Preparing for Revival
1 Mar 2012
If you were to attend a “Church Service” in Jerusalem one week after the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost what would you imagine it might look like? It seems most of those who were believers on that day were born again as result of the obedience of the disciples and the work of the Holy Spirit. Though the work of the Holy Spirit was far and away the more powerful element of the two, it seems God nearly always in some way uses those who are called and willing in His work to reach the unconvinced.
For our background, Jesus gave these instructions to His disciples: “And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Mefor John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." - Acts 1:4-5
Luke reports of these few ordinary people: “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer.” [Acts 1:14 ] Is it really possible that the main activity of the disciple’s preparation for Pentecost’s revival was to obediently wait and pray?
Looking back to that Jerusalem church service, what do you think their worship might incorporate?
“So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” -Acts 2:41-42
It appears the three essential elements that were involved their worship were: devoting themselves to apply the teaching of the apostles, devoting themselves to each other in fellowship and devoting themselves to God and others in prayer.
How do our churches measure up when measured against these vital priorities? Perhaps in our day the main missing component is continuous devotion. From all we can discern, these early believers were, in the words of Chip Ingram, “ALL IN”. Today the no holds barred, sold out, desperately devoted Christians seem to be a species that is approaching extinction. The most often expressed reason why Christians fail to participate in spiritual activities or disciplines is articulated in the statement: I’m too busy.
If we are to seriously prepare for revival, we must begin with the remodeling of our own house. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” - Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
REMODELING:Are you willing to take a few minutes and examine the use of your time? Could it be a worthwhile endeavor to compare our priorities to those of these early believers? Would you be willing to authentically ask God if you are continually devoted to the things that bring Him glory? Perhaps if we each execute these exercises with authenticity we might discover we have more time for the things of God? Revival starts with you and with me. Are you ALL IN?