7 reasons why God used D. L. Moody

dl-moodyD.L. Moody was a strikingly ordinary human used powerfully by the Almighty. How did that come about? Why was Moody used powerfully? R. A. Torrey gives us 7 reasons in his biography of Moody:

1. A Fully Surrendered Man
Moody had no will and goals outside of God’s. The heart of the Father filled the heart of Moody. Not a mere agreement to cooperate with God in addition to a personal agenda, but a full-scale submission to God’s will alone.

2. A Man of Prayer
Practical belief in God powered Moody’s prayer life. “He was a man who met every difficulty that stood in his way — by prayer. Everything he undertook was backed up by prayer, and in everything, his ultimate dependence was upon God.”

3. A Deep and Practical Student of the Bible
Every morning, Moody shut himself up alone in a room to meet with God in the Word. He was unwilling to sacrifice time with God for something of lesser value.

4. A Humble Man
Moody was convinced of his own inadequacy. This led him to trust God for strength. It also allowed him to enjoy putting himself in the background and others in the foreground.

5. His Entire Freedom from the Love of Money
Millions on dollars passed through Moody’s hands, and as Torrey put it, “He loved to gather money for God’s work; he refused to accumulate money for himself.”

6. His Consuming Passion for the Salvation of the Lost
As a new believer, Moody resolved to never let a day pass without speaking to at least one person about the gospel. Sometimes, remembering that commitment stirred  him from his bed and out into the streets late at night.

7. Definitely Endued with Power from on High
“In his early days he was a great hustler; he had a tremendous desire to do something, but he had no real power,” Torrey described Moody, “He worked very largely in the energy of the flesh.” That changed after he began praying for the power of the Holy Spirit, not his human effort, to drive his ministry.

Which one of those evidences of God’s grace in Moody’s life strike you the most?

Click to download the short (15 pg) book, Why God used D.L. Moody, by R. A. Torrey.

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9 thoughts on “7 reasons why God used D. L. Moody

  1. I am most familiar with his passion for the lost and his very practical approach to ministry. I guess what strikes me the most is #1: Full surrender to God, nothing outside God’s will. That seems to be a little extreme. Obviously, there must have been times when Moody rebelled against God’s will. This doesn’t have to be an extreme rebellion, but the smallest rebellion makes it no less of a rebellion.

    I haven’t read much about Moody, though.

    • Torrey distinguishes between being wholly submitted to God and absolute perfection.

      He writes: “Every ounce of that two-hundred-and-eighty -pound body of his belonged to God; everything he was and everything he had, belonged wholly to God. Now, I am not saying that Mr. Moody was perfect; he was not. …I have never yet met a perfect man, not one. I have known perfect men in the sense in which the Bible commands us to be perfect, i.e., men who are wholly God’s, out and out for God, fully surrendered to God, with no will but God’s will; but I have never known a man in whom I could not see some defects, some places where he might have been improved.”

      Perfect man? Not in the sense of being flawless. Surrendered to God’s will? Yes.

      I think you could liken it to the 1 Kings 15:3-5 description of David: David was described as having a heart fully devoted, obedient his whole life, but not without exceptions. Thoughts?

      • I see. This sounds much like the “Christian Perfection,” which doesn’t mean actual perfectness, rather it means something like “as perfect as you can be at that time.” Well, maybe they are not the same, but I get where Torrey is coming from. This context does help. Thanks!

      • What made him so great goes along with the definition of a bond servant = one whose will is swallowed up in the will of another. His will was swallowed up in the will of his master.

  2. Also important was his lack of interest in personal money. That seems to get in the way a lot. Our priest likes to say about such humble people who gather in money only for God and God’s people: They live simply so that others might simply live. Sounds like this characterizes Moody.

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  4. Praise and thanks be unto GOD who chose me before the foundation of world Eph 1:4. Lord empower me by thy same spirit by Whom the life of DL Moody changed and used to bring the revival to many lives of all generations.
    Lord give me thy power to overcome all my shortcomings and I may follow my Lord with great zeal until I have my being. In the precious and prevailing name of Lord Jesus Christ Amen amen

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