This week Kevin Cawley preached from Genesis 26.17-18 on the Need for Revival in our present day. He shared that the greatest need for our church in this season is a visitation of God’s presence — that we have no hope of fulfilling our mission in our city unless he sovereignly moves among us, waking us up, and empowering us with his presence. This week, our resources are further aimed at looking at/highlighting our need in our day.
“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.” (Isa 44.3)
“The problem confronting [the church] is the need of life itself, the need of that fundamental power and vigour in every activity of the Church which really can make an impact upon the world, and do something vital and drastic with regard to the whole trend of affairs at the present time; the need of life, the need of power, the need of the Spirit himself.” (Martyn Lloyd Jones, Revival, 22) Lloyd Jones preached this in 1959, and it is as true today, sixty-years later.
One of the most helpful resources on understanding our current cultural climate, and the need of God’s divine intervention, is the This Cultural Moment podcast. This podcast is done by Mark Sayers and John Mark Comer, and is made up of relatively short episodes looking at what it means to live and do ministry in a post-Christian culture. Start HERE or HERE.
I Used to Be a Human Being (Andrew Sullivan) — In this essay, writer Andrew Sullivan looks at his own journey with technology and the ever-present distraction of “connectedness”. This is a powerful look at a common problem in our day — one of immanence and distraction as it relates to the things of God in our world.
A great book outlining the problem of immanence in our day and age is How (Not to Be) Secular by James K.A. Smith. Here is a quick introductory interview Smith did about the book for The Gospel Coalition.
Early last year, Ray Ortlund summarized the “pathways to revival” put forth by A.W. Tozer in this blog. These five elements challenge our complacency and dullness, and are a grace-filled way of responding to the call to “wake up”.
Finally, a prayer for revival from Charles Spurgeon:
“O God, send us the Holy Ghost. Give us both the breath of spiritual life and the fire of unconquerable zeal. O thou who art our God, answer us by fire, we pray thee. Answer us both by wind and fire, and then we shall see thee to be God indeed. The kingdom comes not, and the work is flagging. O, that thou wouldest send the wind and the fire! Thou wilt do this when we are all of one accord, all believing, all expecting, all prepared by prayer. Lord, bring us to this waiting state.
God send us a season of glorious disorder. Oh, for a sweep of the wind that will set the seas in motion, and make our ironclad brethren now lying so quietly at anchor roll from stem to stern.
Oh, for fire to fall again, fire which shall affect the most stolid! Oh, that such fire might first sit upon the disciples, and then fall on all around!
O Spirit of God, thou art ready to work with us today even as thou didst then. Stay not, we beseech thee, but work at once. Break down every barrier that hinders the incoming of thy great might! Give us now both hearts of flame and tongues of fire to preach thy reconciling word, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.” (Quoted in Arthur Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power, 275)
HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHT: The Hebrides Revival
In 1949 the Lord visited a group of islands off the coast of Scotland (particularly the Isle of Lewis) in unprecedented ways. The account of this revival is given by a preacher named Duncan Campbell in his book Revival in the Hebrides (you can read a transcript of a sermon Duncan Campbell gave in 1968 telling the story of the move of God HERE. You can also here Pete Hughes retell much of the story in his sermon, From Revival to Awakening). This revival was marked by a mass awakening to the presence of God — with large groups of people coming under the weight of the reality of God, and seeking out preaching to hear how to be saved.
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