In Me First

The absolutely chaotic conditions of our day are prompting an increasing cry across the nation for revival. There is an encouraging explosion of prayer initiatives across the country calling for God to send revival.

It wasn’t too long ago that the word was largely absent in any public discourse on the condition and future of the Church in North America. It had been dismissed as too old fashioned, a futile harking back to the “good old days” by people dismissed as “restorationists.”

But hard times have a way of bringing the subject of revival full circle.

But there is an alarm to be sounded.

Much of what I have seen on social media in recent months has been a call for God to revive the Church in America.

That’s good, because revival is God’s people being shocked back to their first love for God.

But, A.W. Tozer brings a sobering challenge to the cry for revival. In his book, The Size of the Soul, Tozer says that we are wasting our time praying for God to revive “them” unless we are first deadly earnest about God reviving “me.”

Then, like Charles Finney, Tozer offers some powerful suggestions for the “means” to personal revival. He sets the bar pretty high. But just allowing them to sink into our hearts is an excellent measure of how serious we are about revival. Let me summarize them for you below:

  1. Become dissatisfied with your current spiritual state. Complacency is the deadly enemy of spiritual progress.
  2. Determine in your heart that you will experience a sweeping transformation of your life. Timid experimenters are marked for failure before they start.
  3. Put yourself in the way of blessing. Grace is unlikely to visit us as a kind of benign magic, or to expect God’s help to come as a windfall apart from conditions known and met.
  4. Do a thorough job of repenting. Do not hurry to “get it over with” but allow the Lord to work deeply in your heart.
  5. Make restitution whenever possible.
  6. Bring your life into alignment with the Sermon on the Mount and other New Testament scriptures that instruct in the way of righteousness.
  7. Be serious-minded. Life moves fast. Media images and society’s messages are in front of us non-stop. If you’re not careful, the important matters of your heart are lost to frivolity and distraction.
  8. Deliberately narrow your interests. Focus on the Kingdom of God and those things that will bring you closer to Jesus and bear spiritual fruit in your life.
  9. Share with others about what Jesus is doing in your life. Be a witness.
  10. Have faith in God.

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