There are more than 900 promises in the Bible just waiting to be claimed and applied. I wish we believed that. We could take this world by storm. Jesus said, “Not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law until all be fulfilled.” I can’t imagine a day without the Word and a prayer and a spiritual hymn. I’m “singing as I go, pointing souls to Calvary through the crimson flow.”
Someday, God knows where or when, the wheels will all stand still, and I’m going to stand on Zion’s hill. I’m not through yet. I’ve still got good sense. My heart will go on singing. With joy, I’m going to carry on, until the day He calls me home. So, get out of my way. I’m headed to the field. I know who I am. I know who He is. I’m one of God’s earth partners. He signed His name in blood. I signed mine right under it. I’ve got doors to knock on. I’m not home yet. I’m still believing for the greatest victories we’ve ever had.
Kneeling by my bed in prayer one night, suddenly I was blinded by a brilliant light. It was like a huge spotlight shining down on me. I was startled and all I could do was weep. Then I said, “Lord?” And I heard Him say, “You just follow the light. I’ll shine through you and around you. Wherever you go, that light will go with you.” I lifted my hands, and I began to sing with tears flowing down my cheeks. I said, “Yes, Lord, this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”
So a guitar, an accordion, a door hanger, a little tract called “The Apostles Doctrine,” a Sunday school quarterly, a prayer blanket, an old bus, an old typewriter, my Bible, a few other books and a special songbook represent the pieces, the articles and the tools of my life’s ministry. These are just ordinary things given to God that He used. And the ordinary, when unreservedly dedicated to God for His purpose and His service becomes sacred, set apart, unassailable, of high value, and very, very important.
Thousands have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light. In one of Proverbs’ earliest chapters it says, “Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding.” Because even with a revelation or a dream you can’t get an understanding without God giving you that understanding. You will never be the same if you get an understanding.
Almost a century ago, Robert Frost wrote a poem. He’s one of my favorites because he’s real. One of his poems is “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” It’s beautiful, heartwarming and challenging. President John F. Kennedy quoted him often and said it applied to himself. The last four lines are, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.”
At the funeral of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on Oct. 3, 2000, his elder son rephrased these lines: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but my father has kept his promises and earned his sleep.”
Frost wrote another poem “The Less Traveled Road” or “The Road Not Taken.” My life of 89 years has been wonderfully blessed. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled. That has made all the difference in the world. Jesus said, “Strive, agonize, with great difficulty, to enter in at the straight gate. For many would I say unto you would seek to enter in and shall not be able.” It’s the royal highway to heaven. No vulture’s eye has seen the path. No motor traffic travels there. Travelers must walk by faith and not by sight. Those who walk by faith will walk with God. Whatever He decides, that’s the way you walk. I made up my mind a long time ago that I’m going to walk with the King, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Looking back over my blessed life, I’m thankful I chose the less traveled road. But I’m not finished. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and I might be tempted to sit down and drink it all in, but I’ve got miles to go before I sleep.
Retire? Robert G. Lee, the famous expositor and pastor and distinguished leader of his organization, was asked, “When you turn 80, are you going to retire?” He said, “Retire, with lost souls around me yet unreached, and I’m yet alive?”
So I say to you today, “Retire?” With a thousand, million souls screaming, “Somebody throw me a life jacket! I need somebody to love me. I need somebody with compassion and mercy and grace. I’m crying. I’m lost!” I see them every day. So again I ask myself, “Could a fireman sit and let men burn and give no hand? Can I sit at ease in Zion with a world around me damned?”
Three times, Jesus says, “Where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.” I’m not taking a chance to let anybody go beyond my reach that I can do something about it without being obtrusive or overbearing. The greatest work that you and I can do is win souls to Jesus Christ. As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
There is an eternity without Christ that is hell. There are people going there unless we carry out this mission. It’s costly for that Kingdom to come. Unless we carry out His mission, that Kingdom has not come. Until you get the understanding that you are here to win souls and get them ready for heaven, I’m sorry for you. You’ve never had the Kingdom to come. When that gets in you, it goes everywhere with you looking for souls to try to get them out of hell.
That drives me and robs me of sleep at night. It bends me in agonizing prayer and fasting. But I can’t just depend on prayer and fasting. I have to go the next step. If that Kingdom gets in me, I go into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in.
There’s an interim between when He left and when He’s coming back. This church is to be a house of prayer. The Kingdom has got to come in this church and in my heart.
When we arrived 65 years ago, I didn’t want to get up and speak unless I could say it just right. The Lord said, “They’re already lost. Can you make them any worse?”
Recognize that the single pursuit of Jesus and His Kingdom should be first. Jesus bankrupted heaven and bought the world.
“Thy Kingdom come” man is able to look as God looks, even if it humbles him to the point of pain. He would rather be useful than famous. He is indifferent to his number of years here below, but is careful of the kind of life he lives during those years. He travels through the woods but keeps going.
Jesus said, “The son, the flesh, the incarnate flesh can do nothing by Himself.” John not only had a revelation of the mighty God in Christ, but he also had a revelation of the inner life of Jesus. Jesus said, “I do not accept the praise of men. These words you hear are not my own.” Jesus became nothing so that God could be all. He resigned Himself to the Father’s will and power that He might work through Him. He said, “I am nothing.” In this state of mind, in the Spirit, the Spirit of Christ is to bring us to the same disposition that we are partakers of Christ. This is the true self-denial that Jesus is calling us to. We’re just the bulb in the lightbulb. We’re not the light. We’re not the Spirit that can flow out of us.
God made this world from nothing and as long as I am nothing, He can make something out of me!
Why don’t we preach more of the Kingdom? Humility is the greatest virtue in the Kingdom. It’s the secret of redemption, the hidden root. If you’re looking for an example of humility, look at the cross and become obedient. The humility of heaven was brought down by the incarnate Lamb of God. Jesus humbled Himself; therefore God exalted Him to the highest place in the universe.
“If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves…” That’s more than just getting down on your knees. Before you pray, humble yourself. Strip yourself, abase yourself and seek His face. Maybe that’s why we don’t get prayers answered because we don’t know how to humble ourselves.
Pride is the worst sin of the Kingdom. That’s what got Lucifer kicked out of heaven. Pride is a terrible thing. Get your mind made up and be a Kingdom person.
The last lap on this less-traveled road requires more stamina. I’d like to stop, but I’ve got promises to keep before I sleep.
Let us lock the door to whatever keeps us from giving ourselves unreservedly to Jesus and His Kingdom. Love your Lord and His Kingdom better than you love anything. He is first, more than any amusement, more than any pleasure. Sell out, buy the field, get the treasure. Give it all you’ve got!
You can’t scare me with death. I’ve seen too many prophets die. Death couldn’t touch my father. “Out of your innermost being flows living water.” What you have on the inside is the most powerful power on earth. It has no competitor.
God said, “The gates of hell can’t bring it down.” I’m going to pray, win souls, love people, disciple, restore and help them, and God will do the rest. I’ve read where they were crucified and pierced through with a sword and beheaded. I’m here to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.” I’m here to bring the message of this Kingdom to this world. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I can’t sit down and watch the snow.
“There’s a voice calling me, From an old rugged tree, And it whispers draw closer to Me. Leave this world far behind, there are new heights to climb. And a new place in Me you will find.”