In a previous post entitled, “My Dream”, I told you about a dream that I had that is very real to me. In the dream was one man, Charles Spurgeon and he said one statement to me,
“We all know each other.”
I felt it was just plain awkward to publish something so private in my spirit.
The Lord continued to nudge me to publish it. In my mind, I could not figure out “why”. But I trusted Him and obeyed.
In my obedience, He immediately rewarded.
The same day I published it, I was linked to a Charles Spurgeon sermon from April 1861.
It was preached 150 years ago, to the month, of my dream.
The title of the sermon is “A Missionary’s Charge”.
I am smiling right now as I type this out. I always marvel at how big God is. His obedience always brings the reward. I felt crazy publishing “My Dream”, but He said “do it”. Let me tell you what this sermon was about. I will link you to the complete sermon at the bottom of this post. If you haven’t read “My Dream” in a previous post, I would suggest doing that first.
The sermon is based on Matthew 28:18-19
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, go ye, therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
Spurgeon says that as he began the message, he was carried away by the power of the text…
“I do not know how to begin to preach this morning, but still it seems to me, standing here, as if I heard that voice saying, “Go thou, therefore, and teach all nations;” and my soul sometimes pants and longs for the liberty to preach Christ where he was never preached before; not to build upon another man’s foundation, but to go to some untrodden land, some waste where the foot of Christ’s minister was never seen, that there “the solitary place might be glad for us, and the wilderness rejoice and blossom as the rose.” I have made it a solemn question whether I might not testify in China or India the grace of Jesus, and in the sight of God I have answered it. I solemnly feel that my position in England will not permit my leaving the sphere in which I now am, or else tomorrow I would offer myself as a missionary. Oh, do none of you hear the call this morning?”
The sermon continues with Spurgeon’s passion as he explains every part of the scripture to “Go into all the world…”
“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Let us think, then, all power is given to Christ in providence. Over common daily events he has supreme authority. You have launched upon the sea, upon a mission voyage; he rules the waves, and wings the winds; fear not, for tempest is his trembling slave. You have come near the shore, but there are hidden reefs and sunken rocks. Fear not, for all power is given to him in the lowest deep to guide you safely, and to bring you to your desired haven. A band of men meet you upon the shore, brandishing their weapons. You are unarmed, you have nothing but the Word. You shall now prove that “more is he that is with you than all they that be with them.’ Go, in this your might. All power is given to Christ – power over the wills of men, as well as over the waves of the sea.”
Remember how I saw Spurgeon oddly as Asian?….
He ends his sermon with these words…
“O God, anoint thy servants, we beseech thee; put the fire into their hearts that never can be quenched; make it so hot within their bones that they must die or preach, that they must be down with broken hearts, or else be free to preach where Christ was never heard. Brethren, envy any one among you-I say again with truth, I envy you – if is shall be your lot to go to China, the country so lately opened to us. I would gladly change places with you. I would renounce the responsiblities of so large a congregation as this with pleasure, if I might have your honors….
“Have we none out of our sixteen hundred members – have we none out of this congregation of six thousand – who can say, “Here am I, send me?” Jesus! Is there not one?”
Remember the tears that we cried over the nations as we prayed in my dream? And all of the empty chairs?
“If there be none, let us weep, each one of us, because such a calamity has fallen on us. But if there be any who are willing to give all for Christ, let us who are compelled to stay at home do our best to help them. Let us see to it that they lack nothing, for we cannot send them out without purse or scrip. Let us fill the purse of the men whose hearts God has filled, and take care of them temporally, leaving it for God to preserve them spiritually.”
I do believe that this is the most powerful message on missions that I have ever read or heard. I said that I felt like my dream was a holy visitation and that Spurgeon and I shared the same heart.
It turns out the the crazy act of publishing “My Dream” and obeying the Lord in this was….
to bless me….
to speak to me…
and to ignite me.
You see, the day that I wrote “My Dream”, it was confirmed that I will be sharing a message with the villagers of Mbarara, Uganda on the second leg of our trip. While we have a mobile clinic in the village, I will bring a word on the third day about “What Christ Requires of His Followers”. I will work with the help of a translator and tell the people of Mbarara about our Savior…people that have never heard of Jesus Christ.
I will be fulfilling Spurgeon’s passion and charge to the missionary. His message is still alive in me.
It is my prayer that the villagers of Mbarara will experience spiritual healing with the message that I share. They will have come for physical healing….but I have fire shut up in my bones to speak about the One I love!
I want to bring life!
In April of 1861, Charles Spurgeon wrote “The Missionary’s Charge” and delivered it to his congregation. His passion was to raise up individuals who would go out and do what the Lord has called us to do.
In April of 2011, 150 years later exact to the month, I had a holy visitation…the same message resounded in me….and I could feel the heart of the Lord.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said,
“Here am I, Send me!” Isaiah 6:8
Charles Hadley Spurgeon’s sermon, “The Missionary’s Charge” from April 1861 is printed in the Aug-Sept 2009 edition of HeartCry Magazine.