27 Sept 2013 by Rev Dr Steven Kau –
I have found over the years that most church people think a revival is having a series of meetings involving singing, drama, testimonies, and preaching; ideally with a celebrity speaker and people being saved. Their primary emphasis is on getting people saved. That is not a revival in the true sense. That is an evangelistic meeting. Now, whether people are saved during revival meetings or evangelistic meetings is a plus. We always want to see people come to the Lord and receive salvation but let us not confuse the two.
A revival is God’s people getting serious about Jesus. Period! It can be accomplished in the privacy of your own home, in a church setting, under a tree in the back yard, in your car on the way to work etc. It can be done wherever you are.
Is it necessary to have a series of consecutive days of church meetings, commonly called a revival meeting to have a revival? No, but it doesn’t hurt if done God’s way.
Perhaps I’ve missed something but I have seen no signs of true revival within the Church. That isn’t to say that there are none within the Church who are serious about Jesus and doing His will. That isn’t to say that there are none within the Church who want to know Jesus closely as possible. It is to say that they comprise a very small minority.
It is my opinion that one of the greatest problems within the Church is a lack of Godly leaders. Jesus, the Head of the Church has appointed certain men to lead His people and most are failing. On top of that, many Christian men and women are in positions of leadership of which they have not been called by God. If that isn’t enough, Satan has infiltrated the local churches, seminaries and other organizations with his own misguided men and women. So now we have Christian leaders not fulfilling their service for Christ; Christian leaders who were not called by Christ for leadership, Satan’s crowd in position of leadership and finally a handful called by Christ and doing His will.
So what do we do? What can be done?
First and most importantly, we start by saying “we” need to get serious about Jesus and not “they” need to get serious about Jesus. It must start with each one of us individually. None of us are exempt from needing improvement (a revival) in our Christian life.
From the early 18th century to the late 19th century, there were four Great Awakenings. The Church leadership in particular got serious about Jesus Christ. Because of that, thousands who sat in the pews got serious about Jesus and put Him first in their lives. In addition, thousands outside the Church came to know Jesus as their Savior.
That goes to prove that when Christians actually put Jesus first, people will get saved. Revival will result in evangelism which will result in men, women, boys and girls coming to Christ.
Why is it the world around us today isn’t interested in what we have as Christians? I’m glad you asked. I’ll tell you. They can’t see the difference between them and us and they have more fun, so they think. That’s right. We Christians go from one extreme to another. Either we live like the world and they can’t see any difference between them and us, or we make Christianity look like a burden we carry on our backs till the day we die. We either party with the world or we shut them out by our stogy, condemnatory attitude. M. Ghandi once said that he would have been a Christian if not for Christians.
One thing I notice in particular when reading the lives of pastors in the 18th and 19th centuries is their total, unswerving devotion to Jesus Christ and His Word and their love for people. Every time I read about how they lived each day, I am humbled. Those I have read of so far would rise about 4.00 A.M. and spend three to four hours in nothing but prayer and concentrated Bible study. During the day, they would teach their families God’s Word, visit, write articles, books, sermons and then close the day with more hours alone with Jesus and His Word, the Bible.
This was a pattern for these great men of God day after day. The harvest of their many daily hours in study and prayer overflowed into the sermons they delivered behind the pulpits. Their relationship with Jesus grew and their love for people grew along with it.
What happened here? Revival came from their study where they spend many hours per day with the Master, not to be Biblically smart but spiritually filled. It did not come from meetings, conventions, seminars, church dinners, sing-a-longs, dramas, movies or anything else, including the ministry of a so-called “anointed speaker.” It was not necessary because the local pastor himself was anointed of God. It came from what they received when spending time with God’s word in the company of the One who wrote the Bible.
True revival, for the pastor or any other Christian, comes from sitting at the feet of Jesus daily while He teaches us what He wants us to know from His Word. It comes from a passion to know Jesus as intimately as possible. It comes from a hunger to be in His presence. The passion and the hunger come from growing in the daily intake of the Holy Word of God and sitting in the presence of the Author while He teaches us. That’s not going to happen over regular cups of coffee at Starbucks analyzing one another’s Facebook and Twitter exploits.
Why are so many pastors and their Christian flock weak? They are not being spiritually fed on a daily or weekly basis. The two most crucial spiritual disciplines of the Christian’s life, prayer and Bible Study suffers the heaviest casualty of all in our churches. To be honest, hardly any members come consistently. But we want revival.
Would God support another Great Awakening if we Christians, especially our pastors, got serious about wanting to know Jesus and actually live for Him? If we put Jesus first, before family, friends, and everything else, would He allow us one more true revival before His return? Whether He does or not, shouldn’t that be our one desire regardless?
When God’s men decide they want to spend as much time each day as possible with Jesus and His Word, then maybe we might start seeing mass revivals.
Revivals come from God’s Word, not from men’s opinions, cute little stories, and wishy-washy sermonettes and an all night prayer meeting once in six months.. God’s Word is “thus saith the Lord” with genuine love running all through it. God’s Word addresses sin and doesn’t compromise but is full of love. God’s Word does not try to offend but neither does it withhold the truth. It doesn’t avoid the truth even though it may cost us a sizable financial supporter or even our “job.”
True revival comes from those who love Jesus Christ so much and spend so much quiet times with Him they rely totally on His guidance in every area of their lives.
So we conclude that there will never be revival until we get serious about Jesus being first in our lives. There will never be revival until His Word is planted and matures in our hearts.
What if we continue to say, “Lord bring a revival,” but we continue our lackadaisical attitude? Everything and everyone else comes first in our lives and if we have some extra time (usually not) we’ll spend it with Jesus, unless we just too tired. Result? No, revival and whose fault is that? The saddest thing is that we have lived so long without revival we have grown quite comfortable without it. Further, many have bought into the teaching of Eternal Security (Once Saved Always Saved), making revival redundant. When my salvation and place in heaven is guaranteed, who cares about revival? What difference does it make?
Maybe in this 21st century thinking, the Church has moved on to more “enlightened” revelations and practices. Maybe I’m from the old school of thought or just plain old fashion. God’s Word and an intimate relationship with Jesus is my life and mean everything to me. We will never have revival until we Christians and especially pastors, decide what is more important to us. It’s not having more revival meetings, it’s enhancing the depth of our relationship with Christ.
I am with Joshua who said, “….but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
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