What will it take to obtain both personal victories and breakthroughs for our city and nation? God so desires to satisfy the longing of our souls and the cry of our hearts. He has a destiny He intends us to fulfill individually and corporately. Discouragements, disappointments and distractions have caused some of us to forget the Lord’s promises, dreams and visions for us. Though at times we may feel spiritually and physically barren, with great odds stacked up against us, the Lord wants to fulfill His purposes through us. God wants to turn our difficulties into victories, and our barrenness into the birthing of revival.
For this to happen, I believe our passion for Christ must be greater than our passion for anything else. A genuine passion for Christ allows no room for compromise or mediocrity. We must come to the Lord with transparency and seek Him and His heart. As the late revivalist Leonard Ravenhill said, “God doesn’t just answer prayer; He answers desperate prayer.” God sees our need but wants us to come honestly and openly before Him with all of our fears, insecurities, disappointments and sins. When we do, He will replace our facades with His healing virtue and power. That’s the beginning of personal breakthrough.
Webster’s dictionary just touches the surface of defining what revival really is. “A period of renewed religious interest.” I believe it is so much more than that. It’s a renewed relationship with the Lord and realization that only He can satisfy. From that posture, we will accomplish His purposes in and through us. It’s an awakening to the reality that many people still need to know the love of the Father. You and I are the conduits to demonstrate that love.
What will it take to get us to that place? A modern-day revivalist from Uganda spoke to a gathering of pastors in Houston in the late 1990s. He said that he had learned that revival comes from desperation and that desperation comes either one of two ways: through passion or persecution. I recall in 1987 having a strong sense that we would be shaken by church and political scandals due to the erosion of our moral and spiritual foundations. Hebrews 12:25-29 speaks of a shaking so intense that only those things that cannot be shaken – those things built solidly upon the foundations of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11-14) would be left standing. The purpose of the shaking is to purify and mold us, so that we see things from God’s eternal perspective.
We are living in some intense, yet exciting times. As we follow the unfolding of daily news and events, we are faced with world challenges and global uncertainties–causing some to despair and fear. The current economic crisis is allowing us to grasp how connected our world really is. It is as if Luke 21 is happening before our very eyes through the shakings of famines, earthquakes, pestilence, uprisings and rumors of wars.
As we read on in Luke 21 verse 13 the words leap off the page as an encouragement and prophetic promise to us: “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.” The inference is that the challenges and shakings we experience can become an opportunity for us to testify of His faithfulness and greatness. In fact, Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (NKJ) We who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (see Rev 12:11) can be a reflection of the Lord to a world in need. God’s intended purpose is that even through our trials, multitudes will be pointed to Jesus.
I believe IT IS TIME to come forth in strength to give revival birth. God is ready to do His greatest work through each of us. The question is, are we ready? May our desperation be driven by a renewed passion for Christ that is greater than our passion for anything else.