Sermon Illustrations

J. Wilbur Chapman Meets General Booth of Salvation Army

A willingness to obey is the first step toward spiritual understanding John 7:17 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

When J. Wilbur Chapman was in London, he had an opportunity to meet General Booth, who at that time was past 80 years of age. Dr. Chapman listened reverently as the old general spoke of the trials and the conflicts and the victories he had experienced.

The American evangelist then asked the general if he would disclose his secret for success. "He hesitated a second," Dr. Chapman said, "and I saw the tears come into his eyes and steal down his cheeks," and then he said, "I will tell you the secret. God has had all there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I, men with greater opportunities; but from the day I got the poor of London on my heart, and a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with the poor of London, I made up my mind that He would have all of William Booth there was. And if there is anything of power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life."

Dr. Chapman said he went away from that meeting with General Booth knowing "that the greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender."

If we are not committed to obeying God’s Word, then there is no point in us asking for guidance. If we pray for God’s will to be done in our lives then we need to be prepared to do His will whatever or wherever it is.

From a sermon by Darren Rogers, 09 The Valley of Unbelief, 10/28/2009

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