In preparation for celebrating the Resurrection this year (the 40 days of Lent), I asked God what He would have me do to prepare my heart to better know Him. What I needed to “give up.”
I believe He told me to write. What? So what was I to “give up”? I was to surrender my resistance to writing, my fear that I have nothing to say, and my unwillingness to share what I write with others (mostly out of fear of disapproval).
So, I have been writing almost daily, and sharing what I write when He prompts me to. Today is one of those days to share, as I consider “revival.”
As I was studying Ps. 119 verse 25 (My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.), I was struck by the word “revive.” Wasn’t that why I wanted to know God better, so I would have more life and vitality in my walk with Him?
I thought about how often, when I am in a church gathering whether here in Guatemala or in the US, I hear the call for revival. We will never have revival if we don’t want it, don’t see the need for it. Revival can only come when we ask for it.
I realized that I have listened to the call to revival as a call to the whole church. Today, I realized that revival comes only when we, as individual Christ-followers want to be revived. When we recognize just how “lifeless” (cleaving to the dust) at least some parts of our walk with God have become. When we desperately want more of Him. Revival will only come when we admit our personal need for it.
I fear that I have given the whole responsibility for revival to the Holy Spirit. I ask Him to come into our midst, to overcome us with His presence. But, do I really want this? Revival will only come when I am willing to pay the price to be personally revived.
Verse 26 of this Psalm revealed to me the cost for revival to occur in my life: “I have told you my ways and You answered me.” (NASB) That didn’t seem too hard until I started looking at other translations to see what it would mean to truly “tell Him my ways.”
The Passion Translation says, “I have poured out my life before you.” The Good News Translation is even more pointed: “I have confessed all I have done.” If I really want revival, personally and corporately in the Church, I need to examine my walk, and let the Holy Spirit reveal to me every way in which my life is pleasing to Him, but also, and more importantly, every part of me which falls short of being who He created me to be. Revival starts when I stop looking at others and willingly reveal my whole heart and life to God.
From this verse I realized that true desire for revival is marked by a personal awareness of my sin, a sense of urgency to confess it before God (and possibly to another), and a desire to repent—to change what I have been doing which is not pleasing to God. Can I do this in my own power? Of course not; I have to depend on the grace of God through His Holy Spirit to do this. But first, I have to desire it, now just superficially but desperately enough to cooperate with Him. Revival happens when I stop singing about surrender and start laying down all I am before God.
Am I willing to honestly and openly lay bare my heart before God? Am I truly willing to surrender whatever He asks? Am I willing to let go of who I am to become who He wants me to be? Revival starts when I stop only praying and start willingly participating in being revived.
As I write this there are 28 days remaining until Resurrection Sunday. My goal for these 28 days is to "pour out my life" before the Holy Spirit, a little at a time, each day. Will you join me?