I have been reading a series of devotionals from A.W. Tozer on the topic of revival. It reminded me of a question one of my professors in seminary once made regarding the “audacity” of the modern church to schedule a revival: “How can we expect to set a date on the calendar and expect the Holy Spirit to show up on our timetable?” That is a legitimate question, in my opinion.
Tozer, author of many books, including The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy, impressed upon the reader the possibility and necessity for a deeper relationship with God. Through his devotionals with which I have been speeding time, I have been challenged to rethink again both the need for and the means to a Spiritual Revival. Most challenging was his assertion that we don’t see more revival in our churches because our prayers for such are not followed by obedience. That one will sting a bit if you think about it for any amount of time.
Over my years in more conventional or orthodox churches, I have been part of prayer teams and planning committees dedicated to “putting on a successful” revival. Shame on me. I was guilty of doing exactly what my professor had questioned. But I had not even considered the notion that revival, if it is to happen, must begin with me. For that, I am not only ashamed, but truly repentant. I aim to change that.
I am personally praying for a Spiritual Revival. I want the Holy Spirit to be poured out in great abundance upon me, the people with whom I worship, and the world we are called to serve. I want to see God do mighty things. I want people to come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ in numbers that resemble the early church we read about in the book of Acts. I want so much for people to be amazed at what a magnificent God we have, God who loves us beyond compare and transforms us forever for the better. Most importantly, I want to want what God wants.
So I will pray, but I will also obey. What I hear in the dark I will shout from the rooftops. Where there is sin, I will confess it, where there is doubt, I will surrender it, where there is a call to action, I will answer it. One thing is sure… If I am faithful to do that, revival will come. If only in me, it will happen, and God will do amazing things when His Spirit is allowed to vibrantly live in even one. I invite you to join me.