2008-08-20 / Religion

"Revival Begins With Us"

by Rev. Benjamin Miller

"Revival Begins With Us"

For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:  I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:15)

The Miller County Ministerial Fellowship will be conducting a Community Revival beginning on September 7th (6:00 PM) at the Colquitt United Methodist Church.  This will be a time to hear some of the best preaching that Miller County has to offer, but we will not be there for the preaching.  Many churches will be presenting the best of their talents in song, but we will not be there for the singing.  There will be opportunities for service and stewardship, but we will likewise not be there for these things.  We, as a community of believers in Christ, will be there to be revived in our spiritual lives.  The wiles of the devil have long enough held sway in this community; the time has come to take the ultimate stand for the Lord.  I encourage each of you to attend and promote this activity.

There are many steps in planning this event, but the most important lies within your power.  Revival must begin with each of us.  Notice Isaiah’s words in the passage referenced above.  There seems to be an interesting interplay in the Scriptures between God’s sovereign activity and mankind’s free decisions.  This passage is no different.  We cannot hope to be revived without the help of the Lord.  Revival is the resurrection, the rebirth of the passion for the Almighty that we once had.  It is the opportunity for God to remind us of our first love and to fan the flames of our total obedience to the Christ who loves us.  That is an act that God alone can engage in.  Whatever reviving might take place at these services, rest assured it will not be by the power of those willing to expound upon God’s Word.  Instead it is the power of God found in His Word through His Spirit because of what His Son has done for us.  That is the source of our revival and the only hope of change that we have.

However, revival does not exist without a host for that revival.  I firmly believe that we alone possess the power to squelch God’s work in our personal lives.  An example is perhaps appropriate.  Suppose we have a field.  We scatter our seeds into the field and sit back waiting for the fruits of our labors.  We have not prepared the soil, watered the seeds, nor tended the rows for weeds.  Should we be surprised when our harvest is so small?  But, if we take the same field and prepare adequately for the reception of the seeds, trusting God for the ultimate increase, the likelihood that we should receive the harvest is much greater (I would even say guaranteed).  How does this relate to the passage above?  The prepared field is the humble and contrite spirit of one who is broken for the Lord.  And I, with the Lord’s help, am in control of that preparation.  If I allow myself to be humble and contrite, my heart is like the field where care has been taken to allow for God’s blessings.

So I encourage you to prepare yourselves for the coming revival.  Plan to attend the meetings with an attitude of humility and contrition.  God stands ready to meet with us, but we must prepare the fields in advance.  Please pray for us as we labor in this community.  And we genuinely hope to see all of you at our revival beginning September 7.  May the High and Lofty One be exalted even more in Miller County!

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