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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Preparing The Ground For Revival by J. Edwin Orr

Dr. J. Edwin Orr was born in Belfast in 1912 and graduated to glory in 1987. Professor Orr was passionately committed to Jesus Christ and dedicated his life to understanding and furthering the work of God - especially in revival and spiritual awakening. This website comes from the conviction that Dr. Orr has much to say to the Christian world today, because his message was a profoundly powerful, eloquent, and accurate explanation of what the Bible says about revival, awakening, and the deeper Christian life.
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Preparing The Ground For Revival

"See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant" (Jer. 1:10).

Of this six-fold commission, four injunctions are destructive and only the latter two are constructive. "To build and to plant" surely a great work. But it had to be preceded by a rooting-out and a pulling-down, destruction and demolishing. Surely this sounds drastic! Yet it was very necessary, as the historical background shows.

The Jewish kingdom had become overgrown with weeds, overbuilt with traditional superstructures. They had to go first. Some iconoclasm was necessary. Some destruction was required. Let us look in the garden for a parable.

We walked round a beautiful garden which occupied a former piece of waste land. The gardener showed us round. "Those are beautiful roses," we said to him. "I planted them," replied the gardener, with justified pride. "What a beautifully-cut hedge," we remarked next. "I trimmed that," he said. "Who is responsible for that lovely Sweet William border?" Again the gardener smiled and claimed the credit.

We passed on, thinking to ourselves that this gardener had created a grand testimony to his skill in gardening. At the garden gate, we found an old fellow watching a smoking heap of refuse. "What have you been doing?" "Working at the garden," he said. "Well, then, what have you to show for your labor?" "Nothing, Sir," he replied. "Then you cannot have been working!" We told him. "Sir," he asserted. "When we came here, this garden was a piece of waste land, overgrown with weeds, full of stones and sand, swampy in one corner, and pretty hopeless all round."

We got interested. "Well sir," he went on, "I broke up the land, and I destroyed the weeds, and dug out the stones, and carted away the sand, and it was my job to drain the swampy comer." We listened with growing appreciation. "I am saying nothing against the other fellow who planted the garden. He did his job well. But where would his planting come in if I hadn't first rooted out and destroyed the weeds?"

Both men's labor was necessary, but the rooting out and destruction of weeds preceded the planting of flowers and shrubs. Continue reading...

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