Enjoying the Journey
We are in the season of the year that many churches hold revival meetings. I have been in many of them over the last few weeks. Whether they are truly revival or not is another issue, but it is what we pray for – a spiritual awakening among God’s people, fresh life breathed into the church of the Living God.
It is my conviction that the most important times in a revival meeting are not the days of the meeting themselves. Rather, it is the weeks leading up to the meeting and the days coming out of the meeting. It is in the weeks leading up to a special meeting that spiritual preparation is made which will determine the fruitfulness of those days. It is in the days following the meeting that application of truth is made and changes are either made or missed.
The hard thing in a revival is not revival. The God who spoke one word and gave life can surely speak a word and give life again. The Christ who spoke Lazarus’ name in a graveyard can certainly speak to us and raise us from our deadness. The Holy Spirit who blew on the early church can definitely breath His freshness on any church at any time. The hard thing is getting us ready for that to happen.
One Old Testament prophet said it this way, “Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12). Rain will come if the ground is prepared. Hearts must be tendered.
Praying is the easy part. Getting on praying ground is the challenge. Preaching is not the difficulty. Getting people ready to receive and respond to the preaching is another story.
James Packer wrote of the coming of revival, “The Spirit works fast: godliness multiplies, Christians mature, converts appear. Paul was at Thessalonica for less than three weeks, but God worked quickly and Paul left a virile church behind him.” Indeed, our mighty God can do more in a moment than we can in a thousand meetings. The delay is not on His part, but on ours!
God is willing but most believers are not ready. Dear Lord, press on our hearts the work that we must do so that you can do the work only you can do. Revival is God’s work alone. Repentance is ours.
Jericho is not too hard for the Lord, but conquering stubborn Israel is the challenge. Goliath is not too big for God, but finding someone to believe and obey God is the great need. The hard thing is our own hearts, and the great work is the work of preparation. Care for that and you will see God at work.