Last week we talked about the recent revival in Wilmore Kentucky. Anytime there are 1500 people in one place worshiping God around the clock, we know the Lord is stirring hearts. We had a trip to Denver planned last week, but I was able to attend three different times before we left and it was very humbling to see a hunger for God on this level. We sang “I Exalt Thee” and you could sense God was there. I mentioned recently that spiritual moves of God’s glory have nothing to do with geographical locations, but rather are manifested within those who simply want more of Him. Until our flesh is disciplined by our will and the Holy Spirit is given control to lead us into submitting to Him, there is no spiritual advancement. When we fall deeply in love with God and are no longer embarrassed to stand boldly for Him, there is no limit to what can be accomplished for His glory.
While observing what was happening before my eyes, I wondered why do we not see this attitude of repentance and worship in every church every week. A genuine excitement for God should be present within every follower of Christ, however, many of us are not as consistent as we should be. Often we settle for mediocrity by just living for God when we feel like it. We realize that we can be filled with His Spirit, but if do not maintain our relationship with Him, the fervor of our love and the strength of our joy can leak which will leave us weak and weary. If we could maintain our zeal for God, we would not need to be revived, but for most of us, this is not the case. One day we are on the mountain and the next day we are exhausted, sad, and need encouragement.
The Azusa Street Revival was a historic series of meetings that took place in Los Angeles and was led by William J. Seymour an African-American preacher. The revival began on April 9, 1906, and continued until roughly 1915. On the first night, Seymour and seven men were praying and waiting on God on Bonnie Brae Street, when suddenly, as though hit by a bolt of lightning, they were knocked from their chairs to the floor. The men began to shout and praise God as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The news quickly spread, the city was stirred, crowds gathered and services were moved outside to accommodate the people who came from all around. Those who attended were so overwhelmed by the power of God’s presence they could not stop weeping as manifestations were evident such as individuals being delivered from evil spirits, and the sick were healed.
I was raised in a church where they would schedule a revival by inviting a guest speaker to hold special meetings for a few days. There was anticipation about what God might do. People would invite their lost loved ones and, those who had drifted away from the Lord in the hopes and prayers they would be saved or restored in their relationship with Christ. We used to sing an old hymn that said, “Send a great revival in my soul, let the Holy Spirit come and take control.” This is a great song and asking God for a personal awakening is wonderful, but there is always repentance and fervent prayer involved. In other words, I do not see a powerful move in our lives while we are playing video games. The Bible mentions in Romans 12:1-2 about being a living sacrifice, but usually, we would rather do a good deed instead of yielding our will. A devoted life of allowing God to possess us will cost us more than we can imagine. If we are seeking a deeper more meaningful relationship with Christ, we are promised that if we seek Him, we will find Him.
So what gives us this desperate hunger and thirst for God? Fasting is not popular, but it shows that we are serious about being closer to Him. James 4:8 promises, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” If we really want to be on fire for God, let us remember we can live as close to God as we choose. We do not need to travel any further than our conscience to discover He is always waiting to pour out His glory on us.
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