Faith. Part 10
PRACTICAL FAITH. John’s experience of receiving a “Holy Spirit Pressure” for action, rather than a distinctly heard Voice, is very common amongst Christians, and when “felt” should always be acted on rather than pushed to one side. Taken seriously, and combined with prayer, the Lord then opens up the way forward, and the outcome brings honour to His name, as well as joy to the one who received the initial Pressure.
Just 49 years ago, in 1967, I had a slightly different example of PRACTICAL FAITH. I had been Head of Physics at a Berkshire Grammar School for some 12 years, and the Holy Spirit’s Pressure was accompanied by a distinctly heard word from the Lord. “Show me your faithfulness in your present workplace.” Out of a school of some 600, there were just two committed students, John and Ken. We asked these boys to meet each Tuesday evening at our flat for prayer, joined by Paul, an old boy of the school. Not knowing of any plans, we commended the school to the Lord, and Paul felt the need to ask a London based speaker to take an after-school meeting. This was arranged, and the evening before the meeting we met for prayer, but the Lord said, “I have answered.” So we spent the evening singing and rejoicing instead.
Exactly 100 were in attendance at the meeting, and Tony Deveson spoke of his former life as a dance band leader in a shady Soho night club. But illness took him to hospital where one of the nurses led him to know the Lord. He went on to speak of the difference that took place in his life. Finally he asked the boys to commit their lives to the Lord, and 14 of the sixth form group responded, some with tears in their eyes.
This was just the beginning, because these 14 immediately became evangelists in the school, and each day for eight weeks, as I sat in the physics laboratory during the lunch hour, one boy after another came up for prayer and instruction. Eventually there were 92 conversions. There was unbounded joy as the floodgates of heaven were opened. But as is often the case when heaven moves dramatically, a severe backlash occurred which resulted in me having to resign from teaching at the school. But that’s another story.
My purpose in relating this anecdote is to show, yet again, how God moves through ones and twos, not necessarily through whole congregations of people. We should take courage from this, and realise that God uses the weak things to bring about His purposes. When He sees a tender heart, as with King Josiah of Judah, then He communicates by the Holy Spirit, one way or another, and wonderful things happen. Many of the great revivals have started in this way.