Healing and Revival
"The Life of God is the Light of Men"
George Fox was born in Drayton-in-the-Clay, Leicestershire, England about the year 1624. His parents were Christopher and Mary Fox, and they raised George in a Christian home. He was different than his siblings in that he seemed to have a greater desire to seek out the things of God. He took a job tending sheep, which suited his desire and temperament. When he was twenty he went on a spiritual pilgrimage and sought out people who had singular relationships with God. He became impressed with the need to wait on God. He began to see that "For in the Word was life, and that life was the light of men."
Fox struggled in his relationship with God. In 1647 he met with many people, and yet none could answer the longing of his heart about the reality of God. Fox writes "One day, when I had been walking solitarily abroad, and was come home, I was taken up in the love of God, so that I could not but admire the greatness of His love; and while l was in that condition, it was opened unto me by the eternal light and power, and I therein clearly saw that all was done and to be done in and by Christ, and how He conquers and destroys this tempter the devil, and all his works, and is atop of him; and that all these troubles were good for me, and temptations for the trial of my faith, which Christ had given me" He began to preach on having a personal relationship with God, outside of the context of the religious structure. The power of God began to fall as he preached. One man named Brown, who was dying, had visions and prophecies about the call on George Fox's life. When he died the joy of the Lord fell on Fox and his understanding of the love of God increased significantly.
In 1648 as Fox preached and the house he was in was shaken. He taught that the church was the people and Christ was the head. He also taught that men must be led by the Holy Spirit within their own lives. He struggled against the religious leaders of the day, and often came into conflict with religious authorities. Wherever he went people would come under conviction. One day God told him to go to court and he spoke to a man on trial who was a drunkard, a pimp, and a cheat. The man came under such conviction that he could hardly stand. When the trial was over he followed Fox and repented. In 1650 Fox was asked to pray with a dying man. He shared the gospel with him and prayed for his healing. The man recovered from that time on. Fox preached in Derby and was put in jail as a blasphemer. This lasted a year.
Fox regularly experienced prophetic calls to action. While in Lichfield Fox had an experience where God told him to take off his shoes. He was filled with the fire of God and seeing a river of blood in the city, went about it crying out against the blood of the city. He found out later that the Roman emperor Diocletian had 1000 Christians murdered there. People would fall under great conviction during his teaching. He described one meeting "For that which arose from the weight and oppression that was upon the Spirit of God in me, would open people, strike them, and make them confess that the groans which broke forth through me did reach them, for my life was burthened with their profession without possession, and their words without fruit." Over the years of his life he traveled all over England, Scotland, Ireland and America preaching the news of the leading and infilling of the presence of God. He was often jailed, beaten, and abused as he did so. His life was difficult and he would sleep under fences, hedges, and haystacks, often going without food.
By the time of
his death on January 3, 1691 the laws of the land had been changed so
that religious freedom was allowed in England. The power of God had been
with him and his journal of 150 miracles was published. He had pressed
on when the abuse and persecution had driven many others out of the limelight.
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