Obedience key to God’s working, Florida pastor tells conference

EULESS?West Texas native Herb Reavis Jr. told those attending the Empower Evangelism Conference at First Baptist Church of Euless that God’s power, not man’s methods, brings spiritual results.
Reavis, the pastor of North Jacksonville Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., preached Feb. 6 from Luke 3:21 on “Power Priorities.”

The verse says, “When all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. As he was praying, heaven opened.”

“God just wants you to be full of Jesus,” Reavis said before telling the story evangelist Dwight L. Moody.
Moody never went further than grammar school, “butchered the English language” and was never formally ordained, yet he “took two continents and shook them for God.”

Pondering how that happened, Reavis explained, “It dawned on me; it’s the power of God.”
Just as Jesus was powerful in his obedience to the Father, we have access to the same power, Reavis noted.

He also told of the Early American Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards, who carefully read his sermons from a manuscript because of poor eyesight and had no apparent pulpit charisma, yet his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God ” shook the New England of his day into the Great Awakening.
After Edwards preached, people came repenting.

“They did it lest they fall headlong into hell,” Reavis said, quoting from an account of that day.

How did a preacher with poor eyesight reading manuscripted sermons bring down heaven? Reavis asked rhetorically.

“It hit me again. The Power of God,” he said.

Speaking of other human instruments of God through the ages, “What on earth is the explanation?” Reavis said.? “And then it hit me again; it is the power of God.”

Today, “what we desperately need is the power of God to fall” on churches to bring about a “Holy Ghost camp-meeting revival,” he insisted.

Just like Jesus, who was baptized in the Jordan River by an “old-fashioned, hell-fire preacher named John the Baptist,” believers too must make obedience a priority, Reavis said.
Speaking of the need for holiness, Reavis said legalism must be avoided, but “we’ve gone too far the other way.”

Obedience in the Christian life begins with believer’s baptism, said Reavis, who told of his baptism while he was preaching a revival in Memphis, Tenn. He had made a profession of faith early in life and was baptized, but never really got saved until later.

“I told myself, ‘I’m not leaving Memphis ? until I get baptized.”

“I knew we were going to have at least one convert that night,” he quipped.

Such obedience lifts a burden and allows the Holy Spirit to work powerfully, he said.

“Maybe you are not tithing, maybe you are not having a quiet time, maybe you are not witnessing,” Reavis stated.

He cited Acts 10:38, which tells of Peter going to the house of Cornelius “with the Holy Spirit and with power, for God was with him.”

If Jesus who was God did nothing of his own accord, “do we think as mere mortals saved by grace that we can walk without the anointing of the Holy Spirit?”

Reavis emphasized that upon conversion “you either get [the Holy Spirit] or you don’t.” There are no extra pieces of the Holy Spirit to be had. “When you get saved, you get the whole load.”

The anointing of the Holy Spirit is when a Christian allows the Holy Spirit to rest on him in obedience “to touch this lost world,” Reavis explained.

“It means that every nook and cranny of your heart is in control by the Holy Spirit” to “beautify you and purify you.”

“Every time sin takes hold,” Reavis said, “the Holy Spirit will aggravate you and agitate you until you say, ‘I gotta get right.'”

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