How Do We Nurture Ourselves For Revival?
Question: How do you get “God’s Chosen” to thaw out of their complacency as “God’s Frozen” to become “On Fire For God”?
Does your local church begin to plan campaigns, or programs, or emphasize the theme of “Revival” for their monthly sermon cycle, or show video clips of previous famous revivals throughout the world to stimulate the topic? What does it take to make those glued to their pew or seat unglued, free to flow in the spirit of revival? How do you get people who have been conditioned to be followers to their worship leader and pastor to become leaders leading the charge? How does the church energize their laity when the leadership is primarily professional lacking laity leadership? If “church” has become a “safe place” for laity, why should they take the risk to go outside the bounds of “formal church structure” to embrace true revival because there are risks involved?
It’s taken me quite a while to realize that we have a sovereign God who can do anything He wants to do, when He wants to do it, the way He wants to do it, not what I want him to do, when I want it, nor what I think is the correct way. Revival is all about the sovereignty of God. It only occurs when He is in control doing it His way. Who would have thought that his plan for salvation would be through a virgin birth, the sacrifice of His only son, Jesus, and a literal body resurrection? Who would have thought that revival to this newly formed Church of believers in Jesus would come with tongues of fire while in an upper room to men women and children? Who would have thought this “Jewish Jesus Sect” would open up to gentiles and become one of the world’s largest religions with the Jewish race only being a trace today’s make up? “God’s ways are higher than man’s”, so the scriptures record, yet we, man, still like to be in control while we sing with Frank Sinatra, “And I did it my way….”
In our prayers to God, we love to dictate what we think we need, but we are usually petitioning what we want: bless me lord; I need this Lord; thank you for your provisions, and by the way I need this, etc. Very seldom do we seek “God’s will” on the matter because it may not produce the desired outcome we are looking for. Even rarer is the cultivating of a prayer life of only “listening” for and to the small voice of the Holy Spirit, then learning how to be obedient to that voice. So it is with our prayers for revival. The Lord knows what it takes to produce revival to this generation, but are we ready and willing to take what it needs.
The Railroad Crossing Signs boast three words on them: stop, look, and listen. Are we willing to “stop” what we have been doing over and over and over again, settle ourselves into just “listening” to what the Holy Spirit of Jesus is saying at this time for this place in history, then being “obedient” to what we have seen and heard in the Spirit? If so, then we will see true revival.
We cannot fabricate revival no matter how hard we try, and let me tell you, we have been trying! Revival is spontaneous and unpredictable because the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ must be in control. His “Lordship” leads true revival. We have to acknowledge that Jesus Is Lord in order for true revival to occur. All we can do is: 1) prepare our hearts – Preparation has always been the key to a coming revival; ask John the Baptist; 2) tone in our spiritual ears to hear – Jesus said, “He that has ears to hear, hear.” Learning to “be still and know that I am God” long enough to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit takes cultivation; 3) and practice obedience – “To obey is better than sacrifice” is scriptural, more than just lyrics to a Keith Green song!
I truly believe the Church is on the doorstep of a great world revival like it has never experienced before, but this is a time for “preparation”, a time “to be still and listen”, and a time to learn “obedience”. These are hard principles to learn in a busy, active lifestyle like most believers in Jesus Christ experience, but they are mandatory if we are to see revival!
So I guess the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ is applying some “heat” to us, believers in Jesus Christ, to thaw us out and set us afire! “Amen (so be it), bring the heat,” is my prayer. Now is the time to stop writing (or reading this), relax, and just sit back and listen. Holy Spirit speak….. When He does speak, and He will speak, then listen and be obedient!