Have you ever wondered why God works through historic revivals? After all, isn’t the cross of Christ enough to deal with our sins? And isn’t the Holy Spirit sufficient to work in the lives of believers to change this world? Well, the cross IS crucial, for Jesus paid through the cross - as only He could - the price for the sins of the world. Anyone who repents of their sins and trusts in Christ will be forgiven and cross over from death to life. And, yes, the Spirit IS indeed powerful in us to secure our salvation, to empower us with spiritual gifts to build up one another, and to imbue us with authority to deal with spiritual forces.
But, that doesn’t mean the world is all rosy and perfect. It doesn’t mean we can snap our fingers with some magical gauntlet and fix all the problems on earth. We live in a world where free wills still often rage against God and His people. And the Church can and will suffer at the hands of evil leaders and their followers and even demons. We Christians throughout Scripture and history have often endured torture and been murdered for our faith. These facts are indisputable.
So what’s a child of God going to do? The solution is not seeking to amass more wealth or more power or more popularity in order to win over the dark tide of evil in the world. It’s not about better tech or smarter people or a bigger Youtube channel. What is it about? It’s about turning to God. Turning to God once again. Praying to Him. With purpose. With humility. With longing. With anticipation. Wanting to see the God who is our Deliverer storm - with brilliant light - through the darkness once more.
The God who is Creator of all things, who commands the vast host of angel armies in the Heavens, who is Almighty and the Ultimate Healer, is waiting… He patiently waits for His people to pray and to call upon His name. He longs to see whether His people truly want Him to step into the fray, whether they really want Him to be present in their midst. You see, He wants revival MORE than any one of us, more than any prophet, more than any revivalist. He desires to gently reach out and kiss His bride, to stir her heart with fresh fire, to awaken souls that often seem dead.
But do we want Him?
Do we want our Father God more than we want our distractions and entertainment? Do we long for Him more than our shopping lists and our vast collections of toys? Do we cry out for Him more than we cry out for our cravings and selfish wants to be satisfied? Do we make room for Him to draw near and sit with us and walk with us each day? Do we long for God’s presence - which is the essence of revival - to sweep over and fill every corner of our hearts?
The bad news is that, honestly, we probably don’t want God as much as we could.
The good news is that God isn’t looking for perfection in desire or sinlessness or sacrifice.
He looks at the inclination of the hearts of His people.
And if history is any indicator, when He sees that their heart is ready, He is more than willing and prepared to pour out His mighty Spirit upon us again, breaking through all the darkness that has taken root and taken hold in the culture and in our own lifestyles. God has poured out revival upon us time and time again even when we did not deserve it, but we so desperately needed it.
So, this Thanksgiving, I want to praise our great and glorious God! I want to thank Him for His goodness, for His astounding loving-kindness. I want to give all thanks to God for giving us the First Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening, and more. Thank God for Asuza Street, for the Hebrides, for Fulton Street, for the Jesus People. Praise Him for awakenings in Toronto, in Brownsville, in the Carolinas, in India, in Africa, in Scotland, and all around our world! Join me in giving thanks to the God of revival who stirs the sleepy, awakens the comatose, and raises the dead. Praise be to God who is MORE than willing to bless us with His immense presence again even when we don’t deserve it. Lord, make me hungry for You and bring revival again!