Stoking the Fire

What is revival?  There may be countless answers to that question, but concisely, I believe revival is a season where God is noticeably active among His people and His people are in touch with His activity.  The effects of this have been different each time it has happened.  In Exodus, the fruit of revival was deliverance from Egypt.  In King Josiah’s day, it was the casting off of idolatry.  In Jonah, it was the repentance of the Ninevites.  In Ezra & Nehemiah, it was the rebuilding of the Temple and the city walls of Jerusalem.  In Acts, it was the rapid growth of the church.  In 16th Century Europe, it was the Protestant Reformation and a renewal of orthodox theology.  In 18th Century New England, it was the Great Awakening and the salvation of countless souls.  In 1970 at Asbury College in Kentucky, it was a non-stop, 185 hour meeting filled with repentance.  When God moves in extraordinary ways, there is no mistaking it, and the results can change the world. 

Does God still move in extraordinary ways?  I sure hope so. 

We’re just five weeks away from our spring revival and I am praying that God will do something significant in our midst.  Personally, I believe that God is preparing us for a move of His Spirit.  There are two things in particular that make me believe this.

First, it seems that we are witnessing the beginnings of a prayer revival at our church.  At the start of December, we began an in-depth study of prayer as it appears to us in the Bible.  The results of this have been evident.  Our Wednesday night prayer times have seen an increase in attendance and participation.  One of the things that has so often characterized the great revivals of the past is that God’s people were burdened for prayer.  In Exodus, the people were crying out from bondage in Egypt.  In Acts, the disciples had spent the days between Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost in the upper room in prayer.  The Puritans of New England had seen a decline in their spiritual zeal in the early 1700’s and prayerfully sought the Lord prior to the Great Awakening. Prayer precedes revival and I believe God is stirring the hearts of his people to pray.

Secondly, it seems that the spiritual battleground of our congregation is heating up.  I have heard many testimonies of people who have noted this taking place.  The good news is that we’re worth fighting for!  The bad news is that we have to fight.  The fact that there are many things taking place right now that serve as diversionary tactics is a telltale sign that the enemy has zeroed in his sights on our church.  The good news is that Jesus is fully aware of this and the Scriptures speak directly to this.  Paul warned us in Ephesians 6, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”

So, are you ready to be a part of something significant?  Make prayer a priority over the next 5 weeks.  Carve out some additional prayer time and ask God what hindrances there may be to his movement in our midst.  Pray for those who you may need to invite to the revival.  Make Wednesday night prayer times a priority.  And make attending at least one of our cottage prayer meetings a must for you and your family.  Let’s see what God can do if we are ready to be made aware of His activity in our midst.

 

Praying for Revival,

Pastor Brian

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