How many times have you seen someone give their all to a pursuit, only to come up short? We see it all the time…
- A thriving business that ends up failing due to bad decisions, mismanagement, and financial chaos;
- An actor who receives accolades for a performance, wins an Academy Award, then falls into obscurity;
- An athlete or team that wins contest after contest, only to fail when it really matters. (Remember the New England Patriots 2007 season – they were undefeated going into Super Bowl XLII, only to lose to the New York Giants.)
But worse than coming up short in a contest or personal pursuit is someone who makes a conscious decision for defeat… someone who makes a decision not to take advantage of every opportunity, resource, or gift available to them.
† D.L.Moody was NOT such a person. D.L. Moody, the founder of many establishments including Moody Bible Institute, was a man who refused to operate without the power of the Holy Spirit. Early in his ministry he pushed forward in his work, operating mostly in the strength of his own flesh. He felt he had no real power in his life, but he didn’t know how to resolve the problem.
At the close of his meetings in a YMCA, two humble Free Methodist women often approached him and said, “We are praying for you.” Their comment unnerved the young preacher. Finally, one night upon their approach, he asked, “Why are you praying for me? Why don’t you pray for the unsaved?”
They responded, “We are praying that you may get the power.” He asked them what they meant, and they proceeded to explain to him the definite baptism of the Holy Spirit. He then prayed with the women, fervently desiring the power of God to fall on his life.
Not long after that prayer, as he was walking in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the streets of New York, the power of God fell upon Moody so mightily that he had to turn aside to the house of a friend. There, alone in a room for hours, he experienced the filling of his soul with such joy that he at last had to ask God to withhold His hand. He went out from there with the power of the Spirit upon him, and going directly to a London crusade, he saw God do a wondrous work through him, bringing hundreds into the church.¹
I could write pages and pages of the men of God who have experienced the filling of the Spirit, such as Charles Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, Charles Finney, and Evan Roberts, the Welsh evangelist. However, God’s power is not just for great preachers of the faith. It is God’s desire for all Christians to know the power of the Holy Spirit upon them.
† From my book, The Essential Guide to Baptism in the Holy Spirit Published by Charisma House¹ R.A. Torrey, “Why God Used D.L. Moody”, in James S. Bell, ed., The D.L. Moody Collections (Chicago: Moody Press, 1997), 116-117