When I was a little girl, I can remember our country church holding revival services. Sometimes they were joint services held in the park with several other local churches. Sometimes they were just for our church. This series of services was almost always preceded by several weeks of special prayer meetings, handing out flyers, and inviting friends and family. As a teenager who sang in the adult choir, I particularly looked forward to the guest worship leader, whomever he would be.
You could count on 2 Chronicles 7:14 being quoted several times in the weeks leading up to a revival service: If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
This is a beautiful promise from God. The problem is, I don’t think we ever really did what it says. I don’t think that I have ever been a part of a true church revival – seeing people on their knees before God, repenting of sins, seeking forgiveness from God and man, and really turning away from their sin and doing the things that God has called us to do, being the people He has called us to be.
When the church comes out of her front door and into the world, when she opens her doors to invite the rest of humanity in, when she opens her heart to true community, that is revival.
When the church finally feels comfortable in her skin that she can love Jesus and love others at the same time, this is revival.
When we see the orphan care crisis in it’s death throes and the world slavery at its end, this is revival.
When we see Christ-followers opening their homes regularly and coming outside the walls of their church, this is revival. (Sarah Markley, “This is Revival”)
Or, as Isaiah said:
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Is. 58:6-8
I am praying for a real revival, for myself, for my church, for my city – the kind of revival that Isaiah describes. Will you join me?
A couple (or three) side notes this week:
- The garden has been planted!
- I have had two guest blog posts in the past few weeks, and I have neglected to mention them here. The first was “An Introvert, a Minister’s Wife, and the Great Commission” at Flourish.me.
- The second guest post was for my sweet friend Jessica at Grace for Moms. Jessica and I met in college, and I am so grateful that God continues to allow our paths to collide. I wrote over there about “Surviving as the ‘Older’ Mom.”