Friday, July 3, 2015

KEYS TO REVIVAL

KEY #1 - COUNT IT ALL JOY
As one whose faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was permanent affected by a revival
at age 11, it has been a life long quest to see same everywhere.  I can't remember when well-meaning church leaders have NOT prayed for revival. These are all tremendous and worthwhile goals and no one I know is against any of it. However for revival to occur, it must start with us as individuals. Unless a person has found his/her peace, joy contentment and has been rejuvenated by THE SPIRIT of the Lord, all talk of revival is elementary. 

There is a reason that revival, like Jesus tarries. The reason is that we, as a body are not ready and we are not ready because we are not repentant. We are not even engaged, apart from a bold few nationally and locally, in stand up for the Truth, the Gospel and the Way of the Lord. So why then should the Father in Heaven allow another great awakening on His Spirit in a land where even Christians act like they would rather have the world, than Jesus?

I am reading a book called "The Printer and the Preacher" by Randy Peterson and its well-researched details are stunning! The printer is Benjamin Franklin, the most memorable of all the Founding Fathers of the United States and the preacher is the man- George Whitefield - who brought the Gospel to America that gave her its now troubled soul. 

There could not have been two more different men in this world - one (Whitefield) an outcast from the state church who led the First Great Awakening/Revival in the US and was faithful to his wife and our Lord and the other (Franklin) - a genius in everything he touched, but who loved the flesh more than the Father. Yet, both cooperated in true friendship to bring a new life to a new land.

What made it work back in the mid 1700's was decency and civility towards a common goal, even from the non-Christian Franklin. What is happening to day harkens back to the earliest day in the church when Peter and John were on the run from those current rulers of iniquity - Romans and religious. Sure, these are the times which trouble men's souls, but these are also the times where many are falling away to their own future loss before a great white throne. Jesus' half brother James showed us the way to not just persevere through these days of return to the persecuted church, but to emerge victorious. The fact remains, revival or not, we are victorious at the end of the day - not the dark side, whose victory will not stand in the Day of the Lord.

James 1:2-4 says "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing".

So the first step to revival, after being justified fully and walking in righteous faith - regardless of the evil foul winds of culture - is we must "CONSIDER/COUNT/ESTEEM....or reckon it, be of the opinion..." that these kinds of days we see in the world around us today, were going to happen and we have to make it through these storms. This is not easy to do. In the Middle East and Asia we see God's people brutalized beyond description. We cannot imagine why this is happening. Yet, we are to "count it all joy". In the US, we see lives, businesses and people literally destroyed for being authentic followers of Jesus while powerful leaders only talk and claim to be of Christ, because it is the decent label to have in the west - Christian.  Still we count it all joy!

In small towns and cities and various other places, the remnant of the Lord Jesus Christ still proclaims the Love, Truth and Power of the Gospel. We count it all joy by being proactive and walking in His Light while people love the darkness more. We count it all joy to share the Hope that is within us with as many as possible because their time is short as well, and most are not ready. Revival is coming - but only to those whose hearts are open to true hope, change and transformation. This is our charge to keep, as we press forward into a new season of evangelism, proclamation and sharing the Love of the Savior. We are ready.
(Image courtesy: Christian Clip Art
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