Psalm 85:6, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?”
Revival. What comes to your mind when you hear the word?
- The Reformation under Martin Luther in 1517?
- The First and Second Great Awakenings of the 1700’s and early 1800’s?
- The 1904 Revival that began in Wales?
Not a student of history? Then maybe it is…
- Week long visits to church when you were younger to hear a visiting minister?
- Traveling tent meetings on the outskirts of town?
There are certainly a lot of things to choose from when you hear the word. The word revival simply means to wake up and live. In the Old Testament it was connected to the breath of God since life was connected to breath. The perfect picture is found in Ezekiel 37 where the valley of dry bones are”revived” when God breathes new life into them. In the New Testament it means to “live again.” Think about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The younger son, according to the Father was dead and then was alive again. That’s revival. You can also think of it like a dying fire that a piece of old dry wood is thrown on to bring it roaring back to life.
If you look around at the landscape of the U.S. there is no doubt that we could certainly use a movement of God, right? I long to see and experience revival beyond any our world has seen since its creation, but it hasn’t come yet. That is not to say that I haven’t seen God move. I could give you countless of examples of how he has moved in my life, how he has miraculously stepped in when all seemed lost to rescue and deliver. This is no indictment of God at all!!! This is, however, an indictment of his people.
We have become complacent. We have lost our way. Maybe that is why so many people, myself included, have become weary of church. I have been a minster of the word of God for more than 20 years and I confess to you today I am so very tired of church in its current form.
- I am tired of churchgoers telling me what a great sermon I had, but yet never see transformation in their lives.
- I am tired of trying to entertain people so that they will come back the following Sunday.
- I am tired of gaining members from other churches, because their current churches have become irrelevant or are closing their doors, and calling it growth.
- I am tired of ridiculous infighting that makes me wonder if the Spirit of God is even with us anymore, or if as Jesus warned in Revelation 2-3 he has already come and removed the candlestick and we just don’t know it yet.
- I tire of trying to manufacture some type of movement at all in God’s people and then calling it revival.
I long to see something more. I believe God wants to do something more in his people. But, I fear that his people have closed their ears and shut their eyes to what God would do. We have gotten comfortable. We are so comfortable, in fact, those who don’t know Jesus Christ might mistakenly believe by looking at the church that comfort is a Fruit of the Spirit. It isn’t!
Revival. I ache for it. I want so badly for God’s people to wake out of their slumber and return to God. I want desperately for my children to see and experience something more than week in and week out attendance at youth functions and worship services. I am praying for a movement of God. Not to change our world, but to change his church. Because it is only then that the world will change.
There is a lot more to say. Stay tuned!