An Invitation to a Different Kind of Revival
A friend and I decided to study Seeking Him together. Neither of us fully expected God to use the study to do such serious business in our lives.
The focus of the study is revival. Honestly, before I started reading Seeking Him, revival to me meant hot church meetings in a big tent. I’d heard the word thrown around in Christian circles, but I had no concept of revival—why it should matter to me or what it might look like in my life if I invited God to revive my heart.
I sure found out. On the fourth day of the study I read,
“Revival does not begin when a struggling, wayward person decides to return to the Lord but rather when the loving heavenly Father, wanting His people to enjoy the safety and security of His love, calls him or her back to Himself. God is the initiator, the call to revival is a plea of love from the heart of God.”
I wrote in the margins of my study that day, “How do I know if God is initiating revival with me?”
I wasn’t sure what parts of my heart needed revived, but in the days and weeks that followed, God showed me. He started by pointing out sin. He addressed the issue of pride by highlighting just how much me-centric thinking I am capable of (a lot!). I was hit so hard by the reality of my sin that I felt spiritually beat up.
During that time, my family and I went through a major move. Honestly, I was glad to be able to pack my copy of Seeking Him in a box for a few weeks. When God deals with our sinful tendencies it’s painful!
But during that season, I felt God impress on me that He was breaking me in order to bind up my wounds. Job 5:18 says, “For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.”
While doing the study, a friend explained to me why the images I often saw in Sunday school showed the shepherd carrying a sheep with bound-up legs. A wandering sheep would almost certainly be killed, so the shepherd would break the sheep’s legs and then carry it on his shoulders in order to create the kind of dependency that would prevent the sheep from wandering into danger.
There were days I wondered if I would get to the binding up and healing stage, but the more I studied and prayed, the more I understood that revival begins when we recognize our need for God. A fundamental tenant of my need for Him is the fact that I cannot shake my sin nature. I need Him to expose sin and deal with it if I am ever going to experience intimacy with Him.
It may take me several more months to work through the weighty themes in this study like obedience, forgiveness, and living the Spirit-filled life. (The book is designed to be a twelve-week study, but I’m a slow learner when it comes to this stuff!)
But, revival doesn’t mean a tent meeting to me anymore. Revival is the dramatic and supernatural process of taking a stone heart and turning it into flesh; of taking dead life, dead relationships, and the dying effect of sin and exchanging it for the chance to be revived by the Living God.
The revival meeting is happening in my heart and in my home.
I’d love to invite you to join me. Big things happen when we seek Him. Painful things? Yes. But He is a faithful shepherd. The result of the breaking is maximum closeness with Him.
How would you define revival? Is there anything that scares you about letting God revive your heart?