Revived

February 12, 2016

 

This week we are starting a new sermon series entitled “Revival.” We’ll be using Adam Hamilton’s book "Revival" as a resource, and several of our groups will be offering the ability to follow and journey along with us as we examine the path John Wesley took on his way to reviving a nation.

 

I have my own hang-ups about the word “revival.” I experienced the wonder and the excitement and also the silver-tongued deception that can come along with “revivals.” I’ve been to the places where the Holy Spirit was being “poured out.” I went to a seminary known for the revival that happened on its campus. And now, now that I don’t have to deal with the idea, it is one that is easier to put up on the shelf. Deep down, if I’m honest, I can admit that I don’t like that word. To me, it smacks of judgment and saying that what I am doing is not enough – that what I am doing is dead or dying and needs to be revived. Revival literally means to bring back to life, after all. At the very least it implies to me that what I am and how I am is not good enough.

 

Then, Pastor Tim started preaching on 2 Chronicles 2:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” He asked us to start praying for revival. To pray twice a day for that at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m. I had to take that word, that idea, those experiences off the proverbial shelf and actually deal with them.

 

Do you know what I found? That when I humble myself, and pray, and seek God’s face, that I can see I really do need to be revived. I want more. More than what I’ve settled for. Don’t you? The best way I could think to sum this up and entice you to join us on Sunday was to share a Poem/Prayer with you from the book "Guerrillas of Grace" entitled Let Something Essential Happen to Me. I hope you enjoy it – but more than that, I hope you join in asking God to revive us once more that something essential could happen in us.

 

“O God,

let something essential happen to me,

something more than interesting

or entertaining,

or thoughtful.

 

O God,

let something essential happen to me,

something awesome,

something real.

Speak to my condition, Lord,

and change me somewhere inside where it matters,

a change that will burn and tremble and heal

and explode me into tears

or laughter

or love that throbs or screams

or keeps a terrible, cleansing silence

and dares the dangerous deeds.

Let something happen in me

which is my real self, God.

 

O God,

let something essential and passionate happen in me now.

Strip me of my illusions of self-sufficiency,

of my proud sophistications,

of my inflated assumptions of knowledge

O God,

let something essential and joyful happen in me now,

something like the blooming of hope and faith,

like a grateful heart,

like a surge of awareness of how precious each moment is,

that now, not next time,

now is the occasion

to take off my shoes,

to see every bush afire,

to leap and whirl with neighbor,

to gulp the air as sweet wine

until I’ve drunk enough

to dare to speak the tender word:

“Thank you”;

“I love you”;

“You’re beautiful”;

“Let’s live forever beginning now”;

and “I’m a fool for Christ’s sake.”

 

Now, not next time, NOW is the occasion, the chance we have to ask, to beg God to do something essential in us. To ask God to revive us once more. To pray. To be humble. To seek his face so that we can find peace and salvation and restoration. I want to live, to truly live again in Christ. Don’t you? Do you want to be revived?

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