Workman of God! O lose not heart, But learn what God is like; And in the darkest battlefield Thou shalt know where to strike. — F. W. Faber.
And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. — Galatians 6:9
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. — Psalms 76:5-6
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.— 1 Corinthians 15:58
It must be clear to every thoughtful Christain, and especially to every Methodist, that the thoughts just presented suggest the importance and necessity of a widespread, thorough, and profound revival of old-time religion in all our churches. More machinery, organizations, and patent appliances will not suffice. Summer schools, lecture courses, fairs, festivals, picnics, and others are utterly unavailing. We may have all these things, and still, a spiritual death may smite all our churches. We must find the old paths and walk in the old ways. The arm of God is not shortened that he cannot save. The power of the Holy Ghost is infinite. The blood of Jesus Christ can still cleanse from all sin. We ought to have a revival that will cover our whole country, and overlapping its remotest boundaries shall make its presence and power felt to the ends of the earth.
The aim of God’s people should be to make this revival perennial rather than spasmodic. There is a constant tendency to unsteadiness in thought, faith, and Christian activity. A condition of religious life closely akin to the revival spirit should constantly prevail in all our churches. Sad to say, this is not the experience of very many. There are churches that exist, for the most part, in a dormant condition. They sometimes make an effort, for two or three weeks a year, to shake off the lethargy that oppresses them. Still, they soon relapse into their usual somnolent condition. Some of them do not even have a revival spasm; they live, year after year, in absolute quietness; they have no particular anxiety for themselves and not any for perishing sinners. Even a spasmodic revival for such churches would be a significant improvement.
The great, pressing need is for all our pastors and people to give more earnest attention to the development, cultivation, and encouragement of a style of religious life that shall constantly be aggressive and ever-alert in leading souls to the Lord Jesus Christ. If this condition, so much to be desired, shall be realized, the idea must be forever abandoned that professional or nonprofessional evangelists are a necessity. And yet I would not, in the most distant manner, venture even to suggest that many evangelists are not doing most excellent service, but pastors and people must come to understand that they are not an absolute necessity. The substantial, persistent revival that flourishes alike in summer’s heat and winter’s cold is not the creation of a mere human evangelist. Such a revival is the work of the Holy Ghost. Again, pastors and people must be possessed, enthused with the thought that in the economy of divine grace, there is never a combination of circumstances when it is justifiable to say, “Four months and then cometh harvest.” That is the language of inexcusable unbelief. That is the language of those who have never proved the all-embracing scope of the divine promises. Faith claims the fulfillment of the word of Jesus when he says: “Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” A gasp of life, now and then, is better than death; a spasmodic revival is better than none at all, but the ideal revival abides and continues all through the year.
By Bishop W. F. Mallalieu
Updated 2023 Nathan Zipfel