Monday, December 2, 2013

Advent is Here. Can Revival Follow?

Advent arrives quietly, 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 of Christ are you preparing?
Can revival break out in December? I see Advent or Christmas busyness today as 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 Christ comes with 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. Jesus is that sword. We don't think of that Jesus, the warrior, at Christmas.
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 revival 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 the anticipation on a day of 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.
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 that we will experience it. Can we be like Simeon and Anna in Luke 2: 25-38? Anna fasted and prayed day and night for the coming of the Messiah. 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 2013. Each year, we seem to need it more. I see so much the American Church needs to repent of with idols to be torn down. Can it happen? With God, all things are possible, as Gabriel told Mary when he announced she would carry the Messiah.
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