Could Revival Be This Simple?
Thoughts to encourage your to adore Jesus
16 ‘Afterward I will return and restore the fallen house of David. I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, 17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the LORD, including the Gentiles— all those I have called to be mine. The LORD has spoken— 18 he who made these things known so long ago.’ Acts 15:16-18 (NLT2)
Our insensibility to the presence of the Spirit is one of the greatest losses our unbelief and preoccupation have cost us. We have made Him a tenet in our creed, we have enclosed Him in a religious word, but we have known Him very little in personal experience.
Satan has hindered us all he could by raising conflicting opinions about the Spirit, by making Him a topic of hot and uncharitable debate between Christians. In the meanwhile, our hearts crave Him, and we hardly know what the craving means. (1)
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him; but the Holy Spirit hath called me through the gospel, enlightened me by his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith; in like manner as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in union with Jesus Christ in the true faith; in which Christian church he daily forgives abundantly all my sins, and the sins of all believers, and will raise up me and all the dead at the last day, and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. (2)
I think Tozer’s critique of the church has a lot of merit.
Over the last two centuries scholars have reduced the role of scripture to be a document to be studied, instead of the revelation of God. It now longer is the good news which has the ability to save the Jew and the Greek. (Romans 1:16). No longer do we have confidence in it, but it needs stuff to make it work.
In the same way, the church has diminshed the role of the Holy Spirit over the years.
No longer is the Spirti the dynamis – the source of our our ability, our power our freedom. No longer is the Spirit our paraklete, the course of all comfort. And no longer does the church count on the Spirit to make people holy, righteous, and choose and equip them to serve each other, and bring the light of Chirst ot the world.
Or perhaps I should qualify this and say the church in many parts of Europe and the U.S.A.
This isn’t a liberal phenomena, I have seen it among conservatives and confessionals to – those who put more value on youtube videos and blogs (even this one) than in time in quiet prayer. Or ore time studying the word, than in reading it devotionally.
But what if we depended on the Spirit, we expectantly looked for the Spirit to call, gather, enlighten and make holy the entire church. Including those called yesterday, those the Spirit will draw close today, and tomorrow? What if we expected that whne we shared Chirst with others, the Spirit would be cutting their hearts open, just as the Spirit did at Pentecost?
What if we stopped depending on our reason and strength, we relied on the Spirit’s?
Would our dying churches revive? Would our pastors who are burning out be reingorate,
Could revival be that simple… and so not dependent on us?
I beleive so…
Lord, pour out your Spirit in a way that is undeniable, and draws your people together in Your presence. Show us the Spirit calling, gathering, enlightening and making us Your holy people. AMEN.
(1) A. W. Tozer and Marilynne E. Foster, Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-Day Devotional (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007).
(2) Martin Luther, Luther’s Small Catechism; Explained in Questions and Answers: For the Use of the Church, School, and Family (Philadelphia: G. W. Frederick, 1863), 13.