The Power of Change


(Joshua Elder) #1

There is a strange thing in evangelism. Though we can often have a great desire to change the hearts of people for Jesus, that does not mean we have the power to do so. Sometimes as Christians, we can work and work to present the gospel as best we know how, but find little fruit being produced in our efforts. This is because it is not our desire that changes hearts, and it is not our power. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that can change a human heart. D. L. Moody, one of the greatest evangelist who ever lived worked diligently in his life to bring people to Jesus, but it was not until an experience with the Holy Spirit that he found his work anointed by God. He said this:

“When I was preaching in Farwell Hall, in Chicago, I never worked harder to prepare my sermons than I did then. I preached and preached; but it was beating against the air. A good woman used to say, “Mr. Moody, you don’t seem to have power in your preaching.” Oh, my desire was that I might have a fresh anointing. I requested this woman and a few others to come and pray with me every Friday at four o’clock. Oh, how piteously I prayed that God might fill the empty vessel. After the fire in Chicago, I was in New York city, and going into the bank on Wall Street, it seemed as if I felt a strange and mighty power coming over me. I went up to the hotel, and there in my room I wept before God, and cried, “Oh, my God, stay Thy hand!” He gave me such fullness that it seemed more than I could contain. May God forgive me if I should speak in a boastful way, but I do not know that I have preached a sermon since, but God has given me some soul. Oh, I would not be back where I was four years ago for all the wealth of this world. If you would roll it at my feet, I would kick it away like a football. I seem a wonder to some of you, but I am a greater wonder to myself than to any one else. These are the very same sermons I preached in Chicago, word for word. It is not new sermons, but the power of God. It is not a new gospel, but the old gospel, with the Holy Ghost of power.”

It tells us in the gospel of John that we as children of God are not born of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of man’s will, but of God (John 1:13). The power to become children of God comes not from our work, however diligent, but from the power of Holy Spirit.

Have you ever found yourself working all in your own strength to share the gospel rather than in the power of the Holy Spirit?

Can you speak of an anointing of the Holy Spirit in your work that you have experienced?

Josh


(Melvin Greene) #2

You know, that is such a freeing doctrine. It is not up to us to change someone. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. We just have to be willing to be used by Him. I remember one time I spoke at chapel at a rescue mission. When I finished, I was thinking that was just terrible. I stuttered worse than usual. (I have an issue with that) My thoughts seemed to scatter around like leaves in a whirlwind. I was thinking that no one got anything out of that, except a good laugh. But, I couldn’t believe the response! Men were coming up and telling me how that really spoke to them, and I think a couple asked me to pray with them. That was such a powerful lesson for me. The Holy Spirit can take our feeble attempts and make them powerful enough to destroy arguments and tear down strong holds.