GOD LOVES SMALL TOWNS 上帝喜爱小城市

I have always wondered why revivals happen in obscure places. In the Welsh revival of 1904-05, major cities like Cardiff or Swansea were untouched whereas unending songs filled the valleys, countryside, and coalmines of Wales. Why, for example, did revival burst on the Hebrides Islands in 1949-52, leaving the rest of Scotland unmoved? And why in Bario and Ba’kelalan, in the jungles of Borneo, and not Kuala Lumpur? Why the island of Timor in 1965, and not Jakarta?

Does God love small towns? He even included the small nation of Samaria (Acts 8:4-8) in revival. Now why would God want to do that? Why would He revive a people He had previously judged? (2 Kings 17:29) Why touch an idolatrous people despised by their Jewish cousins (John 4:9)? Ultimately, revival is an outflow of His sovereign grace, not of our labours and affluence. Maybe that’s why God prefers small towns. His show quickly becomes the only show in town.

It is often in small villages that the power of God becomes contagious. After Samaria, an angel of the Lord caught Philip up and translated him to another place called Azotus to meet with an Ethiopian eunuch. Just like that! Mel Tari, who described the Indonesian revival in his book “Like a Mighty Wind”, spoke of the times when water turned to oil, or when the dead were raised, or when believers walked on water! Many disbelieved him because these things happened in villages.

Funny how God always seem to do BIG miracles in small places! If He had done them in Times Square, New York or Trafalgar Square, London, would the world have believed? I doubt it. Hearts are harder in cities. Jesus did most of His miracles in Galilean villages first before He came to Jerusalem. Then they crucified Him. Don’t disdain small towns. Their hearts are softer. Miracles often start there first.

(Extracted and edited from Ps Philip’s upcoming new book, Slingshots)

我经常感到疑惑,为何复兴总发生在隐蔽的地方。当威尔士复兴在1904至1905年兴起时,各处的山谷、乡村及煤矿地区都可听见对上帝不间断地歌颂与赞美,然而像加的夫或斯旺西的大城市却不受一丝影响。为何当复兴在赫布里底群岛(Hebrides Islands)在1949至1952爆发时,苏格兰其余的地区依旧一成不变?为何处于婆罗洲森林的Bario与Ba’kelalan地区能够经历复兴,而不是在吉隆坡?为何在1965年帝汶岛经历了复兴,而不是雅加达?

您觉得上帝喜爱小城市吗?祂甚至把撒玛利亚这小小的国家(使徒行传8:4-8)加入到复兴的行列当中。您觉得上帝为何那样做呢?为何祂会把复兴带到一个祂曾经审判过的人民呢?(列王纪上17:29)。为何要去感动一群因事奉别神而被他们的犹太表亲鄙视的人民呢(约翰福音4:9)?归根究底,复兴乃源自上帝崇高恩典的满溢,并不是凭着我们自己的劳役与富足。或许这就是为何上帝偏爱小城市。因为祂能力的彰显很快地就能够成为当地的焦点。

不但如此,很多时候在小村子里,上帝的大能会变得很有感染力。在撒玛利亚之后,耶和华的使者追上了腓利并把他带到一个叫作亚实突的地方与一位衣索匹亚的太监会面。就这样!一位名叫Mel Tari的作家在他写的书“Like A Mighty Wind”里有形容到在印尼发生的复兴点滴,书中讲述了水变成了油、人们从死里复活、与信徒们在水上行走的神迹!许多人并不相信他,因为这些事都发生在乡村里。

上帝总是很奇妙地在小地方里行大神迹!如果祂在纽约的时代广场或伦敦的特拉法加广场进行神迹,那么世界会相信吗?这点我非常怀疑。毕竟城市人的心里都筑起了一道围墙。耶稣在进入耶路撒冷之前先在加利利的村落里行了大部分的神迹。之后祂就被钉到十架上了。请不要轻视小城市。因他们拥有敞开的心。而神迹往往都从这里开始。

(摘自Philip Lyn医生牧师即将面世的著作,Slingshots)

Philip Lyn 医生牧师

By | 2018-07-18T11:50:34+00:00 July 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments