Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24:4-5a NKJV)
Have you got clean hands and a pure heart? This was a question voiced by one man in the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides in 1949. A moment later he and his companions were prostrate on the floor as the presence of God fell upon them. But this was not the beginning of the revival that swept through the Hebrides that year. The revival began with two ladies in their eighties, one of whom was blind. These ladies carried a burden so great that they prayed on their faces in front of the peat fire in their crofter’s cottage three nights a week. Three nights a week for months on end these two ladies persistently cried out to God in Gaelic claiming a promise from Scripture: I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon dry ground (Isaiah 44:3). Their burden was for the folk of their parish, especially the young. They had no idea of when God might answer their prayer, or of how God might answer their prayer.
I have been devouring information about the revival in the Hebrides this week. I first read about it in Pete Greig’s book ‘Dirty Glory,’ and then last Sunday my father directed me to a small book by Duncan Campbell (who was there) entitled ‘The Price and Power of Revival.’ You can get a Kindle version of this book very cheaply, and I highly recommend anything else you can find written by Duncan Campbell about the revival. Here are just a few of the words from Duncan Campbell that leapt off the page at me:
- ‘A God-sent revival must be related to holiness, and real New Testament separation.’
- ‘Revival is a community saturated with God. That is the difference between revival and successful evangelism.’
- ‘In successful evangelism, in successful crusades, you have ten, you have twenty saved here, you have a hundred brought to Christ here, but the community remains unchanged. Men move on to their Christless hell.’
- ‘Men and women were carrying stools and chairs and asking; “Is there room for us in the church?”
I’m not ashamed to tell you that there were tears rolling down my face when I read some of these words, or that I ended up on my knees. The prayer that is now on my lips is that God would bless me with clean hands and a pure heart. You see revival is not the result of a well-publicised crusade although I know that Billy Graham has reached many people in his service to God. No, revival begins with simple folk like you and me crying out to God on our knees and on our faces before him for as long as it takes.