Seeking God with an Honest Heart

June 22, 2020

The 1920 sermon that opened the first camp meeting on our world headquarters campground still rings true today.

FROM A SERMON BY Florence Crawford

I

t is wonderful for us who are gathered here from different parts of the United States and many other countries, to know that the Blood of Jesus Christ has made all nations of one blood. We are not here because we were well thought of or because we were not well thought of, but we are here because Jesus loved us and shed His Blood that we might live.

This morning, at the beginning of this camp meeting, if there is anything that God desires to plant in your heart, it is a belief in His Word. Many a man or woman has claimed to know God for years and then come up against the Word of God, and after learning that it must abide in their hearts, have laid down this Book and said, “It is not for me.” This morning God wants you to have a heart that will believe His Word.

Jesus is here this morning to wipe away every doubt and fear, and put you in a position before God where you can get the very best He has for you.

Some come to this camp meeting from far away, and make many a sacrifice to get here, yet lurking way down in their hearts is a little seed of unbelief, doubt, or fear. Jesus is here this morning to wipe away every doubt and fear, and put you in a position before God where you can get the very best He has for you. You are not here by chance. The great expense of labor and money that has brought this campground to a condition where it can accommodate you has not been for nothing. It has been brought about because God loves your soul. He has planted a desire in the hearts of Gospel workers to see the old time religion fastened upon human hearts, that each might grow unto a full stature in Christ Jesus, that on the Judgment Day they might be presented unto Him spotless.

This old world today is abounding with false doctrines and crooked and spurious religions to draw men’s hearts away from the true Gospel of Christ. But God Almighty is planting in the hearts of men and women in these days a desire to know the truth, and the truth is going to set them free.

There is nothing that will cause you to stand in these last days but the old time religion. We are just upon the breaking forth of the awful Tribulation, which follows after Jesus comes to catch away His waiting Bride, and God is drawing the hearts of men to Him. God Himself will plant the loyalty in your soul to serve the true and the living God if you will submit to Him with an honest heart.

Many people desire to have the blessings that go with the old time religion, but do not produce an honest heart. Many are looking for healing or the power for service. There was a man named Simon, who saw the miracles Philip did in Samaria and wanted the power of God on his own life. When Peter and John came and prayed for some who then received the Holy Ghost, Simon dug down in his pocket and offered up his silver so that they might give him that same power. But God rebuked him through the Apostles saying that his soul was “in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:23). God doesn’t want anything that you have, but an honest and a contrite heart. God will not give you power for service until you first furnish Him with an honest heart.

There was something in the heart of Job that God could trust. How many of us this morning are coveting a heart like Job’s? How many of us are willing to say, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reigns and my heart” (Psalm 26:2)?

There was a man on this earth whom God loved, named Job. God was not afraid to let this man be tested, because He knew the integrity of his heart. In Job 1:6, we read that there was a day when the sons of God presented themselves to the Lord, and Satan came with them. God asked Satan, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8). There was something in the heart of Job that God could trust.

How many of us this morning are coveting a heart like Job’s? How many of us are willing to say, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reigns and my heart” (Psalm 26:2)? God loves an honest heart. An honest heart will bring the commendation of the Spirit. It will bring forth faith to let the power of the Blood reach the soul. God longs for each person here to have an honest heart before Him, and He can give it to anyone who will seek for it.

Just as Satan was among the sons of God, he may be sitting near you. He may be telling you it is not necessary to seek God. The Bible tells us the harvest is ripe and the laborers are few. Many in this place desire to go out into the harvest field, and well they should, but God wants men and women who are endued with power from on high. There is nothing short of the power of God that will hold you in the service of the Lord in these days, and God has it for every man, woman, and child that sits under this canopy today.

God tested Job by allowing the enemy of his soul to afflict him. Job’s livestock, and then his children were taken away, but oh, there was something in the heart of this man that made him able to stand! He was not leaning on his livestock; he was not leaning on his children; he was not leaning on anything that he possessed. He was leaning on God, and serving Him from the depths of his heart. There are many souls who would be out of this Gospel today if they were looking to the things about them, but God’s people are looking to Him, the great God of Heaven.

When Job heard that his children and possessions had been taken away, he did not say, “I will despise the God of Heaven,” but he worshiped and praised God. He said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

Though afflictions come, though persecutions come, though possessions are lost, people whose hearts are right with God are able to stand true to Him.

The time came when Job’s body was afflicted also, and wasted. Still, he praised God, because his heart was right in the sight of God. Though afflictions come, though persecutions come, though possessions are lost, people whose hearts are right with God are able to stand true to Him.

I wonder how many in this tabernacle could take the place of Job. If your hedge were taken away for a little while, would your experience of salvation begin to weaken? Would you begin to get discouraged? It doesn’t take much for some people to give up, but we don’t find that man Job doing anything of the kind, because his heart was right in the sight of God. At times, God permits the hedge to be taken away, and old Satan comes in and afflicts, but God allows only what the heart can stand. He tries those who are weak with a little test, and when they start to shake and wobble, He withholds that trial until they grow deeper into Him. If there is some weakness in you this morning, or a place where you are not sure that you can stand, there are altar benches here where you can pray and go deeper with God. He will put something in your heart that will make you able to stand. That is the best part of it.  

God will give you old time Bible salvation. That is the greatest thing in the earth today. Lots of people exalt sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and well they should, but these are not greater than salvation. You will need to get the old time salvation before you will be able to receive sanctification or be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. 

If you are here to seek God, He will give you all that He has for you: salvation, sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

When you start right, you can obtain the experiences that God has for you. God also has power to heal, and if that is what you came for, remember that God loves your soul more than He loves your body. He would rather see your soul saved and your body go to the grave, than see your body healed and your soul lost. If you are here to seek God, He will give you all that He has for you: salvation, sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Yesterday, after the last thing had been put in place on these grounds—the tents had been set up, the last touches had been given to the restaurant, and everything had been done on this campground to make it as comfortable as possible for the campers—I went to my tent and fell on my face. I said, “Oh God, I thank and praise You that You have provided a place for the children of the Lord to come together where they can worship You in spirit and in truth, where they can be shielded from crooked doctrine, where they can be shielded from the indecency that is in the world today,” and I said, “Oh God, just for the Word now, to make it all complete,” and He gave me the last Psalm:

“Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 150:1-6

Many of you are strangers here and do not feel at home, but we want you to feel at home. We want you to feel that this is your camp meeting. We want you to feel that this is God’s tabernacle. As we go to prayer, we ask every man, woman, and child to feel free to pour out your souls to God. If you will do it, He will do the rest.

About the author

Florence Crawford was the founder of the Apostolic Faith Church. After being saved as a young mother, she received sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit during the Azusa Revival of 1906 in Los Angeles, California. In 1908 God led her to Portland, Oregon, where she established the Apostolic Faith work.