Revival. We so desperately need it in our nation, our communities, our churches, and within ourselves.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV84).
Revival starts within our hearts. It comes to us on a personal level first, as we seek God desperately.
It starts with prayer–real, desperate, crying-out-to-the Lord kind of prayer. The kind of prayer described above in 2 Chronicles 7:14. And that kind of prayer can only begin with one thing:
Our church started a wonderful resource this past week called Unite: A Pray SC Prayer Guide, put out by the SC Baptist Convention. It’s a 21-day resource to lead churches and individuals to unite in fervent prayer for revival and spiritual awakening.
On day 6, the guide led us through a spiritual inventory which was very enlightening. It guided us through a series of questions about our Christian life and growth. If we are honest with ourselves, that is a good place to begin, because nothing brings humility quite like realizing we are not where we should be with God.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
How often do we actually, honestly examine our faith? I like to think I do in my quiet time every day as I confess my sins to God, but the truth is this guide opened my eyes to some things I didn’t really want to admit.
It pointed out some “hindrances to revival” that I had to repent of in my life and some areas of sin that I constantly confess but never actually get victory over.
So, now I am seeking to walk in the Spirit every moment of the day, surrendered to the Lord, broken before Him over my sin, and not making excuses for the areas I need to work on. I am trying to have the courage to pray, “Whatever it takes.”
Whatever it takes to get me where I need to be; whatever it takes to draw my loved ones to Him; whatever it takes to see revival come to my life, my family, my church, my community, and my nation.
It’s a gutsy prayer. It may mean hardship, leaving behind our comfort, taking up a cross. Sacrifice.
If you have ever read or studied Experiencing God, you know that as a people of God, we go through cycles of departing from God, facing His discipline, crying out to Him for deliverance, and either repenting and experiencing revival, or facing His judgment.
I believe we are faced with a great opportunity in our nation right now. We have departed from God, and we are facing His discipline. We can cry out to Him for deliverance, which includes repentance on our part; or we can continue in rebellion and suffer divine judgment.
It’s up to us–the church–to wake up from our slumber and watch and pray.
“‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you'” (Ephesians 5:14b).
How about it, church? Are we ready to wake up and be diligent about seeking God? Are we willing to humble ourselves before God and examine our own faith? Will we give up our time and selfish desires to pursue prayer and unity and humility as a body before the Lord?
Are we brave enough to say, “Lord, whatever it takes”?
My friend, Genesis, has designed some shirts that reflect this desire to see revival in our land. They are a great reminder to humble ourselves and seek the Lord and a great witness to others. You can check them out here:
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