Unlikely Leaders

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The Early Rain and the Latter Rain

It is true that when God’s work on the earth is closing, special evidences of divine favor will accompany the earnest efforts of consecrated believers. Using the illustration of the early and latter rains that fall in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the prophets foretold the outpouring of the Spirit. The outpouring in the days of the apostles was the early, or former, rain, and the result of it was glorious. ULe 21.3

But near the close of earth’s harvest a special measure of the Spirit is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring is the latter rain, and Christians are to send their prayers for this added power to the Lord of the harvest “in the time of the latter rain.” In response, “the Lord ... will give them showers of rain.” (Zechariah 10:1) ULe 21.4

“He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain, and the latter rain.”
Joel 2:23.
ULe 21.5

But only those who constantly receive fresh supplies of grace will have the ability to use that power. Daily they are improving the opportunities for service that lie within their reach, witnessing wherever they may be, at home or in a public sphere of usefulness. ULe 21.6

Even Christ during His life on earth asked His Father daily for fresh supplies of grace. The Son of God bowed in prayer to His Father! He strengthened His faith by prayer and gathered to Himself power to resist evil and to minister to others. ULe 21.7

The Elder Brother of our race knows the needs of those who live in a world of sin and temptation. The messengers whom He sees fit to send are weak and prone to make mistakes, but He promises divine aid to all who give themselves to His service. His own example assures us that faith and complete consecration to His work will bring the Holy Spirit’s aid in the battle against sin. ULe 21.8

Morning by morning, as those who carry the gospel renew their vows of consecration to the Lord, He will give them His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go out to the day’s duties, the unseen influence of the Holy Spirit enables them to be “God’s fellow workers.” ULe 22.1