Revive Us Again
I've been reading through the book of Acts, and while it's impossible not to be inspired by the passion of the first Christians, I've also found myself struggling. Not with the message or the dedication of the apostles, but with the discrepancy between their time and ours. With the fiery presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives—the filling of the Holy Ghost that takes place so often in Acts and brings forth incredible fruits of repentance and salvation. I had to look at myself—at my own life, my own walk. And I realized that something is missing. That I'm doing something wrong. That the Holy Spirit has not changed, so why don't I see it in my life the way the apostles did?
God's timing is incredible. A feeling of inadequacy has been gnawing at me for a while, but only in the past few weeks has the Lord helped me to put my finger on the problem. And at my worst moment, He provided an answer last night, in the form of a powerful church message.
We need a spiritual revival. As a body, as a church, as individuals.
Because it begins with individuals.
Something I grappled with, to Satan's delight, is the idea that the Holy Spirit doesn't work the way it did in the New Testament anymore. Miracles don't happen anymore; that was a thing of the past, and now what we have is this ethereal, intangible, inaccessible thing that we claim dwells in us but rarely shows itself as more than the occasional feeling. I was wrong. Miracles do happen—all the time—but they do not come to those of feeble faith, weak conviction, or lukewarm desire to see God work.
Last night brought me face to face with testimonies I couldn't have imagined. A devout Christian who fasted for forty days, then raised someone from the dead—a Christian who has preached in my own church! An infant heart condition that changed in a matter of two days due to the fervent supplications of prayer warriors. A woman exorcised by the power of the Holy Spirit—freed from demons, just like miracles of the New Testament scriptures. And these are miracles of today. Of this day and age. Being wrought in the world as we live and breathe.
That was one revelation of last night—the knowledge that my first assumption was inaccurate. The Holy Spirit does not change, for God does not change. The reason I don't see it at work is, therefore, no fault of his.
Which means it must be a fault of mine.
There's a reason incredible things seem to happen mostly in missionary jungles, or the far-reaches of the world where Western luxury is only a faraway idea. It's not because the Holy Spirit threw darts at a map and decided he would only work in rainforests, deserts, and rural villages—but there is a correlation with location, and it comes back to us, not him. We have everything. We lack nothing. We are so independent that God must be crammed into our lives, not as a physical necessity—like eating or breathing—but as a spiritual obligation we must make time for in order to secure our salvation. We don't depend on Him enough. We don't want Him enough.
And that is exactly what needs to change.
We need to rekindle our desire for the Lord. We need to drop to our knees and pray for God to ignite us again—to fill us with hunger and thirst for Him, to pour out His Spirit upon us, to sharpen our dull edges and transform us into weapons in the spiritual battle for His Kingdom. We need to pray for a renewed burden for the lost, to pray for Spiritual awakening, and we need to pray for a desire to pray. Desire is where it starts. Apathy has kept us from seeing miracles—apathy and the subconscious belief that God won't answer our prayers, so we won't be disappointed