“God is full of enthusiasm. Let me take you this morning back to the hills of Midian; watch the shepherd as he goes up yonder hill, and all at once is surprised to find a burning bush; not so much surprised to find it burning, as the fact that it will not consume, and he hears a voice – “Take off thy shoes; this is holy ground.” Whose voice was it? God’s voice, calling to Moses. What does that fire represent? The enthusiasm of God – always burning and never consumed. Go with me to the top of yonder hill, notice please, the lightning’s flash, and hear the thunder roll. It is the voice of God, who is giving Moses the Divine law, a part of which is, “I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments.” These words, referring to all the commandments are full of fire, as the clouds and the skies are full of electricity – the enthusiasm of God. Go with me to Mount Carmel, where for one whole day the ungodly priests are calling upon Baal to burn up the sacrifice. Come with me in the evening hour when the only man of God, Elijah, calls upon the true and living God, filled with enthusiasm, to burn the sacrifice, and the fiery flames leaped to the very heavens – a picture of divine enthusiasm in the very heart of God. Go with me to that mountain when Jesus Christ Himself preaches that wonderful sermon, full of fire. Go with me to that sermon that He preaches finally to the Pharisees, when He says, “Woe, woe, woe, unto you scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites!” The enthusiasm of God can be seen on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit, like fiery tongues, sat on the disciples.
“And that fire is not only in God, but that fire God puts into the hearts of men; and not only into the hearts of inspired men, but also into the hearts of uninspired men. What was it that gave one man the patience for thirteen long years, to meet one defeat after the other, before the cable was laid across the Atlantic? What was it that put it into the heart of Alexander he Great, just in time, to spread the Greek language over the world, in which the Gospel of Christ was to be preached? What was it that put it into the heart of that great electrician of our own country, to work day and night, until his fiery horse is galloping over the world? What was it that put it into the heart of Thomas Scott, at the age of eighty-six to study the old Hebrew language, that he might understand the message of old? What was it that put it into the heart of Humboldt, at the age of ninety years, to write his “Cosmos?” What was it that kindled the heart of Melanchthon, at the age of twenty-three to hold the Greek chair in Wittenberg University? What was it that made Luther, the young man, such a great reformer? What was it that started a young Spurgeon to set the world on fire? What was it that made such a man as Wesley kindle a fire that burns a thousand times higher than the great church that bears his name? Go back into the Bible, and you will find the answer to my questions. God not only rules Christians; He rules the universe. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being,” whether we are children of God, or an Alexander the Great. In Him we live, and move and have our being, whether we are the apostle Paul, or some scientist. Do not imagine for a single moment that all the great movements in the world today are human. God is back of them.
From The Great Gospel by Simon Peter Long.