Revival, Reformation and Awakening: Our Great Need
We live in rapidly changing times, and this is not news to you. Every day it seems we are bombarded by the latest in cultural changes in this great slide into immorality and the rejection of all things related to God. This moral and spiritual revolution is spiritually dangerous and subversive, and it is accelerating at break neck pace. The damage being done to children, to individuals and families is nothing short of heartbreaking.
What are Christians to do?
Our 'go to move' should not be to condemn the culture. That may sound counterintuitive, but the culture is actually experiencing the consequences of an anemic and compromised and diluted church that has, for all practical purposes, either abandoned the once and for all historic faith in the name of 'relevancy,' or, is cozying up to the world system to be 'liked' by the culture, and in doing so, has diluted the Truth to the point it is no longer powerful and potent to save.
We, the church, have hidden our light for too long. For too long we have enabled people to be cultural Christians, with one foot in the church and the other foot firmly planted in the world system. Churchianity has been around for far too long and it is a sad and impotent substitute for Biblical Christianity.
In addition to hiding our light and enabling cultural Christianity in our churches, producing consumers rather than disciples of Jesus Christ, we also see a great falling awaya from Truth in many of our churches. Whether it is prominent 'pastors' of mega churches selling the prosperity gospel or declaring their 'apostleship' and offering up strange fire to the Living God (see the New Apostolic Reformation as exhibit 'A'), or prominent pastors departing from the historical faitht, caling everything in to question from the authority of Scripture to the exclusivity of Jesus.
We are also seeing a great 'falling away' ofprofessing believers, from pastors to church members. These are serious times indeed.
I would agree with the late Leonard Ravenhill who famously said, 'the church is not suffering from the sins of the nation, the nation is suffering from the sins of the church.' Our culture lacks a vibrant witness because far too many who profess the Name of Christ have abandoned Him, if not in full, at least in part.
These are serious times.
We desperately need revival and reformation and awakening.
What do those words mean?
'Revival' is the Sovereign act of God who chooses to pour out His Spirit on His people to make us more like Him, to rekindle our love for Him and to ignite us once more. We cannot force revival nor manufacture it, but we can humble ourselves before God and cry out for mercy. When revival comes, at first it is uncomfortable as the Spirit of God comes in power and convicts of sin and lukewarmness, and for this reason, many fear praying for revival. We get comfortable in our sin. But being broken and then forgiven is the beginning of revival. When the Holy Spirit comes in power, ultimately the lost in the church are saved, the lukewarm are made white hot, and those who are growing in Christ are consumed with an even greater passion for His glory. Relationships are transformed and God is glorified in revival. Churches are transformed and become mighty instruments in the Hands of God in revival.
Reformation flows out of authentic revival. Some make the mistake of thinking revival is all about pursuing experiences. Not at all. Revival is about pursuing God and when God comes in power His people desire to further align themselves with Him and His Word-this is where reformation comes in. Revival is not about experiencing ecstatic experiences, rather it is about becoming more like Christ and being aligned to His Word, Spirit and purposes. Our churches desperately need reformation! When reformation comes, churches value God's Word over the traditions of man, and lives and congregations are changed.
Awakening is when God pours out His Spirit on the land and the lost are drawn to Him and saved en masse. We have been blessed to have two Great Awakenings in our nation's history, both at pivotal times. The darkness was turned back and individuals and families and communities and cities were transformed. Our nation was transformed in these two great awakenings.
Grace to You,
Oh, how we need the Lord Jesus!
So, where do we start? We simply start be getting on our knees and admitting we need Christ. It's easy to look at the darkness in our culture and wag our fingers and consider ourselves 'the good guys,' but it all begins with us.
Will you join me in praying and seeking God's Face and asking Him for mercy? Would you admit with me that we desperately need Jesus Christ?
Stay tuned. There will be more coming in the weeks ahead as we start talking and praying about and for an authentic revival and reformation and awakening. Jesus is our only Hope!
May God be glorified in each of us. May He be pleased to once more pour out His Spirit on us, and on this land.