Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"A people saturated with God." That is how author Brian Edwards describes true, God-sent revival. I have always been fascinated with the stories of revival among God's people. I think this fascination was birthed in me by my good friend and mentor, Tony Mattia. He seems to me to have forgotten more about the topic than I will ever know. In addition to Tony, I had the chance to hear Richard Owen Roberts speak on the topic at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary once. His voice was powerful as he described the effects that real revival has on the people of God. I have never forgotten. And I have always wanted to be in a place where real revival happens.

But I confess, I am afraid. You see, there are certain moments in history when God's presence is manifested in a particular area or region with unusual power. As Richard Owen Roberts said, God's presence is so tangible that you feel like you could put your hand out and touch him. He added quickly, "You can't really put your hand out and touch Him. But it is like that." And I admit that to see God's presence so clearly and powerfully made clear is exciting. But you see, I am afraid and the reason is that every story of revival tells us that it comes with a price.

When God comes in power to a place, His utter holiness pervades everything. And if there is sin among the people of God, any sin in any person, it has to be dealt with. God's holiness rips the veneer off any pretense of hypocrisy. That which is hidden is brought to light. The skeletons in the closet are there for everyone to see as the door is ripped off the hinges by the truth bringing light of the Holy Spirit. Hearts are broken and souls are crushed. Brokenness and contrition are the watchwords of God's people. Holiness is the result. Christians everywhere are on their knees and on their faces before the Holy Living God. Sometimes the recognition of guilt (of sin) is so intense that reports have told of people wailing and crying out to God for mercy, even long time saints as they have had to deal with secret sin. God hates sin and if His blessing is to come it is to come to a people whose hearts are ready for the glory to appear.

O Christian! Just when you would think despair would set in, the love and the mercy of God in our salvation through Jesus Christ is made clear to the broken and contrite heart. The mind dealing with the darkeness of guilt is shown the light of Christ and the joy of the saint's salvation is shed forth in the believing heart. Here the fire of revival is lit to full flame! Suddenly every working and operation of God is sweeter, more powerful, more lovely than ever before. When this kind of power is let loose in a town, city, or region, the true power of the Christian presence and witness is shown to the world. What if a single Christian got that kind of fire? What is a class of Christians? Or a church? Or all the Christians in a town (at the same time)? Can you picture it?

I think the reason we don't see stuff like this happen is because we are like the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3. They saw themselves as rich and wealthy and having need of nothing. But the Lord saw them as poor, wretched, blind and naked. The first step to seeing revival is admitting that you NEED revival. Admitting the need leads to calling on the Lord to bring it. Because revival is of the Lord.

I want revival. I want it for me. I want it for my church. I want it for my denomination. I want it for my nation. I need it. I long for it. How about you? Will you join me in praying to God for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit among the people of God in North America? With all my heart, I hope you will.

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