The early Church had little machinery, but they had power. A young woman, a member of my church, worked in a large umbrella factory (in Philadelphia), at that time considered the largest umbrella factory in the world. She said to me one day, in a discouraged manner, "Pastor, I'll have to hunt another job." "What's the matter?" I asked her, "have they discharged you?" "No, they haven't discharged me." "Well, hasn't your factory enough orders to keep going all the time?" "No, not that at all. They have more orders than they can fill; but they haven't enough electricity to keep all the machines going at once, and my machine has to lie idle part of the week, and I lose so much time and pay. The trouble with the factory is, they have more machinery than power."
Let us not forget that the finest machinery made is useless without power, and it is God's power which is ESSENTIAL to the carrying out of the Great Commission.—L. S. Bauman, in Adult Quarterly.
"I remember two holy women who used to come to my meetings. It was delightful to see them in the congregation. When I began to preach, I could tell by the expression on their faces that they were praying for me. At the close of the Sunday evening service they would say to me, `We have been praying for you.'
"I said, 'Why don't you pray for the people?'
"They answered, `You need power.'
"'I need power?' I said to myself.
'Why, I thought I had power.' I had a large Sunday school and the largest congregation in Chicago. There were some conversions at the time. I was, in a sense, satisfied. But right along these two godly women kept praying for me, and their earnest talk about being anointed for special service' set me to thinking.
"I asked them to come and talk with me, and we got down on our knees. They poured out their hearts that I might receive the anointing from the Holy Spirit, and there came a great hunger into my soul. I did not know what it was. I began to pray as I never did before. I really felt that I did not want to live if I could not have this power for service. The hunger increased. I was praying all the time that God would fill me with His Holy Spirit.
"Well, one day in the city of New York—oh, what a day! I cannot describe it; I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I asked Him to stay His hand.
"I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths; and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you gave me all Glasgow,—it would be as the small dust of the balance.
"If we are full of the Spirit, anointed, our words will reach the hearts of the people—we need the filling always, and if we are filled with the Spirit, there will be no room for Satan or self. If we are filled with the Spirit and full of power, one day's work is better than a year's without. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to get the secrets of eternity and reveal them unto us. My work is to preach, and the Holy Spirit convinces of sin."—D. L. Moody.
We read the other day of a man who had rigged up a dynamo-battery system to operate an electric light for his room. After a while the light "flickered and faded." A friend was called in, and after examination he told him that his plant would never again run a light, but it might run a call bell. It wasn't strong enough to make a light, but it could make a noise. This needs no enlargement. We have all seen samples of religion that weren't strong enough to make a light but that could make any amount of noise.—From Herald and Presbyter.
W. B. Anderson of India uttered a warning at a convention, against the theoretical knowledge of spiritual things: "Perhaps we never miss the morning devotional hour. We have whole passages of the Bible at our tongue's end. We have read widely in systems of theology. We have constructed a great system of truth for ourselves. We know all about the theory of prayer. We have become sure of these things with a certain knowledge." Yet, as the speaker declared, this may all be only a phantom with which we deceive ourselves. We may be spiritually powerless in the midst of this accumulated knowledge. For spiritual power consists not in mere knowledge, but comes only through the presence of a Person, Jesus Christ. Only as we yield to Christ and draw continually upon Him will He fill us and flow out from us in the fullness of the power of God.—Sunday School Times.
When Saladin beheld the sword of Richard, the lion-hearted, he marveled that a weapon so ordinary could have wrought such mighty deeds. The brave Englishman bared his arm and said, "It was not the sword that did these things: it was the arm of Richard." It was the arm of God that fought against the Midian host. What mattered it to God whether Gideon's army numbered one hundred thousand or one thousand or one? One with God is a majority. Anyhow, God measures men; never counts them.—W. E. Biederwolf, in The Man Nobody Missed.
A minister, calling on an old Negress, found her bending over the washtub, scrubbing with all her might, "Aunt Dinah," said he, "don't you get very tired doing that hard work?" "Oh, yes, massa," she replied, "I hasn't got much strength, but I ask the Lord, and He gives me the spirit of washin'."—Sunday School Times.
An old colored minister was praying earnestly for unction. A white minister, who heard him, asked, "What is unction?" "Brudder," he replied, "I dunno whut it is, but I knows when it ain't!"—Christ Life.
The friends of Mary Slessor, missionary in Africa, were amazed when they saw that she, a weak woman, had been able to mold savage chiefs to her will. One of the chiefs explained, "You have evidently forgotten to take into account the woman's God."—Westminster Quarterly.