Are You Ready For Revival?

As a child growing up I would be involved in revival meetings once a year. Every Spring our church would have a week-long revival. An evangelist would come from out-of-town to preach at the revival. It would begin on Sunday night and last through Friday night. There would be 7 am services on the weekdays. And the part my brother and I loved the most about the whole ordeal was the free coffee and donuts served every morning just before the meeting began. We would arrive at school each morning....full on coffee and great donuts. Looking back I am sorry to say that was my best memory of those Spring revivals!

In all fairness there were those who were serious about drawing closer to God after the fiery sermons were preached. And they would...for a few days or so. After things returned to normal the following Sunday it seems that everyone else returned to normal also.

So what is true revival for a believer? I'll tell you that it is not a succession of meetings. Yes, revival meetings can get one stirred up (as youth camps often do), but is this really revival? I don't think so. True revival is about a saved human spirit that was practically dead (or acting as such), and is brought back to fervent life by God's supernatural Holy Spirit. True revival is born out of hunger and thirst for God. And...the only way for one to hunger and thirst for more of God is to pursue Him!

It seems many people wait around for God to stir them to prayer; or stir them up to live holy lives for Him. It seems many believe one day God, out of His sovereignty, will reach down and fire us up. Truth is, it doesn't work like that. Instead, hunger for God is produced by pursuing God. Those who pursue God hunger and thirst for more of God. And those who hunger and thirst for God are prime candidates for revival of their spirit. God will not ignore the fervent cry of one who hungers and thirsts for Him!

Many in America see the need for revival in the church. Who can't? But many are not willing to pursue Him. Without pursuit there will be no hunger. Without hunger there will be no revival.

If you stop long enough to think about it, you will see the key clearly. You will also see it is not complicated. Pursue God...Hunger for God. Hunger for God...Revival in our hearts. And please understand, true revival in the heart takes us to the next level with our God. And when we go to the next level with God, it's that much harder to sink back to a previous level with Him!

Try it! You'll like it. Are you dry and brittle on the inside? Could you care less? I think you do care...very, very much. So pursue Him daily....until you find Him. Make the commitment to go deeper with Him right now. But you must do it consistently. Listen to these verses:

  • "Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you." (James 4:10)
  • "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matt. 6:33)
  • "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29: 12-13)
Seek for Him with all your heart until you find Him. He loves it and so will you. So...are you ready for revival?

30 Seconds or Eternity

I heard just yesterday that a 30 second ad in this year's Super Bowl will cost 4 million dollars! That is $4,000,000. Wow! The money advertisers will pay, and the things they will do on those ads, to get at least a :30 slice of probably the year's most watched TV event. Amazing.

It saddens me though to know for a fact people are dying of hunger in many places in the world. My...what I could do for in serving God with $4,000,000! Think of the people who could simply eat normal meals (like we do) every day.

Add to that, the fact that many folks in our country will gather around their big screens this year to not only watch the Super Bowl, but to celebrate the Super Bowl. Much money will be spent on beer, soda, pizza, hot wings, nacho chips and salsa, and all sorts of edible Super Bowl celebration creations. Churches even have special Super Bowl gatherings.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the American way of celebrating the Super Bowl. But do something for me (if you will). Consider making a donation to our ministry that will go directly to improving the quality of life just a bit for some precious folks in Honduras. I will be personally in contact with some awesome people next month as I travel to Honduras in an effort to spread the love of Jesus. $5 or $10 or even $15 would be greatly appreciated. The cost is nothing compared to what some folks will spend for a Super Bowl party. Do you realize that 5 months down the road, you will struggle to remember who even won the game! But a donation to improve the quality of life for a child in Honduras will be remember for life!

You can click the banner to the right to donate. And thanks for your consideration!

Analogies Never Lie!

(Re-posted from March 19, 2010)

Being a blogger, preacher and a teacher I love the use of analogies.  The dictionary says an analogy is a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based.  For example, the analogy between the heart and a pump.  Analogies speak very clearly to me.  Perhaps that's why I like to use them.  Analogies don't lie!  When it becomes difficult to make a point, using analogies clearly establish the point.  We all use analogies, even when we don't know it.  Analogies never lie.

God has an uncanny way of getting through to me with analogies.  Maybe that's why I like to use them.  I can relate to them.  One set of analogies (God used on me) drastically changed my life.  He was lovingly dealing with me about consecrating my family and home to Him years ago.  Even years before that Connie and I committed our family and home to Him.  We had one of those "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" plaques above the main entrance to our home.  And we really meant it.  But we were also learning.  One day God clearly spoke to my heart and said, "You need to clean up your home if you're living for Me."  That really shocked me!  I really didn't understand.  I mean we had the plaque above our door and we were serious about it.  What could God mean?  Then He started giving me some analogies that changed my family's lives.  He said, "Stop using profanity in your home!"  I was dumbfounded because we had committed to no foul or profane language from our mouths.  Then He said, "Every time profanity comes through the TV you have allowed it into your home and it is the same as if you spoke it yourself!"  He didn't stop there.  He said, "Every time elicit sex is shown on your TV it is the same as if you've allowed adultery, fornication, and sexual immorality in your home, and done it yourself."  There was more.  He said, "If someone shows up at your door with a bottle of boose looking for a place to get smashed would you allow them in?"  I said "Absolutely not!"  He said, "But you do, every time it is shown on your TV."  There was even more...but I'll stop because if you're like me you quickly get the picture!  Connie and I quickly saw that the TV was a great source of contaminating our family's commitment to have a pure home.  Our loving God made a point, through analogies, we otherwise might have missed.

God used these analogies to speak the truth to me.  And let me tell you...I understood the truth very quickly and clearly!  Jesus used analogies quite often in His teachings.  He said "The Kingdom of God is like...".  Or "It is like..."  So many times He uses analogies to clearly establish His truth.  Analogies never lie! 

Perhaps you can think of some analogies God has used to get the message across to you.  I know He can speak to us in very creative and relative ways.  His point is definitely to change our lives.  He does it with the truth.  Analogies never lie!

Return To Your Call!

I would venture to say that a very high percentage of folks who follow Christ are not walking in their calling. You may be one of them. I have certainly been there. But I must say it makes me so uncomfortable that I can't stay there!

Perhaps at some point and at some time in your walk with Jesus you felt He was calling you to do something specific. Something like preaching, teaching, writing, encouraging, giving, singing, playing, serving a particular age group, proclaiming the Gospel, missions, etc. 

Perhaps when you started this walk you were an avid student of God's Word, but drifted away from it. Perhaps you were totally committed to fervent prayer in your daily life, and life's routine swayed you away. For whatever reason (some I will touch on in this post) you drifted away from the specific calling or callings that God placed upon your life.

The truth is (and not to be negative, but truthful), the vast majority of we Christians just sort of acquiesce in walking with Jesus. We just sort of exist, and remember how it used to be more than we celebrate the wonder of the present. I know. I've been there too.

How does this happen? In my humble opinion it is a simple lack of faith. Our lives are so routine there is no room for the faith to believe God for the supernatural, or the impossible, or the extraordinary. The God we serve lives in a box and is unable to do great exploits through us. Why? Because of a "status quo", routine-dominated mentality which limits God to do only what we can believe Him for. (And that's not much compared to what He has called you to believe Him for.) We are so ingrained in our daily living routines God will have to move on our terms. The problem with that is...God doesn't move on our terms! So we continue to acquiesce, or...we change!

I can confidently say God has a call on your life. You probably know that. Our extraordinary, out of the box God calls His people to do extraordinary, out of the box things! I can also confidently say He is calling you right now to return to your call. What better time than right now! It's the beginning of a new year, things are fresh, and God is speaking.

Romans 11:29 says, "The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable." Yes, Paul was speaking about Israel, and God's plan for them. But this is an eternal principle of the Kingdom of God. The Bible says God does not issue a call and then change His mind. The call is permanent. His calling on your life is irrevocable.

So what will it take to return to your call? A change of routine and a change of priorities. You must rearrange your entire life so that it promotes pursuing Jesus in everything! Jesus Himself says, "But seek first His (God's) kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matt. 6:33) The things "added to you" will be more than enough to fulfill His call on your life...whatever it is!

Return to your first love. Ask Him to obliterate the "status quo" and the "routine" your walk has become. Return to the walk He called you to. Return to the Extraordinary One and expect the extraordinary! Return to your call!

Are You A Participator Or A Spectator?

There has been a lot of football on the TV lately. Of course it has. It's that time of year. Bowl games and playoff games filling the airwaves in great number! Stadiums filled with ravenous fans rooting on their favorite team. Add to that the millions of fans watching by national television. It's all because 22 men on a field - battle it out for a trophy, an egg, a championship, a title, and bragging rights for the next year. Yes, it's that time of year again.

You see the strangest things during these contests. You see guys wearing absolutely no shirts during games where the temperature is below freezing. Do they care? No. You see faces painted with team colors. Do they care what you think? No. You see folks with wigs on their heads (weird wigs). Do they care? No. You see people dressed in costumes (weird costumes). They don't care either. You see folks with horns on their heads or big letters painted on their bare chests (guys of course). But they don't care. Know why? They are participators. These avid fans are more than spectators, they are participators. While they may look foolish to you, the truth is they don't care. They are committed to exalting their favorite team.

Participation is even more essential and eternally significant when worshiping our God. I mean after all, He is the Most High, Eternally Supreme, Creator God. Did you know that it is very easy to be present during corporate worship and not participate? Many assume that being in the room where worship is taking place is participating. That is not participating, that is spectating. You can stand inside a restaurant, but that doesn't mean you're eating a meal. You must participate. You must get involved. That is your part in eating in a restaurant. The same is true during corporate worship. Your part is to participate. God designed His worshipers to be participators, not spectators.

To participate in corporate worship requires more effort than to spectate. But the returns are far greater. A participator focuses on Jesus. A spectator focuses on everyone else (including self). A participator is less aware of his/her surroundings. A spectator is aware of everything and everyone in the room, including those on the platform. A participator is touched and filled by the manifested presence of the God worshiped. A spectator watches those who are touched and filled by the manifested presence of the God worshiped.

Participator or spectator. The good news is that you can be a participator. Just make the commitment. Simply make the choice and then do it. You won't regret it. God will be pleased and you definitely will be pleased. Add to that the life-changing presence you will experience, dissolving all the apprehensions and inhibitions that hindered you before. God is patiently waiting to meet you as a participator in corporate worship of Him at the very next gathering!

The Gift of 2013

I get so excited around the first of each new year. This year is no exception. There is a freshness at the beginning of the new year, just as there is a freshness to each new day God gives us. God has given you the gift of 2013. It is fresh, new, and filled with possibilities and opportunities to be used by God Almighty!

If you haven't already, make the commitment right now to live wholly for Jesus, from the very beginning of 2013. Commit to a deeper walk with Him. Commit to make yourself more available to the Holy Spirit - to be an instrument of God...more effective in serving Him than ever! Make a commitment to seek Him more, to hunger for Him more in 2013. He stands ready to do great and mighty exploits THROUGH YOU in the year ahead.

Happy New Year everyone! May your 2013 be blessed with God's love...more than ever! May what He began in 2012 continue in greater measure in this new year. May you intimately experience His presence in greater measure in the coming year. May your God-given dreams be realized in 2013 more than in the previous year.

By the Spirit of God, may you know Him and His destiny for your life in deeper and greater measure. May He take you to deeper depths and higher heights in the year 2013!! May the God of all creation use you as His distinct instrument of righteousness in this new year!

May the year 2013 be an indescribable adventure for you and your family as you serve Him!