16 June 2013

Holy fire

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from Forgotten Prayer Meeting Addresses, page117, Day One Publications.
“In the things of God it seems to me that fire is absolutely necessary, but then it must be fire of a particular sort. It must be a holy fire. There is a great deal of false fire in the world.”

I am afraid that in many revivals there has been much earth-born fire, namely, excitement, that which every orator knows how to excite. It is possible almost by a stamp of the foot or by the glance of one’s eye, to waken the soul, and make a man feel excited till he scarce knows what he is about. But God’s servants should disdain so to excite men’s souls.

It is not the clap, nor the stamp, nor talking fine words, nor piling up sentences into a glowing climax, that has power in it. This in God’s sight is weakness, and we must have done with it. There is a better fire than ever came from mere oratory, a power from on high, and not the mere sparks of man’s kindling.

I think we ought to be very careful in preaching the Word where we get our excitement from, lest, like Nadab and Abihu, we offer strange fire before the Lord. I have sometimes heard of brethren reading certain doubtful works with a view to kindling enthusiasm, and I have even heard of persons taking stimulating drinks for this purpose.

Accursed be the habit! and let no Christian ever for a single second be guilty of it. Fire we must have, but it must not be this earth-born fire, or else God will cast a blight over our ministry and our service.

Now, I do not find that it is so very difficult to get holy and heavenly fire, but I do find that it is extremely difficult to keep it. My soul craves to get some of the fire which was always burning on the altar, and never went out; to be as earnest about sinners in the drawing-room as in the pulpit; to be as fond of winning souls when I am only with half-a-dozen as though I had the assembled throng which crowds this house.

Oh! to pant for souls by day, and to long for them by night; to go to bed with the tear in the eye because they are not saved, and to wake up with some new purpose, half wrought out in one’s dreams, concerning some one whose soul one would fain bring to the feet of the Saviour.

We shall not see great works done by spasmodic efforts. These may be well enough where we cannot get anything better, but, oh! for a fire that burns on, and on, and on, like the sun’s own flame, and grows not dim, though many a candle has gone out and many a star’s light has been quenched in everlasting darkness. May ours be the ‘shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’

1 comment:

Paul Reed said...

The problem is that there is so much false fire that people draw the conclusion that there's no true fire. I know people who say God never blesses people with material blessings, because he's gotten so worn and tired of the health-and-wealth preachers. I suspect this is also the main reason why so cessationism is so influential. People throw the baby out with the bathwater.