Lord is it I? Is it my church? Is it my ministry? Is it my family? Is it that we have put our "unique distinctiveness" ahead of or in place of our Oneness with You?
God's problem today is not Communism, nor Romanism nor liberalism. God's problem is - dead Christianity! Synthetic religion! The tragedy of this late hour is that we have too many dead men in the pulpits, giving out too many dead sermons, too many dead people in the pews.
There is too much preaching without the unction of the Holy Spirit. Preaching without unction kills or stupefies, instead of giving life and vitality. Under God, a spiritual preacher will produce spiritually minded people. This unction is won or lost before the preacher's foot enters the pulpit. Unction is won in the home life first. Show me a preacher's marriage, show me a preacher's family and allow me one hour with them, and without ever hearing one word from the preacher, I'll tell you if he has unction. Didn't Jesus say, "You shall know them by their fruits." Matthew 7:16 If a man's home life produces poor fruit, his church will produce poor fruit and becomes a refrigerator in which to preserve perishable piety. Is this why our churches are in a crisis today?
The world is not waiting for a new or better definition of the gospel, but for a
demonstration of the
power of the gospel in our lives, our marriages and our families. Where are the men of sound doctrine and a
God-governed life and family? Who can look into the face of the Living God and say, "Woe is me if I preach not Your Gospel and live not Your life." One of the most painful things I know, is to face up to the truth. The truth is that revival among us is the greatest of all our needs!
It is said that, "When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." Acts 2:1 One accord means they had one mind and purpose. There was a divine harmony that led to a spiritual outpouring. Perhaps the moving of God we seek, isn't found in looking for another church or a purer message, but is found in a different position, that of
personal revival? As long as we remain self-sufficient and man-managed, the Spirit cannot come and God will not have his body of believers. So long as the spirit of division and discord, indifference and arrogance resides in our hearts, revival will continue to be on pause.
So, draw a chalk mark all around yourself and ask God to start a revival inside that chalk mark. When He has answered your prayer and you have cooperated, the revival will be on. We cannot expect revival to break out anywhere if there is no desire for personal revival. This kind of revival
will cost us our lives. Don't let your attitude be, "Lord, what is the minimum performance expected of me? "Let it be, "Lord, I'm all in!"
It all begins with an, "Exchanged Life," where we no longer live, but we let Christ live in and through us. Galatians 2:20 In this, "Exchanged life," we learn to recognize God's initiating grace to
put away our Man-managed life and enter a God-governed life. Ephesians 2:8 - 10 This is key to a true revival and it all begins in our home life. That is the testing and proving ground. If it can be lived there, it can be lived anywhere.
Ask yourself why did Jesus spend 30 quiet years
living out a God-governed life
before entering full-time ministry? That was not an accident. He is the supreme example for all of us. It is there that we must gain hold on the, "Exchanged life." It is there that the
fruit of a God-governed life must be
developed. Once it works there, then our taking it to the world will bring about true revival. If it doesn't work there, then don't try to export a faulty product. If it isn't working for you and your family, you'd better major on importing rather than exporting.
If any man was ready at age 12, or at age 18, or age 21 to export, it was Jesus! But no, He lived it out in the little town of Nazareth, within His family circle, to demonstrate the power of the gospel in the
home life first. When it worked there, He finished his work in 3 ½ years. If we would truly learn from His example and find a God-governed life, a revival of true godliness, then we too would have power to finish the work quickly.
What is God whispering to your conscience right now? As Jesus hung dying on the cross He didn't forget His mother. He said to His mother, "Woman behold thy son." Then He said to John, "Behold thy mother." John 19:26, 27 He didn't forget his mother! Did you catch that? When all the world was being weighed in the balances. When all the sin of the world was being placed on Him. He didn't neglect His own mother.
Have we neglected something? Have we neglected something in our personal or home life? Jesus didn't! Have we neglected our spouses or our children for a greater work? Have we neglected them for our businesses, sports, news, Internet, Facebook, witnessing, outreach, missions, churches, self interest or whatever? That's not revival!
Revival begins with me and empowers my personal life. Revival begins with me and revitalizes my marriage. Revival begins with me in my family, my diet, my temper, my use of time, my imbalances. When revival has been effective here, then and only then will it have power out there. It must
prove effective in the base camp first and then the exporting of it to the front lines will be effective.
Christ's first instruction to His disciples was, "
Tarry ye... until ye be endue with power from on high. "Luke 24:49 This is gospel order! This is the science of salvation that will save me and my loved ones and will save you and your loved ones. So, Lord, let it begin with me!
Lord, revive us again,
Jim & Sally