the Calvary Road p.16-19
Brokenness, however, is but the beginning of Revival. Revival itself, is being absolutely filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, and that is victorious living. If we were asked this moment if we were filled with the Holy Spirit, how many of us would dare to answer ‘Yes’? Revival is when we can say ‘yes’ at any moment of the day. It is not egoistic to say so, for filling to overflowing is utterly and completely God’s work – it is all of grace. All we have to do is to present our empty, broken self and let Him fill and keep filled. Andrew Murray says, ‘Just as water ever seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds you abased and empty, His glory and power flow in.’ The picture that has made things simple and clear to so many of us is that of the human heart as a cup which we hold out to Jesus, longing that He may fill it with the Water of Life. Jesus is pictured as bearing the golden water-pot with the Water of Life. As He passes by, He looks into our cup, and if it is clean He fills it to overflowing with the Water of Life; and as Jesus is always passing by, the cup can be always running over. That is something of what David meant when he said, ‘My cup runneth over.’ This is Revival – the constant peace of God ruling our hearts because we are full to overflowing with blessing ourselves, and sharing it with others. People imagine that dying to self makes one miserable, but it is just the opposite. It is the refusal to die to self that makes one miserable. The more we know of death with Him, the more we shall know of His life in us, and so the more of real peace and joy. His life, too, will overflow through us to lost souls in a real concern for their salvation, and to our fellow Christians in a deep desire for their blessing.
Under the Blood
Only one thing prevents Jesus filling our cups as He passes by, and that is sin in one of its thousand forms. The Lord Jesus does not fill dirty cups. Anything that springs from self, however small it may be, is sin. Self-effort or self-complacency in service is sin. Self-pity in trials or difficulties, self-seeking in business or Christian work, self-indulgence in one’s spare time, sensitiveness, touchiness, resentment, and self-defence when we are hurt or injured by others, self-consciousness, reserve, worry, fear, all spring from self and all are sin and make our cups unclean. But all of them were put into that other cup, which the Lord Jesus shrank from momentarily in Gethsemane, but which He drank to the dregs at Calvary – the cup of our sin; and if we will allow Him to show us what is in our cups and then give it Him, He will cleanse them in the precious Blood that still flows for sin, but from the stain and pollution of it, so that we have ‘no more conscience of sin’ there. And as He cleanses our cups, so He fills them to overflowing with His Holy Spirit.
And we are able daily to avail ourselves of that precious Blood. Suppose you have let the Lord Jesus cleanse your cup and have trusted Him to fill it to overflowing, then something comes along – a touch of envy or temper. What happens? Your cup becomes dirty and it ceases to overflow; and if we are constantly being defeated in this way, then our cup is never overflowing.
If we are to know continuous Revival we must learn the way to keep our cups clean. It is never God’s will that a Revival should cease and be known in history as the Revival of this or that year. When that happens it is due to one thing only – sin, just those little sins that the devil drops into our cup. But if we will go back to Calvary and learn afresh the power of the Blood of Jesus to cleanse moment by moment from the beginnings of sin, then we have learnt the secret of cups constantly cleansed and constantly overflowing. The moment you are conscious of that touch of envy, criticism, irritability, whatever it is – give it to Jesus and ask Him to cleanse it away by the power of His Blood, and you will find the reaction gone, your joy and peace restored, and your cup running over; and the more you come for cleansing in this way, the less even will you have these reactions. But cleansing is possible only when we have first been broken before God on the point concerned. Suppose we are irritated by certain traits in someone. It is not enough just to take our reactions of irritation to Calvary. We must first be broken, that is, we must yield to God over the whole question, and accept that person and their ways as His Will for us. Then we are able to take our wrong reaction to Jesus, knowing that His Blood will cleanse away our sin. When we have been cleansed from sin, let us not keep mourning over it; let us not be occupied with ourselves, but let us look up to our victorious Lord, and praise Him that He is still victorious.
There is one simple but all-inclusive guide the Word of God gives to regulate our walk with Jesus and to make us to know when sin has come in. Col. 3:15 says, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts“. Everything that disturbs the peace of God in our hearts is sin, no matter how small it is, and no matter how little like sin it may at first appear to be. This peace is to ‘rule’ our hearts, or (a more literal translation) ‘be the referee’ in our hearts. When the referee blows his whistle at a football match the game has to stop, a foul has been committed. When we lose our peace, God’s referee in our hearts has blown his whistle! Let us stop immediately, ask God to show us what is wrong, confess to Him the sin He shows us, and then peace will be restored by the Blood of Jesus, and we shall go on our way with our cups running over. If, however, God does not give us His peace, it will be because we are not really broken. Perhaps we have yet to say ‘Sorry’ to somebody else as well as to God. Or perhaps we still feel it is the other person’s fault. But if we have lost our peace, it is obvious whose fault it is. We do not lose peace with God over another person’s sin, but only over our own. God wants to show us our reactions, and only when we are willing to be cleansed there will we have His peace. Oh, what a simple but searching thing it is to be ruled by the peace of God, none other than the Holy Spirit Himself! Former selfish ways, which we never bothered about, are now shown to us, and we cannot walk in them without the referee blowing his whistle. Grumbling, bossiness, carelessness, down to the smallest thing are all revealed as sins when we are prepared to let our days be ruled by the peace of God. Many times a day, and over the smallest things, we shall have to avail ourselves of the cleansing Blood of Jesus, and we shall find ourselves walking the way of brokenness as never before. But Jesus will be manifested in all His loveliness and grace in that brokenness.
Many of us, however, have neglected the referee’s whistle so often and for so long that we have ceased to hear it. Days follow days, and we feel we have little need of cleansing and no occasion of being broken. In that condition we are usually in a worse state than we ever imagine. It will need a hunger for restored fellowship with God to possess our hearts before we will be willing to cry to God to show us where the Blood of Jesus must be applied. He will show us, to begin with, just one thing, and it will be our obedience and brokenness on that one thing that will be the first step into Revival for us.