This remarkable book, The Calvary Road, has blessed me beyond words. Although we finished all 10 chapters, I had to write one more post to wrap things up. If you have the 2020 (or recent) printing of the book, you will notice the Epilogue at the end. These pages contain a series of interviews between David Maines, (“Chapel of the Air” radio), and Roy Hession in 1988 – nearly 40 years after The Calvary Road was first published. Roy Hession was 80 years old at the time and would go to be with the Lord just four years later in 1992. Perhaps the thing that struck me most is Roy’s authentic testimony of the timeless message of Grace. He was in the twilight of his ministry and was just as passionate about revival as ever before. He was also just as aware of his sin and inability, knowing that walking in the Light involves the daily confession of specific sins (1 John 1:9) as God reveals them. Roy reminds us that “brokenness” is not a feeling or emotion, but a choice, an act of the will. Brokenness is the beginning of revival and it was still the theme of Roy’s life at the age of 80.
This testimony of Roy especially resonates with me because it reminds me of my dad and the way he lived his life right to the end. My mom and brother can truly testify of this. The message of Grace was his life message. He used to tell me that if you teach the Grace message, God will ask you to live it. In every circumstance we have a choice (as Roy said) either to be broken or harden our hearts. Being broken requires dying to self. Dying to our own will, rights and desires is not easy, but with each decision to be broken (by His grace), the message gets burned deeper into our hearts and the authenticity of the life of Christ is manifested through us (2 Corinthians 4:10).
I struggled a lot after my dad’s death, and found myself questioning the message and wondering if it would really prove to be true in the longterm. I can’t tell you the overwhelming sadness that still floods my heart when I think about the loss of my dad here on earth. BUT GOD used it not only in my dad’s life to deepen the message, but in our lives to show us what dying to self looked like. God used it to show us that He REALLY DOES provide dying grace for dying days. His strength REALLY IS made perfect in our weakness. The key is in our surrender to Him (by grace through faith). He was so gracious to teach us this through my dad’s life and death. This truth has given me confidence, grown my faith and sustained me through other hard times in the almost 6 years since his passing.
As I reflect on this I am deeply grateful to God and humbled by His message of Grace. I pray that God will keep us all aware of how much we need Him. I greatly desire this in my own heart. The recognition of our deep need of Christ is truly the only way to live! In fact, it is the beginning of revival. The dissatisfaction of “the state of the church in general and of [ourselves] in particular” leads us to this conclusion.
David Maines asked Roy, “Why is it that revival so often begins with this sense of dissatisfaction?” Roy answered, “Well, to ask the question is almost to answer it… grace is flowing like a river, millions of others have been supplied… but you’ve got to be hungry, you’ve got to be in need. I want to tell you that those are the times when I get blessed. I do not get blessed when I read my Bible as a matter of duty for a daily quiet time. Rather, when I come feeling bad, those are the times when it speaks, livingly! And again and again I have to say to the Lord, ‘I want to tell you something: I’m not in spiritual good shape.’ ‘Just fine,’ says the Lord. ‘Anything more?’ ‘Well, I haven’t got much peace.’ ‘Anything more? Come on, let it all out.’ And when I come like that, grace meets me; because when I admit that I’m in that position, in the very nature of the case I become a candidate for that marvelous grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.”
“Grace is not God’s reward for the faithful, it’s His gift for the empty and the feeble and the failing. When I am feeling like that, I’m just the one who is going to be blessed. Grace is the underserved favor of God, and you are no candidate for grace unless you are undeserving. You can’t be too down or too wrong for grace. That’s where Jesus gets His glory; not in the number of good Christians He pats on the back, but in the failures He restores.”
Roy continues, “I would like to say very forcibly that revival is not a green valley getting greener, but a valley full of dry bones being made to live again, and those bones standing up a mighty army (see Eek. 37). It is not a good Christian becoming a better Christian, but a person who is prepared to confess, ‘Mine is a valley full of dry bones,’ being made to live again.”
Are we ready to confess this about ourselves?
“We can’t be more right with God than what the blood of Jesus makes us when we call sin – sin. Go on doing it, and you’ll go on rejoicing… If you but realize it, that gives you your qualification for Jesus, He belongs to you if only by your failures; He’s a specialist in sin. This is where He excels [in dealing with our sin and cleansing us]. When you take that place, you’re a candidate and you are not going to be disappointed.“
Click here for an audio recording of David Maines’ interview with Roy Hession. It’s SO GOOD! God bless you on your journey of the Calvary Road! Stay tuned for an updated blog study on We Would See Jesus, coming soon.
Please note that unless stated otherwise, all italicized quotes that are not directly cited from an author or Scripture are direct quotes from the book, The Calvary Road, by Roy Hession.