By Elmer Ellsworth Shelhamer
SPIRITUAL POWER AND HOW LOST
By E. E. Shelhamer and Others
We do not mean physical or intellectual power, nor power to pray, exhort or preach eloquently. All of this can be mere human power. We mean Holy Ghost power -- dynamite -- for the words "power" and "dynamite" came from the same Greek word. Jesus certainly meant something when He said: "Ye shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you.
Dear Brother: Have you received, and do you now possess this power, this unction from "on high"? Power to wrestle and prevail with God? Power to pray such conviction on souls that they tremble, turn pale, and lose sleep and appetite? Power not only to get them to the altar, but to lead them through? Power that makes you either a terror or a blessing to the workers of iniquity? Power not only to "stir the devil" but power to cast him out.
Have you this power? If not, there is a reason, for God wants you to have it. Do you wonder why you lack power when you seldom, if ever, stay more than thirty minutes alone with God? This unction will create such an intense yearning for the lost, the love of communion with God, that one hour in secret will seem but a short time. Do you wonder why you lack power with God and men, when you rarely, if ever, fast and practice real self-denial? This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting. Do you wonder why you cannot prevail for souls, when you are so familiar with those of the opposite sex? Do you wonder why you lack the mighty unction and then indulge yourself eating, sleeping, etc.? Are not your "prayers hindered" many times because of your fleshly indulgences?
You will get just what you live for. If your prayers, sermons and personal efforts are dry and ineffective, what you need is an explosion of Holy Ghost dynamite; then you will not need to try to get blest and have a free time. Then you will not need to preach to empty seats half of the time. You will be on hand to visit saloons and public places, distribute tracts, visit and pray from house to house, and, as a result, you will have a revival the whole year round. Hallelujah!
Several things are necessary to make you a soul winner and idol smasher wherever you go. Get the light on your heart; die the death to carnality and "tarry till ye be endued with power from on high." It will pay.
AND HOW LOST
Rev. R. A. Torrey says:
"Power is lost through self-indulgence. The one who would have God's power must lead a life of self-denial. There are many things which are not sinful in the ordinary understanding of the word sin, but which hinder spirituality and rob men of power. I do not believe that any man can lead a luxurious life, over-indulge his natural appetites, indulge extensively in dainties, and enjoy the fulness of God's power. The gratification of the flesh and the fulness of the Spirit do not go hand in hand. 'The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these two are contrary the one to the other' (Gal. 5:17). Paul wrote, 'I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection." 1 Cor. 11:27, (see R. V.) Note also Eph. 5:18
"We live in a day when the temptation of the indulgence of the flesh is very great. Luxuries are common. Piety and prosperity seldom go hand in hand, and in many a case the prosperity that piety and power have brought has been the ruin of the man to whom it has come. Not a few ministers of power have become popular and in demand. With the increasing popularity has come an increase of pay and of the comforts of life. Luxurious living has come in, and the power of the Spirit has gone out. It would not be difficult to cite specific instances of this. If we would know the continuance of the Spirit's power we need to be on guard to lead lives of simplicity, free from indulgence and surfeiting, be ready to 'endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ' (2 Tim. 2:3). I frankly confess I am afraid of luxury; not as afraid of it as I am of sin, but it comes next as an object of dread. It is a very subtle, but a very potent enemy of power. There are devils today that 'go not out but by prayer and fasting.' "