Faith Messages to build your faith

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

#13 God's Power in the Ministry of Charles G. Finney

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: As a young law student Finney became interested in the Bible and purchased a copy. He was greatly hindered as he listened to prayers in church which never seemed to be answered.

   As he became more and more concerned about his soul, Christians offered to pray for him, but he told them he did not see how it would do any good, for they were continually asking and not receiving from God. (Google image, Charles G. Finney).

   In October 1821, after several days of increasingly deep Spirit-given conviction of sin, Finney came to a clear experience of Christ in the morning and was filled with the Spirit in the evening.

     "I was powerfully converted on the morning of the 10th
      of October, 1821. In the evening of the same day I received
      overwhelming baptisms of the Holy Ghost, that went through
      me as it seemed to me, body and soul. I immediately found
      myself endued with such power from on high that a few 
      words dropped here and there to individuals were the means
      of their immediate conversion.

     My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls
     of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a
     hammer. Multitudes can attest to this . . .

     When Christians humble themselves and consecrate their
     all afresh to Christ, and ask for his power, they will often
     receive such a baptism that they will be instrumental in
     converting more souls in one day than in all their lifetime
     before. While Christians remain humble enough to retain
     this power, the work of conversion will go on, till whole 
     communities and regions of country are converted to Christ."

   The morning after Finney's enduement with power, or baptism of the Spirit as he himself often called it, God began to use him mightily. Almost every person Finney talked to that day was seized with conviction for sin and then or later found the Lord.

   He left his law office to talk to people about their salvation. He won a Universalist and a liquor distiller that day. The word spread around the village and although no meeting was announced, most of the people gathered in the church that night.

   No one spoke, so finally Finney got up and testified. Many were immediately convicted of sin. From then on a meeting was held each night for some time, and all but one of Finney's former companions and many others from there and surrounding communities found the Lord.

   Shortly afterward Finney began to fast and pray and meetings continued. One day as he approached the church building, God's "light perfectly ineffable" so shone in his soul that it almost prostrated him.

   It seemed brighter than the noon-day sun, and reminded him of Paul's conversion on the way to Damascus. Many were saved, some were healed in body, and Finney learned what it meant to travail in prayer for the unsaved. Isaiah 66:8 was repeatedly impressed on his heart by God: "No sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children."

   [Finney was ordained in 1824]. His first regular meetings were at Evens Mill, New York where he demanded the congregation to decide for or against Christ, which angered them. 

   Finney spent the next day in fasting and prayer. That night an unusual sense of anointing and power came upon them. Even hardened atheists repented and were saved.

   From then on, with increasing power and results he preached the gospel across America and latter in Britain. Sometimes the power of God so came upon a service that almost the entire audience fell on their knees and prayed, while some were prostrate on the floor.

   At times the power of God would be so mightily upon him that he felt himself almost lifted from his feet. At other times it seemed that "a cloud of glory" descended upon him as he ministered.

   One day while Finney was praying at length, as he regularly did, Jesus appeared to him in a vision. 

     "He drew so near to me while I was engaged in prayer that 
      my flesh literally trembled. I shook from head to foot under 
      a sense of the presence of God."

   Finney described the experience as like standing atop Sinai with its thunderings. But instead of wanting to flee, he felt drawn nearer and nearer to God. As His presence filled him Finney felt "unutterable awe and trembling" like Daniel (Dan. 10:8-11).

    God gave him special promises of assurance that no opposition would prevail against him, and he had nothing but love and kind feelings to the ministers opposing him. He was so sanctified in soul that he never felt one unkind feeling toward his opposers.

   At times God gave Finney detailed instructions on what to say and how to approach seemingly impossible individuals and then the Spirit came on them in conviction and salvation. He seemed constantly led or restrained regarding places of ministry.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
   Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Creative reading style by Jean.

Ablaze for God
#13 God's Power in the Ministry of 
Charles G. Finney
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel
(pp. 60 - 63) ZondervanPublishingHouse

Our prayer today-

Gwen Smith- "Holy Father, Your greatness truly is unsearchable! I pray that you will continue to stir up a hunger in my soul to know all the mystery of You that remains.  Please cause me to think bigger thoughts of You, and to acknowledge You in all my ways.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen."

Today's Bible verses-

     "I will extol You, my God, O King, and I will bless Your 
     name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and 
     I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the 
     LORD, and highly to be praised, and His greatness 
     is unsearchable" (Psalms 145:1-3, NASB)

     “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
      no one will snatch them out of my hand” (Jo. 10:28).

     "Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate
      us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ
      Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:39 b, NLT).

Today's quote-

Maureen Longnecker- "Sometimes trials cloud our vision similar to the way storm clouds block our view of the stars. On overcast nights, we know the stars are still there, even though we can't see them. In the same way, we can be assured that God is there and is actively at work in situations, even when we don't see Him . . . It takes faith to keep choosing to trust God when life hurts. We need patience to allow Him to work out His plan, even when we aren't seeing things unfold as we want them to." (p. 51 in her book, The Other Side of the Tapestry).

~ - "Jesus tells us, 'If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.'  (Matt. 6:14-15 NLT). When we forgive, forgiveness leads to our freedom and our forgiveness. Satan wants us to think forgiveness lets the other person off the hook, but the only one unhooked is the one who forgives." 

Today's question-

   Are you aware that God is always speaking? Do you know what's important to Him?

   The truth is that He always speaks, whether or not we listen, and it may be we're blind to His being evident in our lives. Our willingness to listen and to hear God's voice of direction, will enable us to allow Him to make us effective witnesses of the salvation He makes available to us all.
   We try to change others, as well as ourselves, but only God can make the changes needed. Prayer is what will make the difference!
   As most people aren't interested or capable to find God on their own, we have the responsibility to do our best to lead them to the Savior, which is what is most important to Him.     

Upcoming posts-

                          #14 The Power of God Came Upon People
30th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

What Was Done
12/2- Tuesday's post by Lisa Buffaloe

#15 How the Power was Manifested
5th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#16 Widespread Effect of Finney's Ministry
7th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

(Click to see snippets of the 7 recent posts)
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