Tomorrow morning my church, Seaford Baptist (you can find out times and dates for the revival at that website), will begin a series of revival meetings. It’s been years and years since I’ve been involved in a series of revival meetings. Growing up and in the early years of our ministry, it was often a time of loud, nearly angry preaching coupled with pressure to “make a decision for Christ”, “walk the aisles”, and punctuated with phrases such as “With every head bowed and eyes closed, raise your hand if you need Christ in you life”. I think I probably raised my hand at every revival meeting I attended as a child. And generally came away from revival terrified.
But what does revival mean? What does true revival look like?
Pulling out my beloved dictionary, I find that revival happens on two spheres. First, there is the very personal, individual aspect of revival. This revival means the restoration to life, vigor and strength. And o, how my heart and soul need that. I am weary, my heart is sad tonight for many reasons. That God would grant a restoration to life, a restoration to strength that is based on Him; I would be so grateful.
The second aspect of revival is on the corporate church body level:
Life-giving to my dead and hurt soul; an awakening of my church family. That is what we should pray for. This is what I should long for.
I found these verses tonight on being revived:
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.
God has made me to see many troubles and calamities. The psalmist, too, and yet he is so confident, so assured that God will revive him again. How can he know this? On what basis can he make this audacious declaration that even though God has made this author see many troubles and calamities, God will revive him again?
That appears to point to the fact that the author of this psalm was revived at one time. He remembers that closeness to God. He remembers what it is like to be strong, to be strengthened, to be dead than alive.
And he’s begging for that to happen again.
We need to beg God to revive us-again. I need to plead with My God to revive my very cynical heart of stone again, back to the way it was at one time. My “Uncle” C.S. Lewis referred this process as a snowman melting, and as a heart of stone melting. His chapter in “Surprised by Joy” is a must read, the title of the chapter is ““Check-mate”. Revival is an opportunity to re-examine our lives and our doubts (because we all have them) honestly and thoroughly. Revival is a time to worship our God and our Jesus, fervently. It’s an opportunity to repair relationships, to clarify the future vision for the church, an opportunity to demonstrate love , joy and compassion to one another. Oh, how my weary soul needs revival.
And your soul does as well.
Below is the choir from Prestonwood Baptist singing “Sold Out”, one of the songs we will be singing this week. “Sold Out”.
I hope my ramblings are helpful to you. Please sign up for email alerts of new posts if you are interested in doing so, by adding your email to the box on the right-hand side of this page.