Friday, 21 September 2012

Lord Send Revival, Start with Me

We don't hear much about revival these days. Perhaps it's because we haven't had one in England for so long - probably since the Pentecostal awakening at the beginning of the 20th century, or the Wesleyan revival before that. Wales and Scotland have both had revivals more recently, but England has been left behind. Most of us agree that revivals can't be started by us, it is a work of the Holy Spirit. We can, however, prepare for revival. Here's how:
  1. Begin to expect revival, to look for it, wait for it. Spend time on our knees asking for revival to come.
  2. Get rid of any sin in our lives, and experience the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. 
  3. Read about revivals in church history. Learn what the Bible teaches about revival.

Actually the scriptures mainly talk about restoration more than revival. One key phrase in the OT, 'restore the fortunes' [of God's people Isra'el] occurs again and again (Psalm 14:7; 126:4; Zeph 3:20...). The Old Testament context is one of exile - God's people were taken off to captivity in Babylon, and only slowly allowed to return to their land under the Persian king Cyrus, as a result of prophecies that God would restore His people. Ultimately Jesus the Messiah brought complete restoration to those from his people the Jews and from the nations (the gentiles) who follow him by bringing them into the kingdom. We should long for God's Kingdom to grow, and for us as God's people to be restored. God's Spirit will also create in us a desire to see His honour restored:

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts. 
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his a holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.  (Psalm 96:8)

God's glory is His and His alone, and he will not give it to another (Isaiah 42:8; 48:11). Let's begin by repenting of all the ways we have taken His glory to ourselves...

David Gray

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