Revival is as much about doing as it is about praying. And revival is as much about knowing Jesus better as it is about telling other people about Him. To revive something is to give new life to something that is nearing expiration. The Western Church is in many ways headed toward expiration and in need of revival. We should pray for it. We should also work for it. Genuine prayer will almost always lead us to do something and doing something will usually lead us to more prayer. But what we do and how we do it will depend upon our vision of Jesus and God the Father. It should come as no surprise then to say that being revived is what naturally happens when we get a clearer glimpse of who Jesus is. In fact, this could be the simplest definition of Christian revival. That is one reason why the sharing of The Word of God is always the precedent of revival. "The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword" writes the author of Hebrews. But many of us have muffled and dulled the Word of God by our assumption of the knowledge of it. Many of us have closed our ears to what the scripture actually says in favor of what we have always believed the scripture says. We have closed our ears to critique and now we can't hear the Word that would revive us. What is the solution? Read the Word of God afresh and read it in large sections at a time, allowing the text itself to set the agenda. Allow the author to have the loudest voice and allow the passages that have disturbed you and/or perplexed you to have their full effect. In other words, we must let the Word of God critique our perceived understanding of the word of God. Someone once said that "heresy is the unpaid debts of the church."In other words, heresy comes from those areas of theology and exegesis that we have not allowed to be critiqued and the short-comings that we have never acknowledged. Like those evangelicals that I have met who became Mormons because they thought Mormons had better answers regarding the Trinity! In the same way, I would argue that rebellion is a result of the unpaid debts of parents. Children who are owed explanations and apologies will rebel. And the only solutions to these problems is a revival. And a revival is a return to the knowledge of who God really is, not who we have made Him to be in our own minds.
This is one important reason why I am hosting Meeting Jesus Conferences, where one of the four Gospels are read aloud in their entirety during each conference. Our next conference is THIS SATURDAY, August 5th at Hendersonville Presbyterian Church 699 North Grove St. Hendersonville NC 28792 from 9am-3pm. Registration is free. Just call 828-553-2020 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Registration". This year's conference is on the Gospel of Luke.