This is the third post in a series from Dr. Steven J. Lawson’s book The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield. The first one: 15 Soul-Searching Questions from George Whitefield, featured an excerpt from his Diary of fifteen questions used for self-examination and spiritual discipline. The second post: Whitefield’s Wisdom, featured some of his most quotable quotes.
Another observation from this remarkable biography deals with how he lived. Simply put, Whitefield had his own way. A way that seemed to set him apart from the world, and even his peers. And it’s a way in which we should all seek to emulate.
This same challenge is found throughout the pages of Scripture. One example is when Timothy was instructed by Paul to follow his attitudes and actions (cf. 2 Timothy). He was to fix his eyes and life upon Jesus Christ. He was to consume and co-opt the life lessons of Paul. The apostle writes to his son in the faith, “Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2:7). Later he adds, “Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra” (3:10-11). Timothy needed to consider Paul’s life and then follow him.
Likewise, we have been challenged by Dr. Lawson in his book to consider and follow Whitefield’s way:
…the heart of a man who burned to accomplish the work of God. (xvi)
…deep belief in the sovereign grace of God, coupled with a zealous desire to call the lost to repentance and faith in Christ. (xix)
Other men seemed to be only half-alive; but Whitefield was all life, fire, wing, force. (4)
The power of God was visibly with him wherever he went. (18)
Whitefield remained undeterred… he persevered in preaching… remained undaunted in the face of opposition. (20)
…a man dominated by a singular devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. (29)
Greater than his thundering voice was his towering affection for the glory of God. (29)
…what he preached, he lived. (30)
Whitefield was able to stand before men because he first kneeled before God. (31)
Whitefield’s spiritual devotion was established upon his immovable commitment to the Bible. (31)
In reality, the entire world was his prayer closet, wherever his preaching took him… Whitefield maintained constant contact with the throne of grace. (35)
Jesus Christ was everything—his Master, message, and motivation. (38)
Despite attaining celebrity status, this preeminent evangelist remained possessed with a lowly state of mind. (40)
George Whitefield was arguably the most prolific evangelist since the time of the Apostles. Yet, at the same time, he was also a staunch Calvinist. (49)
He purposed not to be with anyone for more than fifteen minutes without confronting them with the claims of Christ. (70)
Whitefield’s passion arose from the depth of his biblical convictions… cultivated over the years through intense prayer and diligent study of the Word. (93)
Whitefield preached every sermon as if it were his last message. He poured himself into every truth that proceeded from his mouth. (97)
Whitefield allowed nothing to prevent him from spreading the good news of Christ to all around him. (107)
By the grace of God, let’s make Whitefield’s way our way.
If you’re interested in reading and learning more about men such as Calvin, Edwards, Knox, Spurgeon, Luther, Watts, and Whitefield—then Dr. Lawson’s The Long Line of Godly Men Profiles should be at the top of your Amazon wishlist.