My Waterloo came when C.T. Studd in the heart of Africa was “glorified” (the way we always speak of the “death” of God’s servants), going to the Lord in 1931 with “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” as his last words. He had commissioned Pauline and me to return to the home base in England and carry on the Crusade with the 35 workers in the Congo, and just we two at home.
Difficulties had greatly weakened us at this point, so that in the first month at home we received a total of only 42500 for the 35 workers for one month! And it was precisely then, as it were at the bottom of a dry well, that the way I had learned to look up to the glimmer of light at the top, I was now challenged to put into practice on my own.
I am writing this not from any special interest in the incidents, but because it illustrates the putting into practice of exactly what we are talking about— how to use the word of faith in crisis, as well as in ordinary situations in our lives, as I learned from the Bible and Rees Howells.
The way we did it, our first practical lesson from the bottom of that apparently dry well, is the way I and so many others still do it today. Not one iota of difference. That is why I have confidence in mentioning it in some detail as an example of practicing the faith way as the only sensible and workable way of living in every detail of our lives, and then helping many others onto this same way.
We, four of us together, did it one day at the house which was our London headquarters in 1931, when, as I say, things were at the bottom. There were Pauline and I, together with one missionary recruit and one missionary on furlough. First we faced our negative. Things were at the point of collapse: trouble had arisen, many had left us, and money was practically nonexistent. We had plenty of advice which we had to ignore. The advice was to close the small mission or offer it to others. This situation was just the same kind as we are all confronted with in our pressing negatives, disastrous negatives sometimes. What shall I do about this mountain, this hopeless situation, this impossible person?
Well, I had learned the first step from Rees Howells. Not calling on God and asking Him for deliverance, not listening to man, but listening to God. In other words not what we think about it, but what has He to say to us about it. What’s up, God? This is revolutionary and has remained so, because it reverses prayer. It is not we talking to Him and bringing needs to Him, but giving Him the chance to talk to us.
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