Throughout history there have been instances of revivals and spiritual awakenings, but not a single one of them came apart from God’s people praying. If there has ever been a time when there’s been a desperate need for revival, it is now. Yet, in a time when God and His mercies are needed, not only is secular society becoming more resistant toward Him, so also, many Christians are more interested in receiving warm fuzzies, and many ministers are more interested in building their churches.
Despite the increasing chaos our world is facing, where are the desperate pleas for revival being sounded from the pulpits? Where are the voices on social media stating our desperate need for God’s intervention – not in an accusingly fashion, but an honest plea?
We could learn a lot from the Old Testament, if we’d stop listening to Bozos who say it’s irrelevant to the people “under grace” (the writers of the New Testament declare that we have these writings for an example). Speaking through on of His prophets, God declares to the people of old:
But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. ~ Jeremiah 2:11-13
The people of God committed two evils: 1) forsaking God, and 2) pursuing and putting trust in other things other than God. Are we not guilty of this today? We claim to come to God in our churches and concerts, but is it truly to pursue God or to experience some form of manifestation? Is it truly about God and surrendering to Him, or to experience some kind of miracle and experience? Still, isn’t it, in many cases, just something we do out of habit? In this, are we not guilty of forsaking our God? Added to this evil is another evil of simply pursuing our own agendas (e.g., bigger congregations, bigger buildings, more programs, etc.). It’s not that these things are necessarily wrong in themselves; however, in many cases these come at the cost of genuine pursuit of, and surrender to, God. The whole counsel of God is neglected, lest the people are “offended” and leave, etc. So, are we not left with many wonderful buildings, many wonderful programs, yet a biblically illiterate and spiritually malnourished people?
Later, God says through His prophet:
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their discretion; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes? ~ Jeremiah 6:30-31
Can we honestly say the church today isn’t experiencing this? If this is not true, then why are many churches, conferences, and concerts filled, despite the fact God’s Word is neglected, denied, or is said of “needing to comply with the times”? How is it many televangelsists continue to have their bank accounts expand, and “Christian” authors remain bestsellers, despite their teachings stand in opposition to the teachings of the Scriptures?
Still, God’s message to us is the same as His message to the people of old:
Return, faithless Israel, declares the LORD. I will not look on you with anger, for I am merciful, declares the LORD; only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares the LORD. ~ Jeremiah 3:12-13
I believe God wants to heal our land. He wants to bring revival. But instead of pleading for revival, our prayers are often filled with “bless me, bless me, bless me,” while secular society screams, “Leave us alone! We can handle this on our own!” And all that keeps happening is our world is spiraling further out of control.
Instead of trying to defend our positions, whether “liberal” or “conservative,” when will we humbly and honestly acknowledge, “God, You are right and we are wrong! Have mercy, for we have sinned against You greatly! Have mercy on us and our lands. Bring revival! Bring awakening! We are helpless apart from You! Have Your way in us!” Will we ever return to the fountain of living waters, or will we continue to trust in broken cisterns which cannot hold water, then only to continue to wonder why we remain thirsty while the world becomes increasingly barren spiritually?