1999-12-28 - Revival
The Revival Series, Part 2
Psalm 85:8 I will hear what God the Lord will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; but let them not turn back to folly.
That which is natural is always at war with the spiritual. To grow in the grace of our Lord is a very meticulous and difficult task. Holiness is not easily obtained. The conflict of the spiritual with the natural or temporal is real and we are caught in the middle. "Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul." 1 Peter 2:11
If we, at any time, take a spiritual vacation, or some time off from the spiritual battle we are engaged in, we cannot but lose ground in our fight. Evil quickly begins to creep into areas where it has not been seen in some time, and begins to get the advantage over godliness. The soul begins to become lukewarm, or cold, or even dead. Lets call this spiritual slow down.
We see this proneness continually showing up in the Bible. It is evident in the days of Moses and the judges and all throughout Biblical history. Elisha, Elijah, Jonah, Daniel, and Nehemiah were those who stood in the gap against the sin of individuals and the entire nation. God raised them up to call the people back to Himself and used them to send renewal to the people.
Everyone has experienced low points spiritually in life. Sometimes the flesh wins. Just as it was true in Biblical times that God's people found other loves, and other God's to worship than Him, so it is true today. We are prone to fall into the enticements of the flesh, and to fall victim to its draw and pull. The more we are drawn into the natural world, the further we find ourselves from fellowship and communion with God.
Renewal, on an individual level, can happen to us at any time. The Holy Spirit comes to us and quickens us from our dead or lukewarm state. And the wonderful element of personal renewal is that it can happen to us no matter how far we have fallen from God. When the divine life is infused and we are made alive to the Spirit, we are changed, and nothing, not even our sin, can hinder the Spirits work.
No matter where you are currently in your walk with God, you can have renewal today. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 Are you engaged in the spiritual battle? It is engaging you right now. Or are you on a spiritual holiday? If so you need renewal. You need to turn from all that hinders your walk with Christ and come to Him seeking an new season of His grace.
You will notice, I hope, that I have not used the term revival when writing about personal awakening. I have called it renewal. It may seem like small potato(e)s, but I reserve the term revival for the corporate or public out pouring of the Spirit of God. Personal renewal is, well, more personal and in some measure more important to you and I as individuals. There have been times in history when whole nations or communities have experienced personal renewal at the same time. This is what is called a revival.
Soli Deo Gloria,
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