We’ve put our hope in everything under the sun. Most of our efforts in the body of Christ are nothing more than baptized versions of Solomon’s attempt to find happiness in everything under the sun. We’ve trusted in our resources, denominations, programs, methods, buildings, budgets, and events. We’ve promoted that which we should have punted on years ago. We prop up that which needs a decent burial. We applaud that which is of the flesh and should bring us shame.
We are proud like the Pharisees. We’ve got it all figured out, with little room for mystery and no room for walking by faith. We trust in our structures rather than the Scriptures. We focus on “what works” rather than asking the question, “Is God in it?”
The American church is anemic and pathetic. We are light years removed from the power of Acts. We are doing less and less with more. Failing to seek God for a divine plan, we put new labels on old packages. We try to make the old wineskin work one more time because we don’t want to admit we need new wineskin.
While I am in full support of the Conservative resurgence and the Great Commission resurgence within my denomination, I am more fully aware that a resurgence is not what we need. What we need is simple:
1. We need to repent of serving God in the energy of our flesh.
2. We need to repent of our lack of love for the lost.
3. We need to repent of empty altars, dry eyes, and cold or lukewarm hearts.
4. We need to repent of boasting in transfers of membership and baptizing our own when there are billions who have never heard the gospel or never been given an invitation from us to come to Christ.
5. We need to repent of building our own houses while the house of God is neglected.
6. We need to repent of focusing on titles and entitlements and not focusing on the anointing of God on a man, woman, or ministry.
7. We need to repent of passing resolutions and start rending our hearts.
8. We need to repent of treating God like an additive instead of our source of life.
9. We need to repent of thinking we are better than others and return to a servant attitude.
10. We need to repent of thinking we do so much for God that He will not judge our land.
If all of our experts, programs, methods, conferences, and organizations could do it, we would have had revival by now. We’ve got more than we’ve ever had, and America is more pagan than it has ever been. We have had conventions, convocations, conferences, symposiums, panel discussions, dialogues, books, magazines, sermons, and talks…we have no revival.
Our churches are lifeless, cold, and boring. We’ve done that which the enemy could never do: we’ve made the abundant life appear to be monotonous. Where is the evidence of His power? Where is the manifestation of His glory? Where is the unction from the pulpit? Where is the resolve of the Reformers and the passion for prayer and spiritual awakening?
We’re too busy for that. I’ve had preachers tell me that the message of revival is “old hat” and “out dated.” So I ask you, does that mean that the words of our ascended Lord, “Repent or else,” have no bearing on a carnal American church? Does it mean we’ve figured out how to do church and have success without a wind from heaven? If we have, I’m not interested in building that kind of church. Thanks, but no thanks.
One day maybe God will find a man or a church that wants revival. There is a cost involved. There is a price to be paid. It won’t be easy. We need God to raise up someone who will allow God to step in and take over.
When God steps in, He will upset our apple cart. He will tear up our calculators and laugh at our prognostications. He will embarrass the rank and file by whom and what He uses. He will bring shame to the specialists who have it all figured out.
He may start in a little country church with an uneducated preacher. He may start in a dignified church where the preacher is sick and tired of business as usual. He may start in a nursing home where an elderly saint has been crying out to God for years. He may start here. He may look at us and say, “I can’t trust you with that kind of movement; you would take the credit for it.”
He may start in Possum Neck, Mississippi, or Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. He may start in Flat Rock or Little Rock. He may move in with power in a place you’ve never heard of. He may start with a race you don’t like. He may start with a denomination you don’t agree with.
He may do it in a way you don’t approve of. But one day, by the grace of God, I believe He’s going to do it. I want to see it one more time. I’ve seen a glimpse, but I’m not settling for a glimpse. I want more than mercy drops. It’s time for the puddles to pool up and form a river flowing from the throne of God.
Are you wiling to ask God to make you into the kind of Christian who wants revival? Do you want the breath of the Spirit, or are you content to put a little mouth wash in our stale mouths. Are you seeking a wind from heaven? Are you longing for revival? Or, would it upset your planned-out, pre-arranged agenda?
Would you lose your church position if revival came? Would revival disqualify you as a leader, minister, or teacher in your local church? If revival would disqualify you, you are already disqualified. If the filling, empowering, and moving of the Spirit bothers you, you aren’t ready for revival. What you are ready for is a rut, which is nothing more than a grave without the dirt in it. We’ve got enough ruts; let’s have revival.