John Milne, 19th century Scottish pastor in Perth, received a letter from his close friend and colleague, William Burns, dated September 20, 1840, in which Burns mentions the working of the Holy Spirit in times of revival. In his letter, Burns tells Milne, “There have been decided tokens of the presence and power of the Holy Ghost.”
“Decided tokens”–what does Burns means by this description? He means fresh days of God’s power and new seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; He means the extraordinary workings and movements of the Spirit when He comes in power to work in manifesting the presence of Christ among a people.
What do we know of “decided tokens”? Are we seeing the power of God at work in any real way? If not, it may be because we either do not truly believe in this reality or we are not praying regularly for this in asking for more, asking for more of the Holy Spirit and more of His manifest work. Yet we are encouraged in Luke 11:13 to be asking for much more–“If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
It ought to be a regular part of our private praying, as well as in our church prayer meetings, to be asking for “decided tokens”, for the Holy Spirit to come and work powerfully. The reason is that a new day of God’s power is greatly needed and desired among us.
Shall we pray more for “decided tokens”? Certainly we should. Let us pray more faithfully, more consistently, more fervently and more in faith, for God to give more of the Holy Spirit in our private lives, upon our families, in our church meetings, and on all our preaching and service.
Lord, give us some “decided tokens” for your glory.
– Mack Tomlinson