It really bothers me when a perfectly wonderful word becomes off-limits within the church. Words like anointing, power, and Holy Spirit, are all strangely being held hostage by some rather dubious characters these days. But these words, outside of their strange association as of late, are just good old fashioned Biblical words, without which it becomes rather difficult to articulate the grand schematic of the Christian life. The word revival is another victim to this devilish thievery being perpetrated in our modern day. When I hear the word, revival, I think pure and noble thoughts of men and women pursuing Jesus Christ with all they are and all they have. But not everyone these days has such pure and noble thoughts flit through their minds when they hear the word revival. Even among some in my own church the word revival elicits thoughts of wild-eyed emotionalism, demonstrative showmen, and false signs and wonders. The Laughing Revival of the 1990s, Todd Bentley’s antics a decade or so ago, and the recent explosion of the N.A.R. movement has left the word “revival” undesirable to many, especially to those on the conservative front.
Since mid-October of this past year, I have been deeply burdened to see a recalibration and a renewal of focus and intensity in consecrated devotion come back to the Church of Jesus Christ. Back in October, I referred to this simply as a “desire for a revival.” However, that didn’t translate the way I intended it. To some they heard, “Eric wants us to give way to wild-eyed emotionalism.” Which couldn’t have been further from the truth. I want us to give way to the Person of Jesus Christ. I want Him to have us, to lead us, and to get all the glory He deserves out of us.
Technically, this longing for the return of strength to the Church has always been my great driving burden. But, as of late, this desire for revival has become an acute longing. And for the last six months or so, that’s about all I’ve been able to preach about.
I’m okay with giving up the word revival if it helps my audience hear me better. It’s not the word revival I’m committed to, it’s what the word revival is all about. It’s about Jesus being high and lifted up and His train filling the entirety of His temple (a.k.a. the Church). That’s what I’m after. I want the Church to be functioning as the Church is supposed to be functioning.
For the Kingdom and the King’s Glory,