George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 6 - THE CHALLENGE OF BEING AVAILABLE

 CHAPTER  6

THE CHALLENGE OF BEING AVAILABLE

?Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, here am I; send me!?

Isaiah 6:8

PIONEERS MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR WORK

Many fine preachers, because of their circumstances and other com­mitments, are not able to do certain types of pioneer work. The pioneer must be called, burdened and willing to go and live among the people. Because of this, God often uses single young men to do pioneer work. They need to be very special young men. Satan will try to tempt the single person at any time, even in the midst of a mighty work of God. Therefore, he must be consistent in his communion, consistent in his study of the Word, consistent in his purity. He must abstain from all ap­pearance of evil.

Satan will also try to discourage the pioneer, but he must be consis­tent in his love and care of the converts. He must have a goal - a local assembly planted to His glory. He must have godly determination and courage that comes from the Holy Spirit. He needs to be, as much as possible, the same as the people among whom he works. He must be willing to work in manual labour from time to time alongside of them. A single person has to be able to devote all of his time and energy to the people he is working among.

God uses people to carry out His plan. Be careful to walk humbly before your God and allow the Holy Spirit to open up His word and reveal His ways to you. You may feel very inadequate and insignificant, but God may use you in a way you never dreamed of.

When God had a work to do, He wanted a man to carry out His de­sign to save souls in Labrador. Many gifted preachers were in Canada at that time, but they were not available. God doesn?t get stuck for a man, though. If one isn?t available, He will choose another who is.

God brought Herb Harris from Newfoundland in 1951 to preach the gospel in Vancouver. He brought a young man from California to the same house and saved him in those meetings. In this way, He was prepar­ing someone for the work in Labrador.

I can say by experience as I stood on the Labrador coast, young and alone, how inadequate I felt for the task that lay before me. It was God?s plan, however, and He carried it through in His own power by using a feeble vessel. What is the secret? Just be willing to do what God wants you to do, when he wants you to do it, and be sure to give Him all the glory.

FREE TO WORK FOR THE LORD ALONE

Going to Newfoundland was a refreshing experience. The work was new, and little had been done up until then. There were little assemblies in Corner Brook and Carbonear, and the meeting in St. John?s was only small at that time as well. Mr. Harris was a man who had vitality and vision. Soul winning was a constant subject, as it was the main thing that was on his mind. From time to time, various problems would come up, but not often. Things were fresh.

I believe this is one reason why the Lord was able to use young men. These men were not encumbered with the ideology of any system. They were just free before the Lord; willing to go when and where He wanted them. We wanted to win souls, wherever we could find them. In Labrador, it was one man with the Lord. The converts all had a nice fresh start with the truth from the Bible; no traditional hang-ups, no doss and don?ts, just plain Bible truth. They were happy days and fresh days.

But the enemy is sure to attack, and little by little, outside influences came in, some through myself, influenced by others. We allowed some unscriptural tradition to come and legalism followed. Now the work of God that had been so fresh and so dear we believe to the heart of God had been encumbered with problems and ideas that are really not scriptural.

I remember an old brother saying, ?When you stand for a truth, stand like a lion, but if it is not essential, let?s be like the Iamb?

Often we stand like a lion for nonessential things, but for the truth that we need to stand for, we become very much like a passive lamb. As I think back over those years, I recall times of freedom and liberty when we were able to operate freely and wholly before the Lord. It makes me sad when I think that minority groups often have so much power, and so much influence upon the people. Christians are very susceptible to do?s and don?ts. It seems to be easier to live that way, especially if we are in a carnal condition.

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOME OPPOSITION

To young men I would say, ?Wholly depend on the Lord. Go out, do what He wants you to do, and stay away from the unscriptural control of well-meaning brethren who would seek to hinder your freedom before the Lord. Strange, isn?t it, how some men who are not progressive in us­ing different methods will vigorously oppose anyone that does. If they were challenged as to their scriptural position, they would have to ?hem and haw? to find some kind of thing that they could call a principle to back them up. I found that when God was using and blessing us, these men always opposed. In some way, and for some reason, they would seek to lay charges against us. But if we are having blessing and help of the Lord, we need not fear what men would say or do. It?s Him whom we serve. May the Lord help us.

I would say to the rising generation: don?t be arrogant or aloof, but be scriptural, and be the man or woman God wants you to be before Him. God keep us as God?s men and women for His glory.

THERE MUST BE FRESHNESS AND POWER

I was reminded recently that in the book of the Acts, the New Testa­ment church was fully involved with people and their needs. It is interest­ing to notice how everybody had things in common and people shared. Today, this is what is needed. We are not growing the way we should and some places are getting weaker. I know over comers stay with the church in its weakness, but when the lamp stand is removed, there is deadness and dryness. When there is no liberty for the Holy Spirit to operate, and the children are suffering because there is no spiritual life, then it is not worth staying.

Young people with a life before them are not going to waste it under the domination of unspiritual men who will not move in any sensible direction. They call scripture tradition, or tradition scripture! No, you have to be somewhere so you can breathe and work with God. God has blessed many places far beyond any of our assemblies. The Lord help us to catch a vision and vitality and to venture out in the freshness of New Testament power. Oh, to live once again as in days gone by where the Holy Spirit is unhindered in His work. We enjoyed that in Newfound­land and Labrador. There must be a freshness. There must be new pow­er. The form of preaching and outlines of scriptural truths are only as good as the power with which they are given. There roust be the heart work on the part of the preacher so he can meet the needs of the people.

MESSAGES MUST RELATE TO NEEDS OF PEOPLE

They need to know how God feels about them and to understand that God has a purpose and a destiny for them. They need to be touched in those areas of life where they are struggling with fears and sins that need to be dealt with by the Holy Spirit. This kind of preaching is im­portant for the age in which we live.

God has raised up men today just as He raised up Moody and Spur­geon. They are reaching many millions of people. We desperately need vision in the assemblies. Our young people are hungry and yearning for the Word of God. We must help them to grow spiritually and make our messages relate to their needs.

May the Lord restore us. Love is the key word. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples.

Related scriptures: Acts 11:25-26; Acts 15:37-40; Acts 16:1-3; Galatians 5:1;

II  Corinthians 11:3; John 16:13; II Corinthians 13:6-10; Ephesians 4:15; II Timothy 2:15.