and twenty in the upper room, I think of them this morning. There was some preperation before the day of Pentecost was fully come. Some of it was just the natural outflow of the surcumstances that God had set them in. I mean, You think about it. There they are. They're in the upper room. The last time they saw the Lord Jesus, He spoke a few words to them, lifted up His hands, and disappeared into Heaven. And so they are there. They're there with many unanswered questions about the kingdom, and what all this means and where He went, and what are we going to do next. They were there in the upper room with an insurmountable task. He gave a few words to them before He left and told them to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. See you later! And insurmountable task. They were in that upper room; there were many obstacles that they had to deal with. I mean, it's not that long ago they watched their Lord crucified on a cross, and they may be next, and they haven't any clue whether they will be or not. And there they are in the upper room. I would say it's a good preparation, what do you think? A good preparation for receiving the Holy, awesome, purifying, empowering presence of the Living god.
There in the upper room they had a foundation of failure underneath them. That's all the reference they had. " 'Me first.', 'No, me first.', 'No, me first!'". Speaking out of hand, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, and to top it all off, they forsook the Lord and fled, and Peter, he denied Him three times, and they have all of that underneath them, too. That's the good preparation, isn't it? There they were in the upper room; they had assurity of the promise that Jesus gave to them. "Ye shall,"... "Ye shall", He said. That was assurity of the promise. And He gave them no set time, or moment, He just said, "Not many days hence," and there they are.
No steps given, but God did prepare the circumstances for them, and just told them to wait. Earnestly, expectantly wait for the promise of the Father.
So we can see from that, that there was some preparation in all of this, it just wasn't some happenstance event that took place in their lives, and with all of that in their background for ten days they dwelt in that posture, off and on in the upper room in one accord seeking God, and waiting.
"And when they day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all of one accord in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as a rushing, mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them," (one hundred and twenty of them), "and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." Now we can see by this account that there was some preparation involved for these one hundred and twenty. They spent ten days in that upper room. I don't know if you've spent ten days in an upper room anywhere but, it wouldn't hurt you to do that every now and then, but I'm not here to tell you that if you spend ten days in an upper room God will change your whole life and fill you with the Holy Ghost, because right after that, the three thousand who believed the words of the apostle Peter received the same thing, and they didn't spend ten days waiting on it.
Now admittantly there was some qualifications there, also. I mean, you consider where they were at that day when they cried out to Peter, and to the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" And Peter said "repent and be baptized in the name of the One you crucified 45 - 50 days ago." [As the men:] "Oh, well, I'm not sure if I'm ready to do that." Repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, yes, come repent and baptized. Loose your name, loose your identity, be forsaken, be written off the roles, be counted as no longer living, loose all of your inheritance. Yeah, just come repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, again, there were some qualifications there. Those three thousand fearless souls that stepped forward that day, it wasn't just happenstance for them, either. [you may think] Oh, ok, sure I'll do that, [but], there was a cost involved. No doubt about it. They knew they would loose everything that day, and as I understand it and as I evaluate it, I believe they got what the others got that day. And if you read on in chapter 2 from verse 42 to 47 it sure does seem that way, It's beautiful, sweet fellowship and continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine in fellowship, breaking bread, prayers, fear came upon every soul, wonders and signs done by the apostles and all that believed were together, they had all things common they sold their possessions, and gave to every man who had need, and they were all of one accord in the temple, breaking bread from house to house in gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people, and the Lord added unto the church such as should be saved It seems to me that they received the Holy Ghost that day.
The account of Paul the apostle in Ephesus is a very different account, there again he shows up at Ephesus, finds twelve disciples there, begins sharing with them, asks them the questions that we've discussed already this week, "Have you relieved the Holy Ghost since you believed?"
"Well, we knew not that there was a Holy Ghost."
"Well, what baptism are you baptized with?"
"The baptism of John and of repentance."
"Oh, well, let me tell you about what has happened. Jesus the Messiah has come and died, He was buried and rose again, He poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost upon us."
"Oh, well, then let's get baptized." And they were baptized in the name of the Lord, and Paul laid his hands on them and prayed for them, and the Holy Ghost fell on them, and they began to speak with tongues and prophesy.
Now I'm giving these different examples because I want you to know that you can't put God in a box in some of these things, you can't say, "Ok, this is the way it's going to be, I've got it all figured out, I'll study it for a while when I feel comfortable in all the things that may do, or may not do, or may happen, or may not happen and I will step into the water,". Just don't even waste your time. God is just not like that. My personal belief is that you should, and can receive an endowment of power when you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. If you're dealt with properly, you can! It seems to me in my study of the early Anabaptists, not Anabaptism, but the early Anabaptists, it seemed to me that they were endowed with power when they believed. But, again, let's look at the context there, brethren. Those men, then they went into the waters of baptism, it was a baptism of fire. They didn't know if they would live ten more days after their baptism, they didn't know if they had one more day after their baptism, and all of their preparation of heart that was there in them made all of the difference in the world. So I do believe you can be endowed with power from on high when you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, repenting of your sins and yielding your heart and life to Him. But, many don't. that's why you're all here, because many of you did not, and there are many reasons for that, and we're not here to debate that today, but, if you find yourself anemic, lacking in power, the power to walk, the power to live in victory over sin in your life, the power of the diving nature, the power of God for service in the building of God's kingdom, you can and must seek God for the blessing of Pentecost. You must have it. It's not an option, it's not something that, oh, just a few can have. But in fact, it is the New Testament reality.
I talked to dear old George Brunk the evangelist, this morning. I want to give his testimony, but I wanted to get a clearing from him before I did. He's a very old man, now, I'm not sure, maybe he's near ninety, but I told him what my subject was today and I asked if it was all right if I just give a little bit of his testimony, and he was very glad to give me that liberty. He was a Mennonite preacher, going to church Sunday by Sunday, same old dry sermons, same old dry services, same old dry singing, same old dry everything, but something was stirring in that young minister many, many years ago, maybe back in 1950, I'm not exactly sure when it was, but something was stirring inside of that young minister, and I believe it was the spirit of God saying inside of his heart, "There's more than this, George, there's more than this,". And he was probably in a lot of foolish fellows that started reading books, and he found out that, yeah, there is more than this. Finally one Sunday morning he closed the door of the Church house finished off one more dry sermon, one more dry service, one more dry singing songs, and walked out the Church house and went to his house and told his wife, "I'm going into my closet and I'm not coming out of there until God changes me, and if God doesn't change me, I'm not getting in the pulpit ever again,", and he went into that closet, and I don't know how long he stayed in there, but the stayed in there a while, and I don't know what all the preparations were that took place inside of his heart, but the words he gave to me this morning was that he fell on his face in utter desperation and said, "God, I can't leave here until you do something and change me into a different man,". And when that dear man came out of his closet, he began to prophesy in the power of the Holy Ghost, and the George Brunk revivals began. And they got a tent and the went all over. Many of you know the stories. That tent was set up in places all over the Unites States and it was filled, it held five-six thousand people and it was filled night after night, after night, for six weeks, seven weeks, eight weeks, nine weeks. Pick up the tent, take it to the next place, put it down, open up the flaps that filled up again night after night, six weeks, seven weeks, eight weeks, nine weeks, all kinds of conversions people's lives were being changed. Why? One dry powerless preacher. Just one who got desperate and said this isn't enough, this isn't enough. I'm not going to get into that pulpit again if God doesn't do something in my life.
I read the testimony of Duncan Campbell. Duncan Campbell was the man that God used in the revival in the Hebrides in 1951. He was filled with the Holy Ghost seventeen years before what I'm going to share with you, seventeen years before. He was a young man, he was seeking God, he was desiring that God would use him, and he found himself in the war, I don't know if it was World War 1, I can't remember but he was in the cavalry, and he was on a horse, and he was in the midst of a charge, and a shell went off near him and he was wounded, thrown from his horse and laying out there on the battlefield. And laying out there on the battlefield he cried out to God. God had been dealing with his heart for weeks. He was in the war, all the filth, all the garbage, all he junk that goes along with war, and he was in there, and all of this stuff was beating him from every direction, and he was crying to God to deliver him in here. And he was blown off of his horse and he lay there out there in the middle of a battlefield, and another fellow went by on a horse, and the horse just stepped right on his spine, crunch, right on his spine, and kept on going. And he groaned out loud, and the man that was riding on the horse noticed that there was a man laying there that's alive, and he came back, and picked Duncan Campbell up, and threw him over the horse, and took him to the place where they fix you when you're all broken. And while he lay over the horse, bumping along, out there on the battlefield, laying over that horse, he cried out to God, and said, "God, God, do it, Lord, change me, now Lord, now!" and while he hung over that horse, God filled him with the Holy Ghost. And they dropped him of at the ward where all the other fellas were that were shot and blown to pieces, and he was prophesying in Gaelic, and they all knew English, (he was Gaelic, he's from Whales) he was prophesying in Gaelic, and no one knew Gaelic but he couldn't help himself! And by the time he left that place I think he won ten souls to the Lord.
Well, seventeen years went by, he's a busy preacher, a famous man, a lot of places to go, lots of things to do, and the old heart started getting cold, and he lost the power. One day his young daughter, sixteen year old daughter sat him down and said, "Daddy, you don't have the power that you used to have in your life. It's not there daddy. I don't know why it's not there, but it's not there and you know it. Please daddy, get what you had seventeen years ago. Whatever you have to do,". And that went like a knife to that man's heart, because he knew it was right. Busy man, busy man, go, go, go, go, go, and the anointing just went away. He fell on his face in his study, and said "I'm not coming out of here until God gives me the anointing that I had back there. And at two o'clock in the morning God came through, and there were things that God dealt with him about, and there were disobediences God laid upon his heart, but when God game through, he was filled with the Holy Ghost. He was overwhelmed with the presence of the Living God, and at two o'clock in the morning his daughter heard what was going on in there, and she came in there and laid next to her papa and she though "he's going to go crazy". He's was so overjoyed with the uption of the Holy Ghost she thought, "My dad's going to go nuts!" She laid her hand on him and said, "Oh God, please don't let my dad go crazy," and he said later, "she didn't realize I had the most sound mind I ever had I ever had in all my life! I wasn't going to go crazy, I was full of the Living God"! And it was a couple of years after that that he received the assignment from the Holy Ghost to go to the Hebrides where the revival was.
How is it today with you? "Have you been endowed with power since ye believed"? Maybe you're not even born again. That's possible with a group like this. You're trying to figure this whole thing out, and all that's going on around here and you feel like you're standing on the outside looking in at all of these nuts around here and all of their enthusiasm and excitement and all of that. Maybe you're not born again, but I want to encourage you if you're not born again, get born again the right way! And get the whole thing while you're at it! Don't play around, or, are you one of those who you look back and you remember, you remember. Oh, restless soul, you will never be at rest with that memory in your heart, because you know what God did, and what God can do. Don't stop until you are back there where you were in the past.
I'd like to look at five points that relate to obtaining the Holy Spirit's power in our lives. Five points. First of all, we must have an awareness of a great need in our life. I see my need, the one hundred and twenty there in the upper room. They saw here need. They had an awareness of a great need in their life. Your heart must be that way. Your heart must be bearing witness, "I lack, I am powerless, I am weary of my powerless life, and I sense my need. "Blessed are the poor in spirit...", that verse applies right here. "Blessed are they that mourn,..." that verse applies right here. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness..." that verse applies right here. There must be a sense of need in your heart. Now you can have his recognition of need, and be clear and up to date with God, but it may be you have sense of need because there's sin in your life. I cannot sit up here and tell you, "Oh, you can get the holy Ghost with all that sin in your life," I cannot tell you that. You must be willing to deal with sin in your life if it is there. The heart must be clear. Is your heart clear? You need to get thoroughly right with God. That's one thing I would recommend to you, you need to get thoroughly right with God. And when your heart is at peace before the Lord there is no thing that is popping up before you where God is saying, "Deal with this, deal with this,". You say, "Well, brother Denny I don't sense my need". There may be some in this room who don't. Ask God to open your eyes. You do have a need, you just don't see it. Ask God to open your eyes. You have a need. Read the word with a heart of examination and see how you measure up. Read a biography, read a story about what God did in someone else's life, when you get finished shut the book, bow your head and say, "God, what about me?" Let that sink down inside of your heart. There must be a sense of need. A sense of moral and spiritual impotency. That must be there.
Number two, an abandoned desire of God, and the one rises out of the other. An abandoned desire of God. I sense my need, and I long for God to meet that need; and abandoned desire for God. Lord, anything. Lord, anywhere. Lord, any cost. I don't care! That was both of their testimony: Anything, anywhere, any cost, Lord, any cost. An abandoned desire of God. I must have the overwhelming presence of God in my life. I must. I cannot go on. "If any man thirsts," the scripture says, "If any man thirsts!" There must be an abandoned desire. "I will pour water upon him who is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground," Isaiah 44:3 says, "I will power water, the water of my spirit upon him who is thirsty,". There must be an abandoned desire. Like Moses, you know, "I will not go up if You don't go with me," Moses said to God. And that's how George Brunk felt, wasn't it? And that's the way with Duncan Campbell when he went into that room and said to God, "I will not go up in that pulpit again unless you go with me,". An unreserved giving up. Why? Because we're not looking for a power. We're not seeking a power. We are seeking a person, and that person is the Living God, and when you get in the presence of the Living God unreserved abandonment is the only thing that is acceptable in the presence of the Living God, unreserved abandonment. "I beseech ye, therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service,". An unreserved abandoned desire for God. Some of you men have been playing around for twenty years. A long time to play around. You know, you know it, you've been powerless for twenty years. Time's up. It's time to get serious. You know, it was that way with these in the upper room, those one hundred and twenty. There was an abandonment and an overwhelming desire for God. I don't believe that God is going to meet with somebody that showed up here this week to put his time in for the seminar, and bless God, let's get the seminar over with, and I've got business to take care of, and I want to get home, and it's business as usual when I get back home. If that's your attitude, God is not going to meet you. He will not meet you. This isn't a haphazard thing, we're not dealing with some power entity that you can carry around in your back pocket. We're dealing with the presence of the Living God of the universe, and He requires, demands an unreserved abandonment and desire for him.
Number three, earnest seeking. "If thou seekest Him with all thine heart, He will be found of thee,". What are we seeking? And experience? A feeling? A power? No, God Himself. A. B. Simpson said it so beautifully in a little poem and a song that he wrote. "Once it was the blessing that I was seeking, now it is the Lord I am seeking. One it was the feeling I was seeking, now it is His word. One His gift I wanted, now the Giver I own. One I sought for healing, now Himself alone." There must be an earnest seeking. An earnest seeking for the Living God. There must be a heart that unites with so many of the words of the psalmist David, "As the heart panteth after the water brook, so panteth my soul after the, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God. When shall I appear before God?" Cries the psalmist David. An earnest seeking heart after God. An amount of time is involved in that. This is not a flipping thing, and a length of time is involved. And your heart should say, "I don't care how long". Prayer is involved, ferverent prayer. Opened to God's revealing. As we come before God and say, God, you know my need. I'm coming to you. I'm seeking your face. You know my need. There must be an openness of heart that God can turn on His revealing searchlight. I would encourage even sometime fasting, which brings brokenness into your heart and your life.
Number four, importuned prayer. Prayer is the language of the poor. Ferverent prayer, unceasing prayer, early-morning prayer, corporate payer, believing prayer, importuned prayer. And I'd like to say a little bit about motives, here, because motives to come in. Although my personal belief is if you are in fact seeking God most of the motives take care of themselves. If you're seeking the power, then motives come in here, don't they? "I want to be somebody, I want to be important, I want to be able to stand up there some day," or whatever it may be, "I want to work a miracle so everyone will look at me," ah, you ask, and ask, and ask, but you have not, because you ask amiss. Motives are involved, and God, He's a beautiful revealer of motives, and He will show you, He will, but I just want to lay that there, that motives are involved that hinder the power of the Holy Ghost to rest upon a man because the motives are wrong. He's got some other motive in there. "I'd like to be somebody, I want to be important, I want to be the preacher, and I want everyone to look to me!" You'll never get there, you'll never get there. Importuned prayer, prayer that becomes a cry, where there's an element of desperation, like acts chapter 4, remember? Their prayers were a cry. They lifted up their voices in one accord and cried out to God, "Oh, Lord, behold now their threatening!" A desperation in their hearts. I'm not talking about your normal, quiet little prayers and I don't have a problem with, you know, the prayers that you pray but I'm not talking about those normal quiet little prayers, I'm not talking about the prayer at mealtime at your house or the prayer that you pray with the family before you go to bed at night, I'm talking about the kind of prayer that you pray when your little child is sick and dying and you don't know what to do except to cast yourself upon god and plead for him. To do something about the situation, I'm talking about that kind of prayer, when your prayer becomes a cry that comes out of the depths of your soul, and importuned prayer and cry to God, I can't go on Lord, I can't. so we're not talking about just working up our emotions. There may be emotions there, a father usually does get a little bit emotional if his child is dying, doesn't he? But It's deeper than just emotion when his child is dying, it's coming from the depths of his soul, and that's what we're talking about.
Number five, a waiting, believing, and expectancy. This is by faith, brethren, this is by faith. Just like in salvation, a desperate repentant heart cries out to God to have mercy upon them, by faith, and God beautifully saves them So, also, if you find yourself here today and you say "I am an in need of the endowment of God's power upon my life," I want to tell you this morning "It is by grace through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, it is not of works, let any man should boast,". Can I take that verse and put it in here? Because, seriously, we're really only talking about the reality of the salvation life, aren't we? And it is by grace through faith and it's not of yourself it is the gift of God. Just like Peter said, "And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,". It is a gift of God, it is not of works lest any man should boast. Let any man should get himself a little program together and tell everybody "Now do this, this, this and this, and you'll get it,". No, it is the gift of God. It is the promise of the Father. Many, many have burned themselves out with extreme fasting and other austerities out of a desire for God to work in their lives. They have burned themselves out with extreme fasting, they have put themselves through rigorous self examinations to where they found themselves in a pit of despair, and fallen into deep depressions, and been deceived by false spirits through extreme actions. These things happen, but brethren I am here to tell you that "it is by grace through faith", by faith. I see my need, but I believe that God has and will provide for my need. I have a desire, but I believe that God will give me the desires of my heart. I am seeking God, but while I'm seeking God I know that those who seek Him with all their heart will find Him, and there is that confidence that under girding all that I'm doing. That element of faith must be there. I am praying reverently, but I'm praying believing prayers.
Let's turn to Luke chapter 11. We see all of these five elements in the lessons that Jesus gave to His disciples on prayer. They're all here, you know, "As it came to pass as He was praying in a certain place, we he ceased one of His disciples said unto Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray'." Well, I believe these disciples, they watched Jesus pray, and they saw the results of His prayers, they saw the overwhelming presence of God upon His life when he finished praying. They saw the overwhelming character in His life as He prayed. They saw the overwhelming supernatural grace of God working through His life when they prayed, and they came to Him and said, "Lord, teach us to pray,". Wouldn't you ask Him that question? So, I want to preface that we're going to look at here with that. Lord, I see the grace, the power , the beauty, and the majesty, of the presence of your Father upon your life. Teach me how to pray. Well, He gives what the call the Lord's Prayer first of all, and we're not going to look at that here. We're going to drop down at verse 5, "and He said unto them, 'Which of you shall have a friend and shall go unto Him at midnight and say unto Him, 'friend, lend me three loaves for a friend of mine in his journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him'?" Let's just ponder that a moment. "Lord, I need,". Why? "So I can give," right? Lord, I need, I need so I can give. "And he from within shall say, 'trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot rise and give thee.' I say unto you, though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needed." Importunity. And he knows he's going to get that bread [knocking]. The face is there.
"He's going to give me that bread, I'm not going to stop. I'm going to keep asking him! Hey, I've got to have something to feed my guests! Please get up!"
"I'm not going to get up, I'm already in bed with my children!"
"I'm not going to take no for an answer! I have to give this person some bread. Please get out of bed and give it to me!"
"I'm not going to get out of bed!"
"I'm not going to take no for an answer! I know you're going to give me that bread, please get out of bed and give me that bread so I can feed my friend!"
And finally, he will get out of bed, and give him his bread, and he will feed his friend. That's what we're talking about. "I say unto you, though we will not rise and give him his bread, yet because of importunity..." his shameless persistence, right? Come boldly before the throne of grace with shameless persistence that you may obtain mercy and find grace to help in a time of need.
And then he goes on in verse 9 it just flows right along. It's all the same lesson. "I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and shall be opened unto you,". There's that believing prayer again. Ask, seek, knock, and if I may say, these are present, continuous words. Ask, and keep on asking and keep on asking and ye shall receive. Seek and keep on seeking, and keep on seeking, and ye shall find. Knock, and keep on knocking, and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened unto you. That is the context of that verse, and that is the context of what we're speaking about here today as we come to grips with the fact that we are powerless, that God's grace is not working mightily in our lives, ask and keep on asking, and keep on asking, and keep on asking, and ye shall receive. Jesus says, "for everyone that asketh, and asketh, and asketh, receiveth. And he that seeketh, and seeketh, and seeketh, findeth. And him that knocketh, it shall opened,". That's a promise, bretheren, that's a promise, and I want to apply it to the subject at hand here today. I believe it applies in many, many, many different ways, but I want to apply it today, and we will see as we go a little bit further down that the Lord Jesus also did. "Teach us how to pray, Lord,". Now He reasons with them, "If a son asked bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?" And of course, each one of those, they're an absurd statement, and it's given that way to help you to realize, or course not! And may I say today, God's not going to give you a devil. A Father won't give you a devil! If you ask him for bread, He's not going to give you a stone! Can you believe that?
Verse 13, "If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more..." do you know what much more means? "If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Ghost to them that ask?" That's what those words "much more" means. So, surely if you know how to give your bread of your boy when he's hungry, don't you think your heavenly Father knows how to give bread you to you? And the whole idea in that verse is a confidence that a faith raises up inside of the heart, A confident, believing faith that God will, in fact, give me that which he promised me He would give me. And remember, Jesus is teaching His disciples how to pray, and there are many things to pray for, but please put this one at the top of your list. Because, as I said already, it's not a one-time thing. We're talking about new-testament Christianity here, this morning. So, we need to figure out how to do this thing and keep it going, Amen?
Brethren, the promise is unto you, and unto your children, and to them that are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call. Are you the called, this morning? The promise is unto you. We need to believe it! Yes, we need to have a longing desire! Yes, we need to recognize our need without it, but in all of those things that we need to recognize in, all of those other things that God may work in our own hearts in preparation. And He has the freedom to do all kinds of things in each one of our hearts, in all of those things, there should be that believing expectancy. You say, "Well, Brother Denny, you mean I can get the Holy Ghost today?" Well, God may. God may empower your life before this day is out, but God may not empower your life for the next thirty days. But the question I leave for is, "What are you going to do for the next thirty days if you leave these meetings and you know, 'I have no power in my life'?" Are you just going to back home to the same old status quo? "Well, that was nice meetings, and boy there were some good sermons out there but, ok, business as usual. Right back to the same old endemic Christianity that I've been living in for the last ten years,". I hope you don't go home and do that. If God doesn't meet your need this week, there should be an earnest, faith-filled heart of expectancy that says, "This is what God wills for my life, and I'm not going to stop seeking and believing God until I have the power of the Living Christ upon my life."
I've thought about it earlier this morning. You know, I could give an invitation right now and fill this altar from one end to the other, but you know, I'm not into that. [For example] You've just heard a stirring message and your hearts are just stirred by what you've heard and I mean, some of you are probably saying, "Brother, give us an invitation! Give us an opportunity! I want to fall on my face now!" Sorry, but I'd like to go a little deeper than that. Seriously, I'd like you to go a bit deeper than that. If, in fact, God is stirring your heart, that truly heavenly desire will not leave you if you don't get an invitation right now. You're not going to miss the thing if I don't give you an invitation right now so you can with the Holy earnestness that's in your heart because you just heard the sermon, so you'll get up here and get it. You now what you'll get? You'll just get an emotional experience. I don't want you to get an emotional experience, I want you to get the Living God settling down upon your heart and your life, and His abiding presence in your life, so that six months from now, and two years from now, you and everybody around you knows that you are a totally changed person. And they will know without a doubt it isn't anything you did, it isn't any steps you went through, it is the presence of the living God upon your heart and your life. That's what I want for you.
I want to say something about pride, here. You know, maybe God touches you. Maybe you get through to God to speak, and your heart's overflowing with grace, power, and joy. Everything's different and you know it. Don't get proud, please. You don't have anything special. That's the normal, my friend, welcome home. What took you so long? You know? You get these ideas in your head, "Ohh, we've got it, boy! We've got it! I've got something that...!" No, just have what everybody's supposed to have. Don't let pride come into your heard. You get these big ideas about this supernatural this-or-that that is upon you. Now you're just a normal Christian, so walk humbly before God and that grace will stay in your life! There are many ways and many situations. God works in all kinds of ways.
There are times when in my own experience, when I know I have a message like this to give, when I can seek the face of God, and break my heart before God, and get up in the pulpit and know that the presence of the Living God is upon me. But there are times where God totally shocks me and I didn't do anything, and I didn't pray anything, and I didn't fast, and nothing. Just "BOOM!", and like that, I'm in the middle of the presence of the Living God in a certain situation. You can't put God in a box. You just can't. So, I want to re-emphasize that: I'm not giving you some formula, but at the same time in many situations, there are things we can do. You know? If our whole heart is cold... there are times when my heart gets cold. Busy, busy, business, go, go, visit that, God's business, go, go, this, that. And I begin to sense a coldness settling in my heart. Well my conscience won't let my stay there, and I begin to say in my heart, "Not good. I don't want to get in that pulpit, and just saw a bunch of words, so I'm going to go crawl in a hole for about three days with my Bible, and seek the face of God, and break my heart, and come to God in believing prayer, knowing and believing and trusting that surely, if I being an evil father make sure that my boys get what they need, surely my Heavenly Father will meet my need in that hole where I crawled!" And God does.
And I'm getting ahead of the week, here, into the subject of maintaining the anointing upon our lives. Because, you see, we're only just talking about getting to first base, Amen? We're just dealing with first base today, just first base.
I want to say something about speaking in tongues. You seek God, you break your heart before, God, God pours out His spirit upon you, and you might speak in tongues. Sometimes that happens. Many times it doesn't happen, but sometimes it happens. And if we're going to be honest with this Bible... at least for me, I can't stand up here and wiggle my way through all of those verse in the Bible and give you a nice theological reason why all of those things have passed away. I can't do that. I don't speak in tongues. I've never spoken in tongues. That's not the longing of my heart. I'll tell you what I pray continually, I pray, I plead, and beg God that I might prophesy, "God, to the edifying of the Church, I want to prophesy,". So I've been hooked on that gift for a ling time. So I'm just saying that because, hey, that may happen. But I know there's lot of confusion about that in this America where we live and there's a lot of emotional confusion on it, and there's a lot of static, emotional "working up" of things, and it's not at all what I'm talking about, not at all. Most of it is spurious. As for me, I'll take Moody and Finney's anointing any day over this stuff that they seem to be having in this America. I'll take Moody's anointing, and never have to speak in another tongue. I'll take Finney's anointing any day over that. The point I'm making is, again we're not looking for an experience. Again, we're looking for the diving nature of God descending upon a man's life overwhelming him with His presence and putting the character of the Living God upon His heart and the anointing upon his words. This I want. This I want, and you should also want, and seek with all of your heart, believing "Much more shall the Heavenly Father give to them that ask. Much, much, more.
All right, let's stand for a word of prayer.
Our God and our Father, we love you, Lord. We thank you. Thank you for saving us, Lord. Oh, we rejoice, our names are written in Heaven today, our names are written in Heaven, and we thank you, Father. I just commit these words into the hearts of these men. Oh, Father, let it bear fruit, Father. God, as I thought about it and prayed this morning, you know my prayer, Father. Even if ten men in this men get a hold of this, we will all know it. Oh, God, the potential is so far reaching, God. We are trusting you, Lord, that you will take your word, by your spirit, and lead us on. Oh, King eternal, lead us on, In Jesus' Christ's name, Amen.