I NEED REVIVAL
Whenever God does something in the earth, there are strong voices of opposition. In a sense, it is a litmus test. John, the one who baptized Jesus, was an “equal opportunity offender.” He told the Romans to stop cheating the people, and that they needed to be baptized. He told the religious leaders that they had no spiritual standing, and that they needed to be baptized. John included that “fruit” came with baptism.
There are strange bedfellows in the current spiritual awakening in America; atheists and conservative alike are decrying it. These folks, bless their hearts, have exalted themselves as the harbinger of truly religious affections.
The Sanhedrin in Acts 5 bring the apostles to trial. They order them to cease and desist preaching about Jesus. The apostles inform their elders to judge for themselves, but they cannot help but speak! Gamaliel, a well respected Pharisee, informs the Sanhedrin to leave it alone. “…for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail, but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God.”
I need revival in my soul. Perhaps you are of the opinion and conviction that Christians never need renewal. I would say that this position is ignorance at best and arrogance at worst. There isn’t one follower of Christ that never needs a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit after their conversion.
In the Book of Acts, the Day of Pentecost church had encounter after the other in their “post conversion” state. The Apostle Paul talked about a euphoric experience in his post conversion life. John the beloved received a “caught up” experience called “the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Here are some observations that we should be aware of:
- God answers prayer – There are people that have been praying for years for spiritual renewal in America. HOW God answers prayer is up to God; after all, He’s God. When we call out to God, (as He has commanded us), He often answers in ways that we cannot fathom, or even understand.
- Spiritual Awakening is never clean – In every move of God with humanity, there are faults along the way. The explanation is simple: God is working with fallen mankind! The early church – in Acts 2 – didn’t believe that non Jews could be saved! Think of that. God poured out His Spirit on 120 racists!
We so often dismiss what God is doing because of weirdness, or faults in the people. Common sense should tell us that if we need anything, we need a spiritual awakening to have our eyes opened to our prejudices, our fears, our faults, our “know it allness.”
- The Gospel of Jesus is powerful – The modern mindset does not fully comprehend how powerful the gospel of Jesus is. Paul realized its raw and effective power. He said “it” is the power of God unto salvation. Furthermore, he rejoiced in the preaching of the gospel – regardless of motive – is effective. Should we preach and teach sound doctrine? Of course! We should have a measure of skill regarding how to argue the truth, (apologetics). Our main thrust must be the Holy Spirit’s power to convey truth; not our overwhelming concern with “watching out” for those that are messing it up. God always works from the heart out, not from the head down.
Paul taught (in writing and experience) that the demonstration of the Spirit’s power is what conveys the gospel. A man in my church years ago told the story of how he came to Christ.
Ray worked in the World Trade Center. Like many Jews after World War II, he was an atheistic Jew. One day at work he had a thought to go get a Bible and read it. He wasn’t aware that this was the Holy Spirit. He bought a paperback Bible in the gift shop, and jumped to a verse in Leviticus; something having to do with the order of offerings.
Ray was undone. He was so overwhelmed with emotion that he left his office and went home for the day! A few months later, he came to faith in Jesus, and went on to be a missionary.
- God will never give me what I don’t want – The safety net for every doubter and denier, is that the Holy Spirit will not come upon those who don’t want Him to. Jesus breathed on the disciples, but they still had to go to the Upper Room.
There are those who simply say that God will move when He is good and ready; that spiritual awakening is “pot luck,” This isn’t consistent with scripture. The famous verse from 2 Chronicles is still the truth today! My people. Called by My name. Humble ourselves. Seek His face. Turn away from wickedness, (that’s called repentance). What does God say? I WILL HEAL THEIR LAND.
With over 70 shootings in the first 2 months of 2023, war, violence, abuse of every kind – our land stinks with the pus of sin.
Isaiah said to put away the finger, and then light will come.
I’m putting my finger in my holster.
I NEED REVIVAL.