Who is limiting the opportunities for revival in our area—God or us?
We must think it is not us. Why else would we be praying to God for revival and then be waiting for God to act? Of course, there is no revival unless and until there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But is it possible God has put His church in charge of the preparation for a revival? Is it possible God is waiting for our preparation to be completed or, at the very least, begun? God is on a rescue mission to a lost world. Are we doing the part God has assigned to us (His church) in support of His redemption plan for mankind?
As a point of clarification, benevolence, both individually and collectively, is a good thing and should be encouraged. However, by itself, is not necessarily part of what we call evangelism leading to revival. The parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) is an example of one person showing compassion for a fellow traveler he did not even know. And note—his act of compassion was done personally and privately. We are not even told his name! A good example for all of us.
We are all called to participate in evangelistic outreach
—we are to be the light of the world. “Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works” (Matt 5:16a).
If the sentence ended there, people would be giving us credit for our good works not God. But the sentence does not end there. “… and glorify your Father who is in heaven “(Matt. 5:16b).
In order for people to glorify our Father, we must tell them the source of our good works. That’s evangelism, and God can use our individual acts of evangelism to contribute to a revival in our community.
But, our preparation for revival must begin in the church
—not out in the streets. Unless we learn to love everyone in God’s church family no matter what secondary beliefs they have, no matter what their music preferences are, and no matter how they chose to worship God, we are not prepared. Too often, we are very publicly critical of others in God’s family. Too often, we are critical of others in our local church. This sounds like a description of confused, judgmental people. Sadly, these attitudes can describe many of us.
Are our pastors and elders leading by example
—loving us, showing compassion, providing encouragement, and forgiving us when we fall short of being the person God wants us to be? I pray they are! When we share God’s love with each other in our church family, we are then ready to go outside the church family to share God’s love with a broken and needy world.
When all of us show true love for one another in our local church, we can become Jesus’s true ambassadors to the world, sharing His love with everyone else, and then, God willing, revival will take place.
—revival in a local community is often led by specific churches/ministries. God does not wait until all churches are prepared. Is your church prepared?
Pastor, is your church ready to respond to a revival should God pour out the Holy Spirit in your community?
Just some thoughts from the back pew.
Roy Haggerty is a lover of God, a husband, and a father. He graduated from the University of Miami, FL, in 1972. He has taught Bible studies for over twenty-five years. Roy retired in his mid-sixties and has spent his time immersed in Bible study and a study of modern politics. He has taken courses towards a masters of theology through Reformed Theological Seminary.
Deb Haggerty is a lover of God, a wife, and a mother. Born in Benson, Minnesota, she graduated from Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, in 1969 with a BA in English Literature and a minor in music and religion. In 1982, she received an MBA from Mercer University in Atlanta, GA. She now serves as Publisher & Editor in Chief of Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.