#revive

revive

What is the evidence of spiritual revival? Where is the spiritual revival so many want to see in our country and in our world? Who decides when/if revival arrives? Who decides when its here?

I was visiting a very large, well known church and speaking with one of the members of that church. He was sharing with me all that God was doing in their church, the crazy numbers of people coming to faith in Christ, the miracles they were seeing, and the overall sense of God’s power being poured out there. But then he made a statement I couldn’t quite let go of. He said, “I don’t know why they don’t call it a revival.” 

Wait a second. Is there some Revival Criteria Committee I’m unaware of? Is there some backroom table where a certain group of people look over evidences of supernatural things happening in different places and decide if they get that “YEP, THAT’S REVIVAL!” rubber stamp? Can somebody clue me in if such a group exists, ‘cuz I’d like to picket outside where they’re meeting.

Here’s what I think of when I think of revival…

It’s unmistakable. The evidence is beyond argument. There’s no ambivalence.

It’s personal. It may involve a crowd, but it invades individuals.

It’s holy. The sweeping of God’s Spirit convicts us to remove sin from our lives.

It’s unexplainable. We don’t manufacture it with the right mix of musical crescendo and prayer claps. We can’t.

It’s attainable. God gave us a blueprint for revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14, among other places in Scripture.

It’s never egocentric. It isn’t based on any one individual, pastor, or communicator. It’s based on Jesus. Only Jesus. If you hear any pastor taking credit for revival, run.

It results in boldness. Read the Biblical accounts of what happens when God moves in a person or group of people. They could give a rip what anyone thinks of them. They’re emboldened. Not obnoxious, rude, or pushy. BOLD.

It’s so very near.  My personal revival is closer than I might think and is ignited by a relentless pursuit of daily nearness and intimacy with Jesus. It is inspired and stoked by others who are also seeking that nearness. It’s contagious among those who desire personal revival.

 

This one is quick and messy, but I’ll ask you this:

What is YOUR view of revival? Have I said anything that is incomplete or incorrect?

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I didn’t title this one. Sorry.

We have a problem. And its a big one. But its not a new one, a complex one, or an insurmountable one.

And its not Trump.  Or Hilary.  Or the mainstream media.  Or Target.  Or ISIS.

Its our incomprehension, misunderstanding, and consequential dismissal of one word:

 

Repent.

It’s an old word. It’s a biblical word. And today most of us would be offended by it if we weren’t so busy ignoring it.

If we want to “Make America Great Again”, its not going to be through some orange-skinned, egotistical, anti-establishment millionaire.

If we want to see our nation rise from where its been, its not going to be through the romantic notion that we can collectively put a woman in the seat of Commander-In-Chief. It didn’t work with Obama and our romantic views of ending racism, and it won’t work with Clinton and our romantic views of ending sexism.

If we want to again own our responsibility for where our country is headed, its not going to be through making NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, or any other talking head the whipping boy for our collective ills. Of course they twist information to fit their agenda. But if a waiter walks up to your table with a plate full of poo, you say “I’m not eating that.” and then you don’t eat it.

If we as a people are going to live free, its not going to be through nonsensical “tolerance” of nonsensical policy. While we’re arguing over who should pee where, our last sense of dignity, honor, respect, and sacredness take its last gasps of air. You’re gonna boycott Target? Okay. Go ahead. I’ll be over there at the end of the aisle, checking out the clearance items. Target isn’t our enemy.

If we as a people are going to rise and defeat the religiously oppressive and murderous Muslim extremists known as ISIS, it sure as heck isn’t going to be by throwing all religious thought into one sack and tossing it off a bridge. ISIS is certainly a threat, but ISIS isn’t the end-all, be-all of evil in our world. (Bonus thought: For every Christian they behead, they fulfill more Biblical prophecy.)    (If I had a mic, this is the point at which I’d drop it.)

What IS going to heal, restore, and revive us as a people is our response to the invitation to repentance. People may cringe at the word “repent” but that only proves the validity and vitality of the need.

When I repent of something, I turn away from it. I go in a different, better direction. But here’s the kicker: You won’t (and can’t) repent until you acknowledge the dysfunction and destructiveness of the current situation. And that takes what few people are willing to exhibit: brokenness, pridelessness, and humility. It takes me saying:

“I see things as they really are; and I confess that I’m responsible. I have put myself as center and the god of my own life and I have systematically wrecked my heart with sinful decisions based on what I want, how I feel, what makes me most comfortable. And with God’s help…I’m done.”

The message of the gospels and epistles in the New Testament by and large boil down to eight words, starting with the one: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

I’m no doomsday prepper. I admit this post has a bit of a somber tone to it, but please don’t picture me wearing a sandwich board, holding a megaphone, walking the streets and shouting incoherently about some nondescript future calamity. Please don’t.

What I am saying is even if one or one hundred people were to read these words, entertain the thought that our humanistic philosophies have completely failed us, and turned away from our sin in repentance as we turn to God, the author of our only salvation, and began to live lives of others-first action…well….maybe our nation can live again.

 

 

If you’re ready to repent but you’re not sure what to do next, just reach out. Send me a message. I’m no perfect anything. Far from it actually. I’m just someone who has understood a bit of God’s grace and that’s only because of God’s grace. That grace is open to anyone and everyone.

And I do mean everyone.