The Means God Uses for an Awakening. Part 2.

A biblical awakening means a stirring, a recognition, realization and a revival in desiring for, and following the truth of, God. The true of God is found in the Scriptures. An awakening is the believer’s initial, or renewed, passion for God: intellectually, emotionally and volitionally.

The individual’s initial awakening the Bible refers to as justification or conversion. Subsequent awakenings that follow conversion the Bible calls sanctification or consecration. All true revivals are a work solely of the Spirit of God.

What means does God use to bring about a spiritual awakening in an individual, a church, a community, or even a nation? Does the end or goal, in this case a revival, justify the use of any or all means and methods? I echo the words of the Apostle Paul, and ultimately the Holy Spirit, by responding, “By no means!” (Romans 3:6; 6:1, 15; 7:7, 13).

Back to our original question. What biblical means does God use to bring about awakening and revival? Acts 2:42-47 provides the answer.

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42–47 (ESV)

The biblical means God uses to bring awakening and revival begins with God’s Word, the Bible. The church devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching. This is another way of saying biblical truth. A true spiritual awakening and revival must be centered in the Scriptures; the Old and New Testament.

Second, awkening and revival is sourced in godly fellowship with believers in Christ. Christianity is not a “solo” religion or faith. Christians needs one another (I Cor. 12-14; Hebrews 10:24-25). While many churches continue to livestream their services, originally because of the Covid-19 shutdown in 2020, passively watching a worship service from home is not the ideal. If able, we are to make every effort to participate with one another in biblical fellowship.

Thirdly, awakening and revival occurs by regularly observing and participating in the Lord’s Supper, or Communion. Remembering what the Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross in providing a substitutionary atonement on behalf of sinners should spark a renewed sense of commitment and consecration.

Fourthly, ministering to fellow believers. A sure way of reviving one’s desire to live for Christ is serving one another. The blessing we give to others often pales in comparison to the blessing we receive.

Fifthly, God centered worship and praise. This singular focus is not only for the parishioner but also for the pastor. The attention should never be on anyone other than the Lord when we gather to worship and praise Him for He is and what He has done.

“How awakening it is when we come before the Lord through His means with the humble faith and sincere repentance that the gospel calls for. The early church was living proof of the power of the ways of God,” explains Pastor Ray Ortlund.

“The striking thing about the early church here is how simple their pattern of life was, and yet how compelling it was. How do we account for that? To use the language of Jonathan Edwards, these early Christians were laying themselves “in the way of allurement,” that is, they were joyfully placing themselves in the path of Christ’s promised power. No wonder the early church flourished.”

Charles J. Brown (1806-1884), a minister in the Church of Scotland during a season of revival, quoted an eyewitness account of the power of God’s grace in the churches at that time:

“It was a common thing, as soon as the Bible was opened, after the preliminary services, and just as the reader began”—here, you will observe, it was the simple reading of the Word without preaching. Yet such was the power upon the minds of the people that “it was a common thing, as soon as the Bible was opened, after the preliminary services, and just as the reader began, for great melting to come upon the hearers. The deepest attention was paid to every word as the sacred verses were slowly and solemnly enunciated. Then the silent tear might be seen stealing down the rugged but expressive countenances turned upon the reader. The Word of the Lord was precious in those days.”

What more do we need for awakening and revival. May God awaken and revive your soul today.

Soli deo Gloria!

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