A true revival is preeminently the work of the Holy Spirit, and the depth and magnitude of the work depends largely on the number of people who are in perfect union with the Holy Spirit. In times of revival all spiritual forces come to a crisis, both good and bad. Satan is on hand to muster all his children against a thorough work of grace. He will also be busy in society, devising all sorts of social matters against revival. He will influence all weak, half-hearted believers in every way against a thorough work. He will do everything to discourage workers. He will make them sick or cripple their zeal, or tempt them in some way to grieve the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is more frequently grieved by hidden things than by things which are outward and visible. In times of revival it is almost impossible to get six persons out of a large community, who in heart perfectly agree. There may be an outward profession of unity, and no one may detect any definite sign of disharmony, yet the human heart is so deceitful, and the interior conditions of perfect harmony require such utter unselfishness and transparency of spirit, that very few persons ever comply with them in the sight of God. The following are some of the things that grieve the Holy Spirit and hinder Him in revivals:
1. A CRITICAL SPIRIT. I do not mean the open rebuke of sin, for this is commanded in God’s Word. Neither do I mean the just rebuke of ill-behaved persons in a meeting, for this is a necessity, and no company of worshipers should be disturbed by misconduct. But I mean those who claim to be in sympathy with God’s work, yet they have a critical spirit against the leaders of the meeting, or the methods of work that may be adopted. Even though this criticism is not outspoken, it greatly hinders the Holy Ghost. There is often in the church a whimsical stubborn fault-finding disposition. A watching for defects among God’s children, a picking out of blemishes in the singing, or the praying, or the preaching. All this forms an enormous barrier to the flow of the Holy Spirit. Such persons are deceitful, hard to please, and whatever excellencies they may have they are a definite hindrance to God’s work. There is always a company of evil spirits that cluster around such persons to neutralize all the good they attempt to do.
2. THE SPIRIT OF FEAR. Timidity, moral cowardice, the fear of public opinion, the fear of relatives and friends, which prevents persons from taking a bold, decisive part in the church. Which prevents them from leading in prayer, or giving public testimony, or speaking to souls on personal salvation, all this fearfulness of spirit greatly grieves the Holy Ghost. Some are afraid that God will overburden them with work, or make demands of consecration beyond their strength, and so they fail to yield themselves fully to the Lord. While they may try to busy themselves in the church and think they are helping wonderfully, yet by that HIDDEN, miserable fearfulness of heart, which is the very essence of disobedience in the sight of God, they greatly hinder the power of the Spirit!
3. SELF-OPINION GREATLY GRIEVES THE SPIRIT. Many a revival is utterly prevented because prominent ones in the meeting stubbornly hold on to a wrong education, or to old theological notions. Some may have anti-scriptural views concerning inbred sin, or growth into heart purity, or the annihilation of the wicked. Others may be prejudiced against the manifestations of the Spirit, or divine healing. These things are unseen hindrances to the operation of the Spirit. Teachableness of mind, a perfect willingness to have only scriptural views, is a prerequisite condition for the descent of the power of God.
4. A SPIRIT OF RESERVE WITH GOD IS ANOTHER GRIEF TO THE HOLY GHOST. In every revival there are so many whose inner nature is tied up with a cautious conservatism, that persistently holds them back from a full abandonment to God and His work. They will boast of wanting such wonderfully great things. Yet there is an unexpressed unwillingness to be and do all the Lord wants, or to suffer all the Lord wants them to suffer. They are consciously holding themselves back, lest they should slide down some steep place and get drowned in the ocean of God’s will. This internal checking of themselves not only prevents their own full salvation, but hinders the Spirit from using them for the blessing of others.
5. SELF-PLANNING AS TO GOD’S WORK. At the beginning of most every revival, it is almost a universal thing for those who are most interested to form some plan in their own mind as to how God ought to come and how the work ought to be done. Each one forms a standard as to who should lead the work or how it ought to be conducted, or what divine demonstrations should occur. So there are a large number of mental schedules which are invisible to mortal eyes, but which bristle like antagonistic bayonets before the all-seeing eye, and the blessed Holy Ghost who reads the thoughts and interests of the mind, finds Himself dictated to, by the very people who outwardly profess that they want God to have His way.
6. THE SPIRIT IS GRIEVED BY OUR HAVING LIMITED VIEWS OF CHRIST’S POWER. Oftentimes God wants to begin with the leaders of a meeting and lead them into a fresh baptism of fire or into a new depth of self denial. But their rigid and narrow views of God’s saving grace is a definite hindrance to the Spirit’s power. As a result, the people under such leadership often suffer with limited views of Christ’s saving and sanctifying power.
7. THE SPIRIT IS OFTEN GRIEVED WHEN TESTS OF OBEDIENCE ARE SHUNNED. It may be a question of restitution or reconciliation, or the confession of a backslidden state, or the giving up of some indulgence. There have been meetings where two or three conspicuous persons utterly failed to obey God on some test point, and the work was a failure; the Spirit was grieved away, Satan and his black angels triumphed and the work of God was put back for years.
8. THE SPIRIT IS OFTEN GRIEVED BY OUR UNWILLINGNESS TO GO BEYOND OTHERS. God often wants some of us to go out into His will on lines of prayer and faith and obedience, even beyond what other professors of holiness will consent to. When He calls, if we stop to measure ourselves with others, and compare ourselves among ourselves we may greatly hinder a work of grace. God can overcome the open and recognized hindrances to His work a great deal easier than He can the hidden barriers in the hearts of His people.
A good friend, leader in ministry, and co-laborer in ministry, Andy Comiskey, Executive Director of Desert Stream Ministires has organized a call for prayer and fasting for the sanctity of marriage through the leadership of the Holy Spirit. I am embracing this call, and I am asking others to do so as well. Below you can read Andy Comiskey’s call and reasons behind the fast Please click on the hyper links for more information.
Calling for 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Marriage • October 17 – November 25
Click here for more information
8 Reasons to Resist ‘Gay Marriage’
1. ‘Gay marriage’ radically redefines the meaning of marriage.
Marriage is the most basic and arguably the most important building block of civilized society. For thousands of years, society has made marriage the one context in which sexual attraction between a man and woman matures into an enduring, exclusive unit that creates and protects children.
Marriage has always been defined by gender complementarity, or gender unity within difference, and by commitment, a pledge of permanence and fidelity. ‘Gay marriage’ radically alters that definition, and the values that underlie it. To say that the definition of an apple must include the attributes of an orange changes the meaning of an apple. It ceases to be what it was. Similarly, ‘gay marriage’ changes the meaning of marriage as it has always been understood by civilized society.
A wise man said that ‘the corruption of society begins by a failure to call things by their proper names.’ I refuse to ascribe marriage to homosexual unions based on the original and true meaning of marriage. That is why I use quotes to reference the misnomer of ‘gay marriage.’ I urge you to do the same.
2. ‘Gay Marriage’ devalues gender differences in human relating.
‘Gay marriage’ is founded on the premise that gender should no longer matter in sexual relationships. For example, licenses in states which have legalized ‘gay marriage’ have replaced the language of ‘Bride and Groom’ with ‘Partner 1 and Partner 2’.
‘Gay marriage’ removes the centerpiece of marriage: how one gender provokes and balances the opposite gender, creating (besides children) an emotional, spiritual, and sexual whole. Instead, ‘gay marriage’ redefines sexual wholeness as the freedom to desire and wed whomever one wants, regardless of gender. That undermines the inner logic of man for woman, and woman for man, and makes freedom from that logic optional for all.
3. ‘Gay Marriage’ devalues monogamy.
‘Gay marriage’ tweaks the meaning of fidelity. Gay men in particular tend toward tolerating multiple sexual partnerships in the context of a commitment to one partner. A marriage license will not change that tendency.
J. Michael Bailey, Chair of Psychology at Northwestern University and one of the foremost researchers in homosexuality, contends that “regardless of marital laws and policies, gay men will always have more sexual partners than straight people do. Those who are attached will be less monogamous.”
4. ‘Gay Marriage’ is founded on a false understanding of homosexuality.
California’s ‘gay marriage’ decision was founded on a 1948 Court decision (Perez vs. Sharp) to strike down a state ban on interracial marriages. That means today’s Court tends to equate ethnicity with homosexuality. Bad reasoning. Unlike ethnicity, homosexuality is neither genetically-based nor immutable.
Same-sex attraction is a three-fold cord of nature, nurture, and culture, all bound together by one’s moral decisions. The fact is: many choose to change their homosexuality, and find peace and purpose in heterosexual relationships. ‘Gay marriage’ advocates refuse that truth and insist that homosexuality is destiny, which is a false understanding.
5. ‘Gay Marriage’ makes its opponents racists.
Based on #4, those who oppose gay marriage will be seen as bigots. ‘Gay marriage’ validates as normal and good the problematic, complex condition of same-sex attraction; all who choose to view that attraction as a problem not a birthright will inevitably be accorded the same social shame and even legal consequences that racists incur.
6. ‘Gay Marriage’ encourages and increases homosexual behavior.
Over the last 50 years, homosexual behavior has increased due to media advocacy, our culture of divorce, porn, and promiscuity, and the greater economic and emotional independence of women from men. Validating ‘gay marriage’ will further encourage men and women to explore homosexual unions.
Social shame used to inhibit homosexual experimentation; ‘gay marriage’ casts off the last restraint, and increases homosexual behavior in our society. Between 1995 and 2005, lesbian unions in the USA increased 7 times, while male unions doubled.
7. ‘Gay Marriage’ opens the door to other types of ‘marriage.’
In changing the meaning of marriage to include infidelity and gender sameness, ‘gay marriage’ sets a precedent for other types of units, like incest and polygamy. Legal cases involving polygamy now invoke the same legal precedents of gay rights advocates. What seemed unthinkable 10 years ago is now ‘gay marriage’ law. We flinch until we become sensitized, then we flinch no more.
8. ‘Gay Marriage’ unleashes a global legal nightmare.
‘Gay marriage’ will clog the courts with myriad issues. Already, married gay couples are demanding marriage rights wherever they settle, regardless of the current laws of that state or nation. Not to mention the hundreds of cases in the USA alone concerning a host of bewildering issues, like gay divorce and ownership of artificially inseminated offspring.
The profound needs and fragility of soul at the core of same-sex unions will make for messy and consuming court battles—all within an already beleaguered system that has no precedents for the legal Medusa that ‘gay marriage’ has created.
Pray & Fast with staffs and participants of Desert Stream Ministries and with First Stone Ministries
Saturday October 17 through Wednesday November 25, 2009
We ask that each one joining us would ‘fast’ something of meaning for these forty days and pray instead.
Please set aside 30 minutes a day for this effort.
During the 40-days, we will employ the “Honoring Marriage for the Good of All” daily devotional guide, —available at www.desertstream.org.
Andy Comiskey will also post key battles we are targeting for prayer, and provide a daily podcast.
Pray with understanding. We can all bow down and ask God to honor His image. And we can grow in our understanding as to why upholding His image in marriage matters for all.
Restore the broken. Our prayers issue out of a commitment to making every effort possible to provide restoration for those who know they are broken.We can and must give practical helps to those seeking healing for their personal lives and marriages.
Appeal to the good of reason. One man pledged to one woman helps ensure the well-being of the children they create, while providing a witness of gender order and stability to children in our culture who are not blessed with a Mom and Dad at home.
Yield to the Lord. Having prayed, offered restoration, and appealed to reason, we surrender to God. We dare not fight this battle in our own mind and strength.We prayerfully join the One who created man and woman in His image, and who wills that all of creation benefit from that image.
I would like to know if you have made this commitment, you can email me at: email@example.com