By Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
Many people like to talk about revival and are willing even to pray for revival; but if one came, they would have difficulty working it into their busy schedule. I can remember holding tent meetings when we met at one location for thirty nights in succession. People came night after night and were excited about what God was doing.
Churches were planted. Lives were changed. God was magnified.
I realize that revival is more than attending a series of preaching services, but the point is we live in a day when people are so caught up in the busy rush of life they are unwilling to devote a lot of time to God’s service.
Are you willing, not only to spend personal time in prayer, but to arrange to meet with others for prayer? Are you willing to strive for a closer walk with God that you may be in a position to be used in a time of a spiritual awakening? Are you willing to adjust your schedule, removing unnecessary things from it, in order to spend time in meetings where the gospel is being preached or to help in ministry to others?
We long for a day when we see evidence of the Spirit of God moving mightily among us.
We long for a day when burdened sinners come in greater numbers to hear the gospel preached. We long to see the gospel have free course and be glorified as it is embraced and followed. We know that all such blessings must be sent down from above and cannot be worked up by man-made schemes and methods, but are we ready to seek God earnestly for such blessings and seek them with great expectations?
Are we willing to make personal sacrifices in order to “seek first the kingdom” and its advancement?
There is no formula that can be plugged in to guarantee revival on our timetable, but living a whole-hearted Christian life will certainly place us in a better position to expect such heavenly blessings.
Too often our religious exercises become routine. We go to church, we follow our familiar pattern of worship. We are at ease in our comfort zone and alarmed if asked to move beyond it.
What about digging deep into the Word of God, growing in our understanding of truth and being motivated with excitement because of what we have learned? The church depicted in the book of Acts was evangelistic. Preachers were going in many directions as they were guided by the Holy Spirit. Individuals were faithful witnesses of what God was doing in their midst and of what they believed Jesus Christ had done for sinners by His sacrificial death. The result was that Jerusalem was filled with their doctrine (Acts 5:28).
How often are you silent when your testimony could be a blessing to some neighbor or friend?
How often do you attempt to excuse your silence by reviewing your own weaknesses and concluding you would be an ineffective witness? It is easy to forget that God has chosen the weak things to confound the mighty, and that the strength and grace we need is provided by the Lord Himself. We really ought to be excited to tell others about our Savior, and when we have experienced the transforming effect of his Word in our life we can be enthusiastic when we tell others about its benefits.
There are other issues that must be looked at as well if we are to prepare ourselves for revival.
In Isaiah’s day the people assumed that because they fasted and afflicted their soul, they had pleased God. But the prophet informed them they were missing the mark. Yes, they had gone without food in their fasts but their heart was not right. They were not truly calling upon God, or fasting for God. They were full of strife and loved to debate. They were not turning from their own sin and at the same time were putting heavy burdens on others. They were neglecting to feed the hungry and clothe the poor.
In other words, some of the most basic parts of true religion were being ignored. But God’s wonderful promise was made known to them. If they truly repented, turned from their sinful ways and reached out to and ministered to others, great blessings would be in store. “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily…Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am” (Isaiah 58:8-9a). What a promise! Instead of traveling in darkness, light will break forth as the morning.
When you call, the Lord will say, “Here I am.” What more could we ask?
Is it not exciting to consider? Let us humble ourselves before our God, repent of our sins, repent of our neglect, earnestly call upon his name and we may yet see revival in our time!
© Baptist Bible Hour
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