Monday, January 21, 2013
Three Dead Guys
My sermon this past Sunday morning started off with a Hudson Taylor story. As I was doing some final preparation before leaving the house, it struck me that three dead 19th century guys are regarded as such spiritual giants. Of course, Hudson Taylor (1831-1905) was an English missionary to China. His ministry resulted in over 800 missionaries following him to what was such a strange land. Taylor was greatly influenced by another 19th century saint, George Muller (1805-1898). Muller was one who used prayer as the means of creating an orphanage home for thousands of needy children in England. When something was needed, Muller prayed asking God and it was provided. Hudson Taylor did much the same when missionaries were needed for China. And the final member of the trio was Oswald Chambers (1874-1917). He was a teacher and missionary and best remembered for the devotional guide that has never been out of print, "My Utmost for His Highest." And, yes, one of the strands of spiritual influence in Chamber's life was Hudson Taylor.
As I was doing my sermon preparation, I thought about these three mighty men of faith. I wondered what it was that they had in common. Of course, the obvious thing is that that all three were giants in prayer. Reading their biographies is to realize that prayer for them was like breathing is for us. But, not satisfied with the obvious, I kept wondering, "What made these men so different? What made them live such extraordinary lives of faith?" What finally came to me was a simple thing. Each of them took God at His Word. Their biographies show them living according to what each knew to be the Word of God.
Can it really be so simple? Is the key to extraordinary faith and spiritual power as simple as simply taking God at His Word? Is it really enough to ask, seek, and knock until the will of God begins to break in upon our lives and into our world? These three believed it to be so. These three lived their lives with this basic truth as the foundational stone. Maybe it really is all we need under our lives as well.