by pastor david
Psalm 85:6 “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?”
Revival is from God and for God’s people. Slick advertising and a lot of hype will not bring revival and the preacher cannot bring it in his briefcase. Revival is not an evangelistic campaign, although the salvation of the lost is always one of the results of genuine revival.
Real revival, God honoring-revival, Spirit-inspired revival, Christ-centered revival, sin-killing revival comes only from above, from the Throne of God alone.
God said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Did you catch that? “My people…My name”? God wants to revive us, His own special people. However, the fact we must understand about revival is this: Revival is a bitter-sweet experience.
It is “bitter” because God begins by dealing with the sins of His people. One man described the great revival in Manchuria in the early 1900’s like this: “I simply cannot describe the scene. It made one think of the Judgment Day. God had come among us. All knew it and every heart was open before Him. For myself, I had the most intense realization of the holiness of God and of my uncleanness in His sight”.
James Burns wrote, “Every revival movement sees an awakening of a deep sense of sin in the individual and in the Church. In the intense spiritual light, the sin and guilt of the awakened soul stand out in terrifying blackness.”
Yes, revival begins as a “bitter” experience but once our sins have been confessed and repented of (Proverbs 28:13), then the experience becomes “sweet” as the discernible presence of God is manifested in our lives in a special and supernatural way.
It is then that God’s people move out of the lukewarmness and defeat of the wilderness and into the Canaan Land of victory. It is only then that we begin to experience the abundant life Christ came to provide for us (John 10:10).
The late Dr. Stephen Olford defined revival like this: “Revival is that strange and sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people – restoring, reanimating, and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing”. My heart races, as I read these words. This is what I want. This is what I need. No, this is what I must have!
Will you join me as we beseech God for a real revival – a heaven-sent revival? Please pray for God to work in you, your family, and your church to restore, reanimate, and release into us the fullness of His blessing.
Is that what you want? If so, begin now to pray to that end.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
Unless you grew up in a literary vacuum, you are familiar with the children’s story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, written by Robert Southey in 1837. While walking through the woods, Goldilocks came upon a house and finding no one home she went in. “At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl. ‘This porridge is too hot!’ she exclaimed. So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl. ‘This porridge is too cold,’ she said. So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge. ‘Ahhh, this porridge is just right,’ she said happily and she ate it all up.”
The same scenario was repeated with three chairs and three beds. “She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.”
As you know, the family of bears finally came home and found their nosy neighbor fast asleep. When she awoke, “She screamed, ‘Help!’ And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the forest. And she never returned to the home of the three bears.”
Unfortunately, we have a lot of Goldilocks Christians in our “forest” these days.
They move about, from church to church, trying this and trying that, but are never satisfied and, therefore, never settle down to become actively involved in a local church, as every believer should. They say…
The problem with the Goldilocks Syndrome is that she never says, “Ahhh, this is just right”. She or he is never satisfied, at least not for very long. Consequently, upon their dissatisfaction, they move from church to church every few years; sometimes every few months. The consumerism of the day finally catches up with them when they hear about another church nearby with something different that “meets their needs”.
Sadly, we find no Biblical basis for this kind of “church shopping”. Does God, at times, lead a family from one church to another? Certainly, but that is seldom the reason Goldilocks and her family “run away into the forest” in search of something better.
And why is Goldilocks never satisfied?
Are we blessed and benefited by the presence and the ministry of the church? Certainly! But the church doesn’t exist to please us. It exists to please Him, the One who gave His life a ransom for it.
What should Goldilocks Christians do if they find themselves in this kind of fairy tale? May I make a few suggestions?
Is there ever a time for someone to leave a church? Yes, if that church is no longer preaching and practicing the Word of God and all attempts to remedy the situation have been exhausted (Galatians 6:1), then God will lead you elsewhere. Until then, stay where you are and serve God through your local church with all your heart and all your energy.
Go home, Goldilocks, and stay there!
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
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