Reviving the Revivalist
Evangelist Charles G. Finney had gone on the strength of his original personal revival for over twenty years, from 1823 to 1843.
During those years, the young evangelist confronted sin and apathy within the church, bringing thousands of people to Christ. He also faced almost constant criticism, was in constant conflict from within the church and without, and seemed to be in constant motion. More seasoned ministers than himself, who had also led revivals, set themselves in array against him. He endured a writing campaign, where printed tracts circulated about him, filled with lies and half-truths. He had been burned in effigy—by Christians. For the most part, he had to live out of his steamer trunk, enduring long separations from his family, and saw times when his health, and theirs, was broken. For the first three months of his ministry he coughed blood. He often preached himself into exhaustion, all the while trying to discern where to spend the little strength he had from the many invitations that came his way.
Then, he came to Boston in the winter of 1943. Once there, he found that his schedule was lighter than usual, so he spent any spare moment he had alone in his hotel room. He would still preach but could not wait to get back to his room where he could read his Bible and get on his knees in prayer—for it was there that he said, “the Lord completely over-hauled me.” He said he did not read anything else that winter but his Bible. He said that it had become a completely new book to him. He said it was as if he had never known anything of the Christian life before. During this time, he received one fresh revelation after another. His biggest concern was that this refreshing would only affect his head and not his heart. He asked the Lord that He would do something within him so that what he was experiencing could be conveyed to the church.
So, what about you, dear reader? Have you been busy, working hard, going on the fumes of past revivals? Come aside, and rest a while, asking the Lord to revive you once again. Let Him use His Word and Spirit to overhaul you.