Monday, December 29, 2014


For as far back as I can remember, I've heard people pray for, beg for, plead for, even demand revival. I have even participated in such prayer. The longing of those in the church has been for a widescale revival like those ones in the past - the ones involving the Wesley brothers, or Charles Finney, or more modern ones like Pensacola. Folks pray, "Do it again, God!" ... and I hear their hearts.

I'm going to risk a lot of flak here but ... I don't pray like that anymore. I don't even pray for revival - at least, not in that sense. 

Every revival in history has been preceded by a period of such intense dryness that even some members of the church have given up - rightly calling what remains - the lifeless shell of organized religion - "Ichabod" - the glory has departed. 

Without fail, every revival in history has come about because there was at least one person, and no more than a handful of people, who started seeking God earnestly and asking Him one question: "Is this all there is? Is there more to the Christian life than what I've been taught?" 

I know one such person. And this person would agree that seeking God's reality, His personal presence, His heart, is what brings the dry bones back to life and ignites the fire of new life - or should I say REnewed life. 

For revival, you see, is not what most people think it is. People think of revival as being more people coming into the church and becoming Christians. 


Revival is coming to life AGAIN.  Otherwise it would just be VIVAL. 

Yes. Yes, revival is for the CHURCH. Believers begin to ask that question of God - they DARE to ask Him - "Is there more?" 

All those dry, dusty rules, traditions of men, that people have clung to for generations - is that all there is? All those efforts, praying, trying to make God do what we want Him to do by toeing the line and racking up brownie points (only to fall flat on our faces and hit our knees, but the heavens seem to be made of brass) ... all that going through the motions and singing this song, then that song, then the offering, then the sermon, then the closing finale ... 

Seriously God? is that all there is? 

All those hours upon hours of "doing devotions" ... grasping every little crumb that might fall to the floor for me ... is that how big You are God? really? All that time I've spent berating myself because I didn't measure up, promising to do better, begging You to show up in my life .... and .... nothing!! What is the deal, God? Are You there? DO You love me? Is Your presence and blessing in my life dependent on whether You are pleased with my lifestyle, my choices? if it is, then that's pretty pathetic because I know I can NEVER do enough to please You - You are satisfied with no less than perfection

So what is the deal, God? What is it I'm missing? What MORE is there?? 

[Notice - my readers - I switched from talking about US and HIM, and made it into a conversation between me and God - I used ME and YOU. I did that on purpose, to show that it HAS to be personal to be real. Let me continue.]

And then You start to reveal Yourself. Slowly, I realize something absolutely earth-shattering, just as it was the very first day of Grace, the day the earth split and the graves were opened, the day Jesus died for me. 

"More" has been there all along. I just never realized it! Your grace, by which I am saved and through which I entered this relationship, isn't just a "get out of jail free" card. It's a continual "not guilty" verdict, not just for the heinous acts of the past but also for every single time I ever do any less than perfect ... for the rest of my life. And this is all because of the all-sufficiency of Jesus' once-for-all sacrifice. For everyone who believes. For me.

Photo "Happy Jumping Child" by
chrisroll at
Why? Why would You do that for me? How could You love me that much? If this rabbit-hole goes as deep as it looks like it goes, then You love me as much as You love Jesus!! You call me Your daughter! You have set Your (fiery, passionate) love upon me! I am (not just I have, but I am) Your righteousness because of Jesus! How high, how deep and how wide a love is that!?! 

Such gratitude! I am made whole, complete in You, forgiven, restored, accepted, loved! 

Along with those who have realized this greatest gift of "More" in its fulness, I can't help but rhapsodize about You! Thank You for putting those people into my life - I get together with them because it's the most natural thing in the world to me, not because I am "expected" to. 

We share with each other often about all the wonderful things You are, all the great and glorious things You are doing in our lives. We lift each other up. We lift YOU up. We worship You in the beauty of holiness, made right and righteous in Your sight, completely accepted in the Beloved One.

This is the core of revival; nothing more, nothing less. The joy and excitement that we have because of You spills out into our everyday lives. We exude You, we "ooze" the Spirit and people naturally come up to us - even if we're alone - and start asking us to pray for them. Or they become very uncomfortable in their own existence and want this "more" for themselves too. 

And You give it. Your Grace, Your Love is just that big. Bigger than we can possibly imagine.

And more. Much more.

No comments:

Post a Comment