When I was a young man in the 1970s, the term born again became a prominent way that the Christian who stood for Christ referred to himself. Furthermore, there was a substantial awareness among Christian people to be a New Testament church. Such an idea did not mean the same thing to all people. However, many believed the Church did not live up to the standard set by the biblical writings of the New Testament. In this and upcoming blogs, we will uncover some teachings and behaviors that cause the Church to become less dynamic than Jesus Christ and the Apostles intended.
My dear readers, the first thing to know, if you want an accurate understanding of the Church, is that it is not the same in every age. There have been times of revival and times of, shall we say, normal behavior. Pentecost, the Great Awakening, and the Welsh revivals, to name a few, were times of a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God upon the Church. There is the Church in revival, which is in contrast to the Church in regular times.
It is God who alone determines when He will pour out His Spirit upon the world and bring many souls to Himself and add them to the Church. During such times, incredible things happen. The most astonishing thing is the spirit of faith God gives to His people collectively. It is this God-given faith that changes the regular and often failing Church into a dynamic and overcoming Church.
“For everyone having been born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory having overcome the world: our faith.” (1 John 5:4) God produces the faith that overcomes the world through His born again children. God only magnifies the faith He has already created, such faith, therefore, is God-given. How overcoming the believer’s faith is, is according to God’s arbitrary will.
Don’t try to reconcile this God-given statement with the God’s sovereignty, or you will lose it.
How then can the Church receive a revival from God? The answer is three-fold. Pray! Pray! Pray! God’s people need to learn how to get alone with God in heartfelt supplication. There is nothing lukewarm about supplication; it feels as much as it thinks. The supplicant heart breaks over sin; it doesn’t just talk about it. Faith allows men to see themselves for what they are, not just what they want to be.
God’s people need to learn how to pray, conversationally. Conversational prayer involves two people; The person who is praying and the eternal, self-existent, all-knowing, all-powerful, and faithful God who created him. A man should pray through his knowledge of God’s word, and God speaks to Him through that word. Prayer either takes place in the manner described, or it is not a conversation. Such a prayer would be one-sided and therefore, dead and worthless.
There is time to pray alone, and there is also the dynamic of group prayer. There are times for short group prayers, and there are times for very long group prayers. What is right for individuals is also true for groups. As there are pitfalls for individuals, so there are for groups. The group must focus on praying to God and not for one another. When a group focuses their attention on God, the results are incredible.
My dear readers, God’s math is not like ours. Moses understood this when he penned his song, “How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight…” (Deuteronomy 32:30) I sometimes fear that the Church can be so short-sighted. It is as if men look at answered prayers in our day as part of the health and wealth gospel of this generation. It is not! There is a praying that God especially honors, and we should be mindful of what kind it is. In God’s multiplication 1 X 2 = 10. One can chase a thousand, which is impossible apart from God. However, 2 send ten thousand to flight.
Let us pray for revival; it is what God desires for His Church. Revival is newness of life, and it is needed every moment. For this reason, the New Testament the filling of the Spirit is in the present continuous tense. It is not guaranteed it is dependent upon God’s arbitrary will, and man’s God-given faith. Pray for it!
“Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.” (Psalm 119:88)
“I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.” (Psalm 119:107)
“Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. Then we shall not turn back from You; Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.” (Psalm 80:17, 18)
“Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)
“Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness: revive me, O Jehovah, according to Your ordinances.” (Psalm 119:149)
“Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me through Your righteousness.” (Psalm 119:40″