Monday, August 05, 2013

Thinking About Revival

My wife calls it processing. I think about things at work. I think about them on the forty-minute commute in and on the commute home. I started thinking about ‘revival’ today. Revival was mentioned in our small group yesterday which is what got me started.
The dictionary defines it as ‘renewed interest in something,’ and ‘a period of renewed religious interest.’ Spurgeon defines it thusly: The word "revive" wears its meaning upon its forehead; it is from the Latin, and may be interpreted thus—to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished.

The only Biblical example I could think of is Nineveh. That makes me think that the best way for God to get hold of a people is to have a large fish spew a man onto the beach. Little hope there for the desert city I live in.

Thinking on revival got me thinking on prayer. All my Christian life I’ve wrestled with the way God answers prayer. What if it’s not about the prayer? C.S. Lewis says it’s about the pray-er himself. What if the mix of answers we receive (or don’t) is to keep us on our knees. Maybe the mix is like sandpaper to our thick skin. We are forced to come to terms with the fact that there is no magical formula. We cry out but the result is outside ourselves. If we always got what we asked this would not be so. The same is true if we never got it. So if the answer is to glorify God and draw us to Himself than a holy mix of results is exactly what is called for.

I’m going to keep praying that God spews a man out on the American beach. The hungering and the asking will sharpen me. If there’ll actually be a man heaved up onto a beach or a man dropped onto a farm in Ohio that will be up to God. In some regard the process matters for me. How God gets peoples’ attention is up to God.

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