Monday, November 28, 2011

Observing and Wondering

Advent is here, somewhat overlooked by all the uproar of pushing Christmas shopping earlier and earlier. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for Christ's coming. A shorter season than Lent, but a period of reflection, too.
For which coming are you preparing?
Can revival break out in December? I think Advent or Christmas busyness is gearing up for Christ's first coming. The coming of the sweet little Baby in the manger. The safe Baby, who brings promise, but not action, at least in present day's view. The spirit of giving, but not the sword.
Simeon warned there would be a sword to pierce Mary's heart in Luke 2:35. Jesus is the Word made flesh(John 1). The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.-Hebrews 4:12.
I've been praying for revival for many, many years. I've studied different revivals. I wondered in our modern day world with nursery and children's classes during services(and I loved them when my children were young, one of many reasons I changed churches) how can this happen on any day, in any service, let alone in our program packed events during the Christmas season? How will we submit to the Holy Spirit if we know teachers and kids are waiting for services to be over? I don't even want to mention a Steelers game.
Dave Wilkerson in his blogs before he died, said this last revival will be different than any other. It may not be in our sanctuaries, but in the streets, marketplaces and homes. It will start with the "every day" Christian, maybe not the leadership.
I know this year we have been given a gift of time. It is more than a full month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have full weekends to get our "stuff" done. And the best of the time gift- Christmas is on a Sunday. I believe God is planning something special this year- very special.
With Sunday Schools canceled on Christmas Day and services combined to one in many churches, maybe revival can break out in churches this year. That is if we go to church on Christ's birthday and stay awake- from Mark 13: 33-37.
Revival starts in one person's heart. I get excited thinking revival could start like Dave Wilkerson said, but I anticipate it spreading like fire from our sanctuaries. I tremble from waiting for revival.
Can revival break out in December? If we stay awake, be aware of God's voice, be ready for His move of the Holy Spirit, I am praying. Can we be like Simeon and Anna in Luke 2: 25-38? Anna fasted and prayed day and night. They looked forward to the Messiah and they knew when they saw Him. Will I? Will you? Are we looking for the Messiah?
I'm still waiting for revival this year of 2012. Each year, we seem to need it more. I see so much the American Church needs to repent. Idols to be torn down. Can it happen? With God, all things are possible.
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