Let’s cut to the chase.
The world is in meltdown but people aren’t turning to God and the church for answers.
The frustration is that those of us who have experienced the Love of God and have come to know the difference that faith in Him makes, desperately want to share this with those who have been bruised, battered and let down with life. But for the most part they aren’t interested!
There is also a sense that we the people of God, the local church members, are somehow to blame as we feel so ineffective. We shrug our shoulders and say “what can we do?”
Jesus wants to reach a lost world and show His love but there appears to be a disconnect with His Church. We realise the problem, but aren’t sure how things can change.
Things that used to work really well, no longer cut it.
A generation ago, we sent missionaries to foreign countries with the expectation we could win people to Christ. Today, on the whole, we count ourselves fortunate if we can retain the young people who have come up through our church program.
I want to make it clear that I love the Church. Any follower of Jesus will have a love for the brothers and sisters for whom He died. It in our DNA! I feel a spiritual home in the movement that I am a part of and have respect for and confidence in our leaders who are taking bold steps to lead our churches to be more effective.
In a future post “Where Revival Begins” I will make the point that revival always begins with the individual, that is with ME. This is the discovery that Isaiah made after previously proclaiming ‘woes’ or indictments on six other groups he comes to the realisation, “woe is ME”.
I admit that I am a part of the problem but I have also resolved that whatever it takes, I refuse to be a powerless preacher.
The status quo is not an option.
First of all we need to be awakened to the biblical perspective / paradigm that we the people of God are NOT powerless. That is a lie of the devil.
We have options.
This is what revival is all about, this is where it begins.. revival begins when God’s people see their absolute and total need of Him; this produces a sense of urgency and they call out to God for help.
What we need is for God to step down out of heaven to renew and empower the church. He is always wanting to do this. Church history has many examples of believers whose Christian experience was radically changed when they sought the Lord for personal revival. One example that comes to mind is Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland mission whose life was transformed after he had already been on the mission field for some time. A letter to his sister from a chapter in his bio called The Exchanged Life tells this story. The Exchanged Life H Taylors Testimony
But how can this happen? Can we cooperate with the Lord with this?
As I have said a number of times in my Prayer Workshops, when we talk about the ‘power of prayer’, the power is not in the act of prayer per se; but when we pray, we invite our all-powerful God into the situation and HE is powerful!
It is no mere coincidence that every revival both national and local began when an individual or group of people began to pray.
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
When it comes to changing the world, we need to realise that it must begin with me! I have little influence on world events but I have a huge influence in my daily sphere of life. This is illustrated by a quotation from a brother who lived centuries ago.
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realise the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realised that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world. ~ Unknown Monk (around 1100 A.D.)