Thursday, July 7, 2011

Who Needs "Revival"?

Yesterday I had an amazing meeting with Pastor Andy Hazlet. It was so encouraging and brought with it an excitement for some potential opportunities to serve God and His people. One of the main topics that came up was revival. Now I know the word revival is met with thoughts of great prayer meetings in far off places and a time passed and we view it as something so distant we can’t experience it. Or we swing the other way and believe that we can schedule it… “Join us for our 3 day Youth Revival!” But both those are so far off. The truth is this… while “revival” is sometime necessary, if we steward our relationship with Jesus well, it really isn’t needed. WHAT?!! Yeah I said that. Here’s what C.H. Spurgeon says,

“It is a sorrowful fact that many who are spiritually alive greatly need reviving. It is sorrowful because it is a proof of the existence of much spiritual evil. A man in sound health with every part of his body in a vigorous condition does not need reviving. He requires daily sustenance, but reviving would be quite out of place.”

What he’s saying is those that are “spiritually alive” (saved by the atoning work of Christ) need daily sustenance and if they receive that, revival is wasted on them. In order to understand that you have to get what revival means. Dictionary.com defines it as, “restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc.” With that definition in mind revival is for those in The Church. It is meant for those of God’s people that have allowed the carnal world to seep back into their hearts and have so distanced them self from the sustaining and changing power of the Holy Spirit that they need their vigor for truth to be restored.

But, if we consistently and intentionally seek the sustainment of God’s truth and seek to be continually molded into Christ’s likeness, revival isn’t needed. A life full of the power of God doesn’t need to be revived. Here’s Spurgeon again,

“For a church to be constantly needing revival is the indication of much sin, for if it were sound before the Lord it would remain in the condition into which a revival would uplift its members. A church should be a camp of soldiers, not an hospital of invalids.”

Revival is only necessary to bring us back to the place we were always intended to be. That isn’t to say that revival doesn’t benefit the lost. Here’s the truth, when Christians are invigorated (or reinvigorated) with the power of the Holy Spirit, “they live more consistently, they make their homes more holy and more happy, and this leads the ungodly to envy them, and to enquire after their secret.” When our hearts are quickened by the power of the Holy Spirit, the result is “longing, loving prayers for sinners.”

Today we may well need a revival in The Church. But here is what I truly believe, if men begin being Men (the Men that God calls us to be – here’s my previous blog series on it HERE) and they would seek God on a consistent and intentional basis, then amazing God things WILL happen. Community will be built, the hungry fed, the sick healed, the broken restored and the lost brought home.

I’m excited for this next season of community at Element. Keep your eyes peeled for some amazing Community Groups this season (I plan to be leading one that I pray is huge for the guys of our church).
I’ll end this with Spurgeon again…

“The true vital spark of heavenly flame comes from the Holy Spirit, and the priests of the Lord must beware of strange fire. There is no spiritual vitality in anything except as the Holy Spirit is all in all in the work; and if our vitality has fallen near to zero, we can only have it renewed by him who first kindled it in us. We must go to the cross and look up to the dying Savior, and expect that the Holy Spirit will renew our faith and quicken all our graces.”