“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another
Counselor to be with you forever.”
Several years ago I read the biography of George Whitefield written by George Dalimore. One of the things the author brought out was the distinct and radical change in Whitefield’s life upon his conversion. Whitefield had already been involved with the Wesleys in their holy club, but that was a real exercise in futility. None of these young men were born again. They had developed an aggressive religious system but no one had experienced regeneration. That all changed one afternoon after Whitefield had a sudden and dramatic encounter with God in his dorm room. In a moment of time he stepped out of a system into a relationship with the living God. Here are some comments from Andrew Murray about the power of regeneration.
“There can be no goodness or happiness in any human being, unless it is the breath, the life, the work of God within him. Goodness can only be in God and it cannot exist separate from Him. He can bless and sanctify by Himself becoming the blessing and sanctification of man. There is thus no goodness in the life of man from anything but the immediate indwelling and working of the Holy Trinity. Perpetual inspiration from the Holy Spirit is as necessary to a life of goodness, holiness, and happiness as the perpetual respiration of air is necessary to animal life.
It is a mistake to confine inspiration to particular times and occasions, or to prophets and apostles. Inspiration is for every Christian who trusts to be continually led and inspired by the Spirit of God. For though not all are called to be prophets or apostles, all are called to be holy and perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect; to be like Christ; to will only as God wills; to do all to His glory and honor; to renounce the spirit of the world; to love God with all their heart, soul, and spirit and their neighbor as themselves.”
Murray is calling regeneration a form of inspiration. From that perspective George Whitefield’s conversion brought him into the arena of inspiration. Not in the sense of the apostles and the writing of scripture but inspired none the less. From that first day there was a new sense of God upon Whitefield’s voice. His voice became God’s weapon that was used to bring thousands to Christ in the Great Awakening. Lord, inspire us again.