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New book from D. L. Moody Center discusses Moody’s determination to focus on the Holy Spirit in his ministry

February 7, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. The D. L. Moody Center (moodycenter.org),one of the nation’s top spiritual renewal destinations, recently announced the upcoming launch of the new book, Useful to God: Nine Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody.” The illustrated, full-color book is published by Kingdom Winds Publishing and is scheduled for release at the end of February.

In the book, Dr. James Spencer, president of D. L. Moody Center and author of “Useful to God,” explores the life and legacy of the famous evangelist Dwight L. Moody and identifies nine key characteristics that Moody exemplified. Chapter Eight, “Imbued with Power from On High,” discusses Moody’s determination to receive power from the Holy Spirit and for it to remain a vital part of his ministry.

Spencer states, “Moody’s understanding of the Holy Spirit was forged through his experiences in ministry during the 1800’s. Moody believed deeply in the need for believers to be enlivened by a special work of the Holy Spirit. He saw it as crucial to the life of the church. While we may think that Moody was primarily interested in church growth because of his emphasis on evangelism, Moody had no interest in growing the church’s number without increasing its power.”

Spencer references the testimony of evangelist R. A. Torrey, a friend of Moody, who often spoke about Moody’s continual search for the Holy Spirit in all things. The Spirit, according to Moody, was an ever-present being that need to be included in all things, especially in the Church.

Moody’s understanding of the importance of the Holy Spirit is a lesson that should be applied in modern times, according to Spencer. “When we think about the Holy Spirit today,” Spencer comments, “there is much we can learn from Moody. For him, the Holy Spirit was essential for the church. The Holy Spirit’s presence in the lives of God’s people was never in question, but Moody was concerned that God’s people would relegate the Holy Spirit to the margins of their day-to-day life. We must leave the space necessary ‘to have the sort of slow, deliberate dialogues that reflect our deep conviction that discerning the Spirit is crucial to offering faithful testimony.’

“In other words, we must be intentional about our desire for the Spirit to move within our lives.”

In the book, Spencer claims that what made Moody so successful in his ministry—and why he continues to be relevant in modern times—is that his mission was to be beneficial to the kingdom of God. This example, Spencer claims, is the best model for modern Christians who can get distracted by the chaos of the world.

Spencer states, “‘Useful to God’ serves as a reminder that our most powerful witness to God and the gospel comes as we delight in God’s instruction, sit at the feet of Jesus, and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Our best work happens when we look with eyes that see and listen with ears that hear so that we do not walk by sight, but by faith.”

For more information about “Useful to God: Nine Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody,” click here.

The D.L. Moody Center is an independent non-profit organization located in Northfield, Massachusetts. Dedicated to preserving and advancing the legacy of Dwight Moody, the D. L. Moody Center is a catalyst for spiritual formation in New England and beyond through evangelism and discipleship.

The D. L. Moody Center is a destination for spiritual renewal, yet not a school. Nevertheless, there is much to learn by studying D. L. Moody and what God accomplished through his life which began in New England, at the Northfield, Massachusetts campus, the heart of Moody’s ministry as well as his childhood home.

The D. L. Moody Center is honored to sponsor the annual “Go Dark, Shine Bright” ministry campaign in partnership with The Shine Bright Project. The innovative initiative is designed to help Christians let go of the daily distractions of social media and focus on daily devotions in the Word of God.

Learn more about D. L. Moody Center by visiting moodycenter.org or follow the ministry on Facebook or Twitter.