“Do We Really Want Revival?” 4/12/2015 by Matthew Fretwell

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Written by Matthew Fretwell of Job 31 Ministries @ http://www.j31.org

Original post @ http://mensdailylife.me/2015/04/09/do-we-really-want-revival/

Do We Really Want Revival?

April 9, 2015 / mattj31

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By Matthew Fretwell

The statistics usually don’t lie. The majority of evangelical Americans desire a call back to God for the nation. However, what is the motivation—is it for spirituality, is it for political change; or better yet, is it for church growth, or is it to see people come to Christ? I hear a lot of talk; to pray for it, teach it, and preach it. Whatever the motivation—while all of these can be edifying and still Kingdom building, are they the reality behind what revival has become to us?

When we look at the major reforms and revivals in history, the one common theme is death to self (i.e. a broken people). Here’s our American dilemma—we have a pandemic of worshipping things, places, and statuses. True revival comes from the Spirit of God breaking and molding the heart of humanity to be transformed into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ—with humility. While almost all evangelicals would agree that this is the goal of revival, it would be interesting to see the amount of people, who would give up their current occupation, home, vehicle, or way of life, for revival.

Clarity

Let’s make one thing clear; revival is not about asceticism or selling everything that you have. Quite honestly, that is a foreign concept to God, for if we think about it, we truly do not own anything—God owns everything, we are mere stewards of the things in our care. When we pass on, someone else will have everything that we think we own. So, giving away goods is not about revival. The point being made regarding giving up your current profession rests in the words of Christ: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). True revival means that souls are no longer yearning for earthly desires, but yielding to the Spirit of God—full control—and that is utterly scary to some people.

Grieving

“But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property” (Matt 19:22, NASB). Went out grieving. The man was distraught because he had to give away a lifestyle that became so enmeshed in who he was, even though (so he states) he kept the commandments and followed the Law, he was grieved to alter his life in such a way that God was truly in control.

Revival grieves—it grieves the heart because there must be repentance and brokenness at the cross. To have an outbreak of revival in this land, or any, it’s going to take more than a recital of 2 Chronicles 7:14 two times a day, or even soaking in contemplative prayer. When Americans think about “if my people humble themselves,” they generally think about someone else; it’s the guy down the street, the woman at work, the dirty politician, or the corrupt judge. But while that may be true, that’s a “plank-eyed” approach to revival.

Begins With Me

In one of seminary, a professor shared a story about a young man in his evangelism class who jumped up, surely on fire for the gospel, and exclaimed, “Professor, I’m going to change the world for Christ!” The professor calmly walked over, and with a piece of white chalk, began to draw a circle around the enthusiastic man—“Change everything inside the circle—then go and change the world.” If revival is to come—anywhere, it must begin with me. That needs to be, not just a catch phrase, but the reality. All of us need change, real, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-illuminated, gospel transformation. The word revival is thrown around so much it has lost its weight. We’re asking God to restore, renew, rebirth our souls.

If we are to seek revival, then it must begin with me, and I choose to follow Christ: as a slave, a servant, a person who is fallible, a sinner saved only by grace, redeemed by the blood of Christ, and separated by the power of the Holy Spirit.

What about you—do you truly want revival?

Matthew Fretwell is married, has three daughters, loves Jesus, being a dad, people, and coffee. Besides being an author (Denied Desires; Identity Theft, Sanctificagious, 30:1 Manhood), he’s pastor of a 112 year old revitalized church planting church (Oak Hall Baptist) in Sandston, Virginia, and is the founder of Job 31 Ministries. Matt’s an advocate board member of Living Bread Ministries, a global comprehensive Church Planting organization. He also writes for Church Planter Magazine.

Twitter: @w84harpazo or Facebook

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About Godsmanforever

I present posts about God's Word, with a personal focus on how God's grace is received through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ... Sinners must understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ... See this link for more... https://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/
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