George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 18 - GOD USES ORDINARY PEOPLE

 CHAPTER 18

GOD USES ORDINARY PEOPLE

?And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.?

Colossians 3:23-24

?Oh, Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me... Deliver me, Jesus, from the desire of

being LOVED

EXTOLLED

HONOURED

PRAISED

PREFERRED ABOVE OTHERS

APPROVED,

From the fear of being HUMILIATED

DESPISED

SUFFERING REBUKE

FORGOTTEN

WRONGED

SUSPECTED, and Jesus,

Grant me the grace to desire

That others might be more led than I,

That others may increase and I may decrease,

That others be chosen and I set aside,

That others be praised and I be unnoticed,

That others be preferred to me,

That others be holier than I, provided I

become as holy as I should be.

LEADERSHIP INVOLVES INFLUENCE AND MOTIVATION

What would you do if the doctor said your cancer is inoperable and there is no cure? How would you want to spend the rest of your life? I will tell you how I am going to spend mine. I want to spend it stirring up saints about winning souls for Christ. That is the main thing I want to do.

We need to take the great commission seriously. It starts with leader­ship. An ordinary person with positive influence, who is highly motivat­ed, can do great things for God. Leadership involves at least these two things: influence and motivation. Do I have a goal? Do I have a vision? Am I willing to share that vision?

Nehemiah was the man who had a burden to build a wall, and he prayed. He was opposed in his work for God, but the more he was op­posed, the more he prayed and worked. That?s the way he handled the opposition.

He said, ?We have to go out there. We can?t win by just sitting here and waiting for victory.?

Nehemiah was interested in God?s work. When his brethren came down, he asked how things were in Jerusalem. The information that everything was in disarray reached Nehemiah?s ears, humbled him, and he went to God in prayer about it.

THE GOD OF CREATION, RELATIONSHIP AND AUTHORITY

Nehemiah knew his God. He knew three things about his God. in Ne­hemiah 1:1-4, we see he prayed to the God of Heaven; Elohim, the Crea­tor, the powerful God. He also knew the God of relationship in verse five, ?I beseech Thee, (I beg Thee) 0 Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God; that keepeth convenant and mercy for them that love Him and observe His commandments.?

In verse 11, he knew God as Adonai - Master. ?0 Lord, I beseech Thee, let now Thine ear be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant.., who desire to fear Thy name: and prosper, I pray Thee, Thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king?s cupbearer!?

Recently, I was made more aware of these characteristics of God. Look­ing at God?s creation in the Redwoods and the mighty ocean along the

Oregon Coast, I had to stop and say, ?How great Thou art!? What a

God! He created it all. We can be so unaware of the greatness of this

God, this God Who is our God.

This God of relationship; this great and terrible God is going to bring vengeance upon an ungodly world because of its sin.

But this great God is also full of mercy and compassion. He is a covenant-keeping God. What a God! The thing that touched me about Nehemiah was, ?I beseech Thee, oh Masters, Adonai (?Masters? the Trini­ty), let now Thine ear be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant!? How could God ever turn away from a prayer like that! Maybe we don?t get our prayers answered because we are not willing to say ?Masters? nor willing to be obedient to the Lord. ?Lend your ear to me!? Have you ever thought about that? If we were willing to be fully committed to this won­derful God and fully obedient to Him, we would have revival.

HOW WONDERFUL TO BE WHERE GOD IS WORKING

In C. H. MacIntosh?s book, Things New and Old, he tells the story of a woman visiting Ulster who became burdened when she saw the dead­ness and the self-efforts of people trying to establish their own righteous­ness. She became like Nehemiah. God said, ?I will use you. I can always use someone like you!? At this time, a man from the village of Connor was concerned, troubled and struggling in his soul. He wanted to be right with God and he didn?t know how. He discovered this woman had some connection with God and came to see her. She had the joy of telling him the story of the gospel and he got saved. He found a cou­ple of other like-minded persons and they began to pray. God began to work and the great revival of Ulster spread.

Mr. MacIntosh said that some brethren stood aside because it was too emotional. From his first-hand account, he states that people fell down crying to God for mercy because of conviction of sin. Others just received the Lord into their hearts and he likened it to Lydia in Acts 16, ?whose heart the Lord opened?, and the Philippian jailor who sprang in and said, ?Sirs, what must I do to be saved?? In his account, he said you would see sometimes one hundred falling in agony and groaning on the round under conviction of sin until they found mercy and cleansing through the blood of Christ.

Revival starts with Christians! It started with Nehemiah. Are there any Nehemiahs today?

It?s wonderful to be where God is working.

BE GOAL-ORIENTED, NOT PROBLEM-CENTERED

Recently fifteen people left the assembly in Richmond, B.C. It?s hard to lose fifteen members. Why did they leave? It was because God started a little work a few years ago in the hearts of some young people. They opened their homes and other young people came and joined them. They had a desire to see a testimony gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, they made their mistakes, but God blessed their efforts.

A sister opened her home for other sisters to come and bring friends who were not saved to tell them about Jesus. Two ladies and their hus­bands were saved as a result of this. The four of them were in the West Richmond assembly before they joined the others to leave in full fellow­ship with the elders to plant another assembly.

We should be seeing assemblies planted all over Vancouver. Let us older ones work with the young people. Let?s rebuke them if they need it and let?s encourage them when they need it.

Nehemiah was in great affliction. He said, ?Jerusalem is in reproach!? Many assemblies are in reproach. Numerically they have not grown and I can see little assemblies here and there gradually dying out. It seems to me that we have been content to try and hold the line or to teach and to keep! We are problem-centered, rather than goal-centered. Nehemi­ah had the same problem.

The men of Judah said, ?The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall!?

The men of Judah were supposed to be the leaders; they should be the ones who had a vision, but they didn?t have it. Because they didn?t have it, they didn?t go after it. Nehemiah had it and he was burdened about it.

He said, ?I have a few men with me!?

Let?s get to know our God. Let?s get to know Him as the Creator God, the God of relationship, the God who loves obedience. If we are willing to obey Him, we will see things done.

EXAMPLES OF GOD USING ORDINARY PEOPLE

I would like to give two positive examples of what God is doing. In the fall of 1983, Aubrey Copp phoned to see if I would be interested in taking some special meetings in Deep Cove starting in February of 1984. Well, I didn?t know. I called my friend, fellow-labourer, companion in labour, everything but fellow-prisoner (we had never been thrown in jail together, but we had done nearly everything else as workers). He is Gaius Goff. I am not going into details, but I was down. I knew my Brother Goff was going through some difficult times, and so was the Deep Cove assembly. We were all down, and when you are down, you can only come up. God began to work there and souls have been saved and baptized.

The last Sunday before we went for a vacation, Gaius and I preached the gospel. A man there wanted to be saved, and Brother Gaius talked to him until about eleven &clock. He had seen a change in his wife who was now a believer, and wanted the same thing. He didn?t get saved that night, but the next morning he did.

The Lord has worked and the numbers in the assembly have increased. They will lose some of the new converts now because some live in another area where brethren have been working for God and have been making disciples. That is what we like to see; something positive. A new assem­bly is beginning there.

I believe that if we keep at the work of God -if we just keep moving out and encouraging those that have the health, strength and ability to do the work and the maturity to handle it, we can see a lot more done in Vancouver. Instead of stopping off on side issues, we can see a revival. We can see God?s blessing all over the city.

Related scriptures: Nehemiah 1:4-11; Psalm 34:18; Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 57:15;

Isaiah 66:2; Acts 16:14, 30, 31; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; Nehemiah 2:17;

Nehemiah 4:10.