John Wesley once said, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.”
John Wesley who spoke those words was a man whom God used to bring incredible change to a country and even, some say brought England back from the brink of revolution.
England at the beginning of the eighteenth century was in spiritual and moral decay. Thomas Carlyle described the country’s condition as “Stomach well alive, soul extinct.” Sir William Blackstone once visited the church of every major clergyman in London but found that in most sermons, “it would have been impossible to tell just from listening whether the preacher was a follower of Confucius, Mohammed, or Christ!”
Morally the country was becoming increasingly decadent. Drunkenness was rampant; gambling was so extensive that one historian described England as “one vast casino.” Newborns were left to die, exposed in the streets. 97% of the infant poor in the workhouses died as children. Cruel bear baiting and cock fighting were accepted sports and tickets were sold to public executions much the same as if one was going to the theatre. The slave trade brought material gain to many while further degrading their souls. Bishop Berkeley wrote that morality and religion in Britain had collapsed “to a degree that was never known in any Christian country.”
But there were those who decided to stand up for who and what they believed, and because they did they stemmed the tide of immorality, lawlessness and godlessness.
Because of their commitment things started to change for the better and the subsequent move of God that followed cut across denominational lines and touched every class of society. England itself was transformed by this revival. In 1928 Archbishop Davidson wrote that “Wesley practically changed the outlook and even the character of the English nation.” Some historians maintain that the revival so altered the course of English history that it probably saved the country from the kind of revolution that took place in France.
What a different world it would be if we realised how much of an impact we can make and how great an agent for change we can all be when we grasp hold of both the responsibility and ability we have to act and stand up for good, to pray and to bring our petitions directly to the courts of heaven. For in doing so we can obtain the answers and change we so desperately need and desire.
Perhaps if we understood and took more seriously who we are and the authority we have been given we would more readily step up and govern through prayer, faith and action. We would open our mouths and hearts and begin to expect things to change for the better because that’s what’s on God’s heart.
Really, isn’t it time that those of us who profess to be followers of Jesus step up like John Wesley and others like him have done in the past? We too have a job to do – it is our turn and time now!
I encourage you today to pick up your bible again and to read what it says about Gods ways and heart for all mankind and for our nations. Consider carefully the things we are facing in our country and the world and then seek Jesus for His plan and solution.
Those who have gone before us paid a great price; they stood up, spoke up and took back what the enemy had stolen.
If the tide has been turned before – and it has, then it can be turned once again to goodness, purity, godliness and love.
Let’s take our petitions directly to the courts of heaven and to our righteous Judge. Let’s stand up, speak up and see heaven’s blueprint for our lives, communities and nations come to pass. For we do not belong to those who shrink back, but to those who have faith! (Hebrews 10:39)
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”. (Hebrews 4:16)
Jesus said “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew18:18).
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NIV)
Prayer: Lord forgive me for where I have allowed complacency or fear to silence and dictate to me what I say, do and believe is possible. Would you please stir the fires of revival and faith in my heart and reveal to me your blueprint for my life and the future of this nation. I want to be used by you as an instrument of grace and change. In Jesus name Amen.