This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we are having Revival at my church. I told our associate pastor this last night that I feel like I'm running a marathon leading up to this revival. In other words, God has been wearing me out. I'm so excited, I just really feel like God is gonna show up in a big big way!
Before I continue, I have a confession. I usually don't like blog posts like this one. Although I am a lover of the Word and I love having conversations about theology, for some reason when I come upon a blog on "deeper" material, I often skim through. I guess I would rather read about make-up or babies or photography. Yikes. But one thing God has been whispering to me is that everything I do is for an audience of one. The devil often gets me off track with the sins of pride and envy, and I begin to focus on others (even with stuff like worshiping, praying, memorizing scriptures...Ugh!) But so sweetly, he reminds me who my audience is.
Now, for this concept of revival. (If you don't know what a revival is, it's a series of extra church services). I must say that God has even been speaking to me about what revival means. As a child, I think I formed a skewed vision of what revival meant. I began seeing a revival's success as being how many people were saved (or committed their life to Christ) during those services. At the end of the week, people would always be talking about how many people were saved and comparing it to how many were saved at other churches. It seemed to become a competition to me, and if no one was saved, the revival seemed unsuccessful. Then, I began thinking about the word revival. Webster defines it as “renewed attention to or interest in something". I realized revival really isn't about those who don't know Christ, it's about those who know Him and have fallen away or fallen asleep or fallen down or whatever!
This could almost be a totally different blog post, but this act of having to fight the flesh each day and of dying daily is something that has really resonated with me lately. I have finally found that the Christian life is a daily choice and battle. I used to get so sad when a spiritual high would wear off from a conference or church service. I would start to believe that I hadn't really gotten what I needed because if I had I wouldn't so quickly go back to where I started spiritually. But, praise God, I have realized that I cannot live a perfect Christian life no matter how hard I try, but I must put on the armor of God and fight against the flesh and the devil each day and each moment.
But, back to the concept of revival, Don Graham who will be preaching the revival services defines revival on his website as "rekindling the fire of the saved, encouraging them to repent and return to their first love". I get the picture of someone being shocked back to life with an AED. Can you picture it? This person was definitely alive (been born again) at one time, but the devil has worked every day at attacking that person. It's almost as if as Christians we starve ourselves. Imagine if you went one day without eating or drinking. Then a week, then a month, then a year, and so on. Physically of course we would die. This is just what we do when we go for days, weeks, months, and years without eating from the bread of life which is the word of God or without drinking in the Spirit. Spiritually, it seems that people go into a coma and become totally ineffective for Christ. They are totally complacent, totally distracted by the world, totally starved for spiritual nourishment, totally ineffective for Christ (just where the devil wants them). But then, this team runs in with those electronic paddles (revival services/scripture/prayer) and shocks them right back to life.
I am really looking forward to these services. There is a great core of people at New Hope who are all so genuinely and earnestly seeking God and I know he will honor that.