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Thoughts On Revival

 

Actually, revival is happening right now. But it is not happening the way we pictured it happening. See, for many people what "revival" means is that the church building will be loaded with hyped up excited Christians. With the current decline in church attendance and the recent studies that have shown that "church" makes little to no impact on our society and that it carries little relevance to Americans, "revival" is viewed as the great hope to preserve the churches in America. So, we have prayed for revival, but as we have prayed those prayers we have had our own picture of what this revival will look like. Well, God has been answering those prayers, but the problem is that He has been doing it in such a way that we haven't recognized it for what it is. In fact, for many Christians, it is out right offensive.

What is revival? Is it not simply to revive something? To bring something back that was in decline? Well, what exactly are we praying will come back from decline or be revived? Organized religion or the life Christ in His people? See, revival is happening, but not the way we had pictured it. The revival that is happening is that people are discovering the simplicity of the life of Christ and intimacy with Him and they are leaving organized religion in droves in order to return to Him. So strangely what has been viewed as "the great falling away" often is actually God's people shedding religious trappings and returning to Him. He is being revived in their daily lives beyond the four walls of the church out in the "real world" where the people are. People are stopping playing church and are discovering what it means to "be the church."

But this revival has come without bells and whistles, noise and emotion. Rather it came silently, and often painfully, to the hearts of many who have come to realize that Jesus and religion are not the same thing. But this revival makes no noise because it is happening in the personal lives of individual followers of Christ all over the world who are rediscovering what it means to walk in daily intimacy with Him. Believers are finding such an intimacy with Christ that they are discovering they no longer need the trappings of religion to "re-charge their batteries" or to perform religious duties to be loved and accepted. They are leaving religion because they are discovering that the work Jesus did on the cross was more than enough. The saints are growing up and discovering how God meets them in the real world. Christ has been tearing down the walls in their hearts between "secular" and "Christian" and causing it all to be "Christ."

This revival is not popular because it comes with a hammer and nails, a torch and a wrecking ball. It comes crucifying our flesh and causing us to die to our agenda and it comes tearing down all of our man-made religious ideals and institutions. So of course, this revival is going unnoticed, but if you talk to those who have been broken by it, you will see that there is certainly a revival happening. You canít help but see that Jesus has been revived in their lives.

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