I absolutely love reading the history of great moves of God. Right now, I’m enjoying reading Tommy Welchel’s newest book True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa Street and Beyond. There are so many stories that I could share from this book that have encouraged and challenged me but space and time won’t allow me to do so. But there is one thought from this book that has to be shared.
Have you ever studied the life of the Azusa Street Revival’s founder, William Seymour? After reading the first few chapters, my initial thought was that Seymour definitely wouldn’t have been the man that I would have chosen to birth a mighty revival. Consider these facts:
- Seymour wasn’t a person of means or notoriety. He was the child of two former slaves. Seymour was a no-name nobody going nowhere.
- His race wasn’t the “right” race for this time period to become a respected leader of spiritual movement. Being an African American in 1906 was a major liability. Racial hatred and bigotry abounded.
- His first attempt at pastoring in Los Angeles would be considered a failure. After preaching the first Sunday morning upon arriving in Los Angeles in the church that had invited Seymour to come to the city, Seymour returned to preach that night only to discover that the door was locked and a note was placed on the door telling him to not come back.
- Seymour wasn’t a slick-looking, glamorous preacher. After a bout with smallpox, he was left with a blind eye and a scarred face.
- Seymour wasn’t in touch with the latest preaching fads of his day. His unconventional preaching was done with Seymour wearing a box over his head.
From what little that I’ve shared, I’m sure that you will agree that there were probably hundreds of people in Los Angeles that would have been a more likely candidate to usher in God’s presence. Seymour was a nobody going nowhere. But God chose to use a person that would have been passed over by the multitudes to usher in one of greatest moves of God to sweep across our nation.
History is ready to record the feats of another person who will dare to go beyond the limitations placed by man. To many, you might be just an unpolished worker stuck in a room with a bunch of youth or children. In man’s eyes you might not have the ingredients found on many people’s peck-list of “must-have” essentials to be some great, renowned mover and shaker in the church-world. But, those are man’s limitations. Obey God. Know that you have been set apart for His glory. Dare to believe the impossible. Defy the odds. Another great move of God is waiting on a person like you!