Earlier this month Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States. Because of his liberal policies and voting record, many conservative Christ Followers are concerned about the continued decline (and likely free-fall) of the moral standards in our country. Since that the election, I've heard many Christian leaders calling for prayers for the salvation of President-Elect Obama, as well as a spiritual revival in our nation. I too feel the need for a spiritual revival in this country, though it is not solely based on the results of the 2008 elections.
So I started thinking and realized that I can't very well pray for a national revival if I do not first desire and pursue revival in my own heart. I've spent the past week and a half studying revival in the Word of God, and here's some of what He revealed to me:
Psalm 85: 4-9 reads, "Restore us again, O God of our salvation,and put away your indignation toward us! Will you be angry with us forever?Will you prolong your anger to all generations? Will you not revive us again,that your people may rejoice in you?7 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,and grant us your salvation. Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,that glory may dwell in our land."
According to my Bible Dictionary, "Revive" literally means, "to bring to, or come to life." Except for the supernatural resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, if something is going to be brought back to life, there is a definite need for a purposeful action of someone else. (Example, performing CPR or using a resuscitation unit in a hospital ER.) So here's what I learned about the active roll Almighty God plays in spiritual revival:
1. God Restores His people (verse 4)
2. God Revives His people (verse 6)
3. God Shows Mercy to His people (verse 7)
4. God Grants Salvation (verse 7)
Psalm 85 shows us that revival ultimately depends on an action from Almighty God. He must take my heart, and your heart, and renew it for His passions and for His glory. He must actively revive His people. He must show His unconditional love and mercy to His people. And He must be the giver and source of Salvation. Quite simply put, Jesus Christ is the source, the reason, and the means for revival.
After realizing that revival is primarily about God, I started wondering what roll Christ Followers play in revival. According to Psalm 85, there are two actions a Christ Follower must take in order to pursue revival:
1. Listen to What God is saying (verse 8)
2. Do not return to foolishness (verse 8)
Because Christ is the source and means for revival, my primary action is to listen to Him, to heed the Holy Spirit's prompting, and to honor and obey His Word. Christ Followers need not follow a method for revival. There is no formula or inspirational song that can induce revival. Rather, it starts in the heart of a Christ-Follower who is listening to the heart of God.
If your pastor or youth minister calls you to prayer for national revival, and for President-Elect Obama, I urge you to heed their leadership and honor their request. However, I cannot stress the importance of praying for a spiritual renewing of your own heart for the passions of God. Listen to what the Holy Spirit is revealing to you. Honor the Word of God. This is my own prayer and desire for myself.
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