IT’S TIME FOR A REVIVAL SELFIE

Selfies rarely impress me. Most of us don’t have arms long enough to get the right view of everyone in the picture. Yet, people of all ages have been using their phones to take selfies. Pictures are posted on all the social media platforms of people holding up their phones to take pictures of themselves. Sometimes, it is a group shot, often it’s (unfortunately) of them looking in the mirror at themselves.

Some of these pictures are funny. Many are increasingly inappropriate. A recent study has shown that this obsession with taking selfies is leading to increased narcissism. Narcissism is a personality disorder that involves a preoccupation with self and how one is perceived by others. It pursues gratification from vanity and the admiration of their own physical and intellectual attributes.

Several years ago, one article revealed that a British teenager tried to commit suicide when he couldn’t take the perfect selfie. He was so obsessed with capturing the perfect picture of himself that he spent ten hours a day taking up to 200 selfies. The young man said, “I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t, I wanted to die. I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life.”

Part of the young man’s treatment included taking away his iPhone for intervals of ten minutes, which increased to thirty minutes then to an hour. In a study of Facebook users ages 18-25, they found that people who use Facebook the most “tend to have more narcissistic or insecure personalities AND those with higher narcissism scores were frequently updating statuses, posting pictures of themselves and using quotes or mottos to glorify themselves.”

The problem with posting selfies on social media is that we tend to over or under evaluate our worth based on likes and comments. A casual scrolling through of Instagram reveals countless individuals holding their phones in the “perfect position” to get the best picture possible.

Maybe it’s time we flipped this switch. Maybe it’s time to really look in the mirror, to really see who we are, what we are like and what we look like to God.

James writes, “22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”

Revival is a time when we look in the mirror. We see ourselves as God sees us. We let the Word snap a picture of what is really in us. When we sit under the Word of God, privately or corporately, it’s constantly exposing the fact that we aren’t perfect. We have sin that separates us from God. We have a dirty lense that keeps us from seeing clearly the sin that so easily besets us.

James warns of about self-deception. It’s a dangerous thing to be so self absorbed that one becomes self deceived. In every church there are people sitting in pews who are are deceiving themselves into thinking they are saved when they are not. They give no evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. They have put their trust in keeping the rules, baptism or church membership. In the hot light of revival, that deception is exposed.

The reason we need revival is there are many believers, who are fooling themselves concerning their Christian life. They know the words but they don’t walk the walk. On every pew there are people who have a selfie that could be captioned, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (Rev 3:17).

James compares the Word to a mirror. A mirror reflects. A mirror reveals. A mirror reminds. God’s Word is a mirror. Mirrors allows us to see ourselves and to make any adjustments we can before we go out into the world. When the mirror on the wall, becomes a camera that takes an Xray of our heart, it reminds us that God is examining us.

If I want to walk in revival, it’s not about likes on my social media. It’s about truth in my spirit. We can miss revival taking a quick selfie, or a casual glance. It’s easy to post a picture, only to later discover there was something in the background we didn’t see at the casual glance. Or to see that our eyes were closed.

Another evidence of the need of revival is that selfies are quickly forgotten. We post something, only to discover that it impacted our ability to get a job, a promotion or a leadership position because someone went back and checked our postings. If we look deep enough, long enough, we will discover that God doesn’t ignore the flaws created by sin, He wants us to deal with them. If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, let God change it.

Warren Wiesrbe writes, “John Wesley wrote about a preaching service: “One before me dropped as dead, and presently a second, and a third. Five others sunk down in half an hour, most of whom were in violent agonies (Wesley’s Journal for June 22, 1739). Before we consign these people to some psychological limbo, remember how saints in the Bible responded to the true knowledge of their own hearts. Isaiah cried, “Woe is me! for I am undone!” (Isa 6:5) Peter cried, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8) Job was the most righteous man on earth in his day, yet he confessed, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).”

It’s time to look at your selfie. Ask God to let you see what He sees. Deal with it. Make the necessary edits. Repent of any thought that you don’t need personal revival. Examine your heart and life in light of God’s Word.

If we would just hear and heed, see and correct what God shows us in the Word, we would walk in personal revival. Selfies reveal sin. Only the Savior can make you into something you could never be on your own. People practice taking selfies, trying to get them right. It’s time to practice the Word of God which makes us right and keeps us right.

Michael Catt

I Knew A Giant

On Earth Day, 2015 my friend and hero Don Miller, left this earth for his eternal home. He made a difference during his days on this earth. His booming voice could resonate through a church like a bass drum. He was the first person I ever met who, without question, was a man of prayer.

If I could speak in a thousand languages, I couldn’t express what he has meant to my life and ministry. I met him in 1985, when I joined the staff of Sagamore Hill Baptist Church. He marked me then, his life marks me now. In many ways, Don Millers influence on my life marked me as much as any man.

Don challenged me as a staff member and work to revitalize the Intercessory Prayer Ministry. He was a member there and had established the prayer ministry there, but the staff had gotten busy with “other things” and prayer wasn’t even on the back burner. Don made it Waterford Crystal clear that prayer was essential to the life of a church. I never forgot that.

When I went to Oklahoma, I had Don come in and establish an Intercessory Prayer Ministry. As far as I know, it’s still going today. When I came to Sherwood, Don came to establish an Intercessory Prayer Ministry. That prayer conference, was packed every night. It was the launching pad for everything good and of God that has happened at Sherwood.

Every building decision, Sherwood Pictures decision and ReFresh Conference was covered in prayer. Sherwood continues to mail out prayer cards to people around the community and literally the world. The prayer tower out front stands as a witness to our desire to be a praying church.

I last saw Don in 2014. I got to spend some time with him in his prayer arbor. We talked and prayed together. I will never forget that day. Even at 93, Don Miller was in the battle. He was praying for revival. He was praying for me. He and Libby covered us in prayer in ways I can’t explain and will never fully understand until I get to glory.

My friend is in glory. His prayers live on. His legacy is passed on to others that must take the mantle. Don and Libby would read the church Communicator every week when it came. They prayed for me and my family. Gary would often say, “I’m not sure I’m in the will, but you are.” It brought joy to my heart when Gary would say, “Michael, son of Don.” I miss him today. I can still hear his thundering voice praying to His Father. What a man. What a friend. What a giant.

He lived and died a humble man of God. His shadow is that of a giant.

We Need Climate Change In Our Culture

WE NEED A CLIMATE CHANGE
I have to be honest. The political climate today disgusts me. It grieves me. It makes me ashamed of the state of our nation. The slander, lies, mean spirited, vicious, angry attitude of candidates on both sides is sinful. I’m ready to vote for “none of the above.”

I have never endorsed a candidate, ever. I won’t today. I don’t believe everyone who says they are a Christian. Jesus said by their fruit you will know them. By the fruit of some of these candidates, I’d say they are the products of a crab apple tree. Their fruit is certainly bitter.

I’ve never seen so much pandering to Evangelicals. We must be the dumbest people on the planet. We believe without discernment. The same reason there is doctrinal error in the church is the reason we have lack of discernment in who we support in politics. We lack foundational truth. We lack character and most of all, we lack discernment. We are seemingly clueless regarding what is needed in a leader.

Don’t tell me who you are against, tell me what you are for. Don’t tell me it’s broke, show me how you’re going to fix it. We expect that from our doctors, dentists and mechanics, why not national leaders? Doctors, dentists and mechanics are specific as to the problem and how to fix it. Why can’t a politician be that way? I’m in the no spin zone.

What are we teaching our children? It’s not good. It’s harmful and damaging to the future of our land. The candidates on both sides are teaching our kids ungodly attributes.
● Say whatever you have to say to get elected. Which translates into, say whatever you have to say to get ahead.
● The way to get on top is by character assassination. Be a name caller. Spend money on ads or do it freely on social media and sling as much mud as possible.
● You can say whatever you want but you don’t have to mean it. You can lie your way to the top. You can cheat your way to the top.
● Bend the rules, work the system and you’ll be able to stand on the carcass of a once great nation.
● Statesmanship is not longer essential in politics. You just need money and a lot of mud.
● Promise people the moon and when elected give them a moon pie.
● Tell people that there are no sacrifices in life. Someone else will pay for everything. This is why adult children live at home, don’t pay their bills and won’t get a job. But who cares, it’s a “free” country right?
● Don’t live in a world of black and white, right and wrong. Make everything dingy grey. Forget foundational truths. Bend the rules, break the rules. Whatever it takes to get ahead, do it.

That may be what you want. It’s not what I want in a leader, a nation or a church. If we don’t get back to the basics, we are sunk. America is a non-prophet society. We need preachers and church members to stop kissing up to politicians and start crying out to the Holy God of heaven who is our only hope.

Michael Catt