Over the years, I have committed to memory numerous quotes that have stirred my heart and impacted my life, and in the days of the Brownsville Revival, we used to post some of the best, most succinct quotes on the large marquees in front our ministry school.
Today, with the explosion of social media, we can post and tweet these quotes day and night, to the edification and even transformation of many. Here are 10 of my all-time favorites:
1. “For the sake of a dying, suffering world count the cost, pay the price and set the captives free” (John G. Lake). It is true that God freely shares His gifts with His children. It is also true that many times, there are obstacles to overcome and prices to pay before we attain the goal of our faith. How badly do we want to see Jesus touch this dying world by His Spirit through us?
2. “How shall I feel at the judgment, if multitudes of missed opportunities pass before me in full review, and all my excuses prove to be disguises of my cowardice and pride” (W.E. Sangster). I read this quote more than 30 years ago in Leonard Ravenhill’s classic book Why Revival Tarries, and I have reflected on it as much as I have quoted it. It still pierces the heart.
3. “The man whose little sermon is ‘repent’ sets himself against his age, and will for the time being be battered mercilessly by the age whose moral tone he challenges. There is but one end for such a man—‘off with his head!’ You had better not try to preach repentance until you have pledged your head to heaven” (Joseph Parker). This quote was another of the jewels found in Why Revival Tarries, and it ultimately inspired Keith Green to write the song “I Pledge My Head to Heaven.” Are you really ready to preach repentance?
4. “When I really enjoy God I feel my desires of Him the more insatiable and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable. O this pleasing pain. It makes my soul press after God” (David Brainerd). People who are sick sometimes lose their appetite, and when the appetite returns, it is often a sign of health. The same applies spiritually. How hungry are you? That says a lot about your spiritual health.
5. “Satan is so much more in earnest than we are—he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost” (Amy Carmichael). This lifelong missionary challenges us afresh today. Why are Satan’s people often so much more devoted to their cause than we are to ours? And why were some of us more zealous for sin before we were saved than we are zealous for the Lord now that we are saved? (While I’m at it, here’s a bonus quote from Amy: “I don’t wonder apostolic miracles have died. Apostolic living certainly has.”)
6. “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried” (G.K. Chesterton). This brilliant thinker had a way of getting straight to the point, and he nailed it here. What is stopping you (or me) from taking God at His word and going for it? That question leads right into this next quote.
7. “One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed” (Leonard Ravenhill). Enough said.
8. “The world may frown—Satan may rage—but go on! Live for God. May I die in the field of battle” (James B. Taylor). I have said for many years that what the world calls fanaticism and much of the church calls extremism, God calls normal. So it is with this quote.
9. “If God were not my friend, Satan would not be so much my enemy” (Thomas Brooks). The Puritans had a way with words and specialized in short, pithy sayings ideal for tweeting. Let the 17th century meet the 21st century, and let’s be sure that God is our friend and we are His.
10. “The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender” (William Booth). Here’s another one that’s easier to tweet than it is to live out, but God is not impressed with our great abilities and frenzied activities. He is looking for a surrendered life. How powerful in God are you, really?
Now that I have shared these, I’m thinking of scores of others that have rocked my world in the past, but chewing on these 10 and seeking to live them out will keep us busy for some time. You can start by sharing them with your friends.
Michael Brown is author of Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.