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Posts Tagged ‘breakthrough’

In Charismatic circles, the idea of “revival” figures prominently. Think about the whole Lakeland situation recently. What exactly are people expecting when they anticipate revival? It seems to me that just about every year since I was born again, (1995) there have been various streams of Christianity proclaiming the “year of revival” or something similar.
I love words, so I had to look up the definition and origin of the word “revival”. At first glance, it seems to me to mean “to be born again” or “reborn” (why does that sound familiar?) I think Christians often mean something more than the initial conversion experience when they talk about revival, though. They mean, somehow, a re-rebirth. Or a rebirth and a re-rebirth. We all want “revival”, right? We want an instant transformation above and beyond where we presently are. We want a shortcut to glory, to “victory”.

Personally, I don’t want that sort of “revival”, because I know I’m already alive. I want sanctification – or at least I know I need it! That’s the painful aspect of Christianity. Yeah, I want to die, not to be re-born again. I was reborn in 1995. I’m grateful beyond words for the fact that Jesus intercepted me and put me on the narrow path. But since then, whether I’ve realized/embraced it or not, what I need and want is sanctification. I need to be conformed to the image of Christ. This is discipleship. Being born-again, or revived, is the first step in a lifetime journey. The rest of the voyage is difficult. Jesus did not promise us a life of ease. Being His disciple is hard.

The concept of “revival” is popular in our day and age, because people don’t want the hard work of discipleship. They (we) want the instant-miracle-deliverance-altar-call, the “drive-thru breakthrough”. Who in their right mind wants to struggle through problems? Who in their right mind would willingly be crucified, knowing that He was innocent, knowing the agony He’d endure?

So, it’s easy to understand why Christians want to flock to “revival” meetings. But I wonder about the wisdom of doing so. Jesus calls us to the “road less travelled”, so to speak. He promises us hardship and difficulty, but He has ultimately overcome the world. Can He heal and deliver in an instant? Yes! Is this His habitual mode of operation?

What do you think?

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