I posted something last week entitled Sack Cloth and Ashes where I offered the idea that we need to to get on our knees and seek God. Sounds like a cliche but I don’t know any other way to say it.
After watching the GOP debate last night I know now that sack cloth and ashes is our only answer. On our knees is the only place we will find victory. Revival is the last hope.
The word ‘revival’ brings certain things to mind, some of which are not the revival I am talking about.
- Revival is not an event. ‘Let’s put out some flyers. Hand out invitation cards. Get it on the radio. On our web site. Facebook. That’s it. A full week of meetings. Two weeks if it goes well.’
- Revival is not centered around a person. ‘There’s this evangelist that everybody loves. Let’s check and see when he’s available. We’ll pack ’em in.’
- Revival is not limited to a particular place. I understand that we want to be where the Holy Spirit is moving. We want to be near the spout where the glory comes out. But the spout is anywhere I decide to seek God.
- Revival is not certain manifestations. Tongues, healings, prophecies, that holy presence that envelops a congregation. All good. All great. But it’s not the manifestation that changes us. It’s the God who is author of the manifestation.
So what is revival? I hesitate to use the word ‘revival’ because it so easily brings up thoughts of those things I just mentioned. Maybe I’m looking for a drawing closer to God. Maybe it’s more serious than that. Maybe it’s a returning to God.
So what does this drawing closer, the returning to look like?
- People are changed. Not for a night, not for a day or a year but for all time we are changed. Our point of view is changed. Our priorities are changed. Our perspective is changed. And not just the drunk who wanders in off the street or the mean old man who won’t go to church with his wife. Life long followers of Christ get a new energy and a new purpose.
- Christ is exalted. It’s all about Jesus. It always was. It always will be. It’s not about politics. It’s not about immigrants or same sex marriages or the economy. Those things need our attention (I guess) but nothing or nobody can move Jesus to second place. And truth be told when we draw close to Jesus those things fade further and further into the background.
- People may be healed. People may be rescued financially. Marriages may be saved. Or they may not. I believe God still heals. He still rescues finances and saves marriages. But if we go in looking for those things we will be satisfied and drift back into lazy Christianity. Real revival is driven by a hunger and thirst for righteousness, a hunger and thirst for God.
- We had a pastor years ago who talked about ‘ecclesiastical do dads running up and down his spine’. I’ve been in those kind of services where the Holy Spirit would manifest Himself, where you could feel, almost see His presence in the air around you. Those are precious memories and I would welcome experiences like that again. But I’m not going in seeking an experience. If I do I will walk out of the service, the feeling will fade, and I will not be changed. I want the God who will be with me in good times and bad, on the mountains and in the valleys, in victory and defeat.
- The fruit of the spirit will be evident. There will be an abundance of peace, an abundance of joy, an abundance of love.
Above all an abundance of love.