I begin writing this Journal in an airport awaiting my return home after a weekend missions convention. My body is tired! No matter how comfortable the accommodations, there is “no place like home.” However, my very minor discomfort embarrasses my spiritual sensibilities when I know the many heroic saints of the Lord’s Army both here and abroad who live with daily challenges far exceeding mine. Comparatively, they make my “discomforts” a judgment to my pampered flesh and paupered spirit! I have spoken to several who have suffered, some for many years, in prisons … who can complain?
I have Revival on my mind during this Easter season—the resurrected Life of Christ manifested in our lives, in the Church, and resulting in worldwide missions! With all the church growth books and emphases, user friendly or visitor friendly churches, demographic studies, etc., my spirit yearns for a heaven-sent, Cross-centered, God-honoring, Spirit inspired, and Word based revival—dead or lukewarm bones raised to become the living and dangerous Army of God!! I suppose in the 20th century we must (and should) make adjustments to the new mentality of today’s generation with innovative means to reach, win, train, and send. My spirit, however, is stirred that we are sometimes too dependent upon technology, novel methods, new age mentality, and man-centered approaches to our discipleship mandate of evangelism and training. There is no substitute for a man or woman whose heart is on fire with a passion for God, full of the love of Christ and His Spirit, and overflowing with the love of the Lord to this lost and dying world! This is my biggest challenge. Lord, help us all!!
The question is when is revival needed, and if so, is it relegated to God’s sovereignty as to when it comes. The Scriptures give to us a clear mandate that wholehearted repentance of sin and obedience to the Lord will result in His divine action upon man with eternal results (Joel 2; Isaiah 32:15, 44:3; II Kings 22, 23; II Chron. 34, 35, 14:2-5, 15:1-14). When the conditions for revival are met, then God chooses to move (II Chron. 7:13,14).
During the recent call for a national “Solemn Assembly” by our Movement, some of us in the missionary community in Brussels responded with our own call to repentance and holiness. I was asked to speak at the opening 3 day meeting and wrote an article to express my feelings about the need for Revival. It follows:
The “When” of Revival
When we cover up our own spiritual coldness with religious activities and excuses, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we forsake the assembling of ourselves together, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When our prayer life is used mainly for emergencies and not for intimacy with God, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we seek the provision of God and not the face of God, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we ignore the clear teachings of Scriptures and substitute them with rationalizations for disobedience, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When our spiritual joy is gone and we substitute its lack with worldly pleasures and even religious activities, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When worldly amusements have more place and time in our hearts and lives than the spiritual realities of Christ and His Kingdom, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we replace obedience to Christ and the Word of God with worship, religious activities, or majority opinions, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we are lukewarm in our spirits and loveless in our relationships, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we seek the praise and approval of men rather than from the Lord, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we remove the old landmarks of faith and practice to accommodate our lifestyle to that of this generation, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we cease to be moved by the message of the Cross and refuse to die on it, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When the “lost” are used as a means to benefit ourselves, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When technology replaces the burning and passionate hearts of men and women, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we cannot hear the tender voice of the Shepherd, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we are filled with our own ways and our words reveal the emptiness of our hearts, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When missions becomes a program rather than a passionate overflow of our love to God and to this world, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we turn our hearts and ears from hearing the Word of God, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we encourage by promotion or neglect a party spirit and disunity through selective fellowship with Christ’s Church, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we try to accomplish spiritual results through carnal means, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we judge our brother for his/her splinter while we carry a beam in our own eye, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we pride ourselves in material gain, position, accomplishments, or the plaudits of men, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When the salt of our lives has lost its saltiness, so that no difference is made in our relationships in the world, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When our conscience of sin has been dulled by misuse or non-use, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we live with a root of bitterness and unforgiveness with our brethren, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we lose respect for the sacred things and treat them as common, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When our heart is filled with unbelief in the Lord and the promises of God, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When our complacency and loss of discernment for the things of the Spirit are evident by our lifestyles, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When our checkbook reveals values that reflect self-centeredness and self-indulgence, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When our opinions and theological positions or denominations are more important than the clear teaching of the Scriptures, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When being Spirit-filled means that we speak in tongues only without the accompanying fruit and power of the Spirit, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When true worship is a rare jewel in our private lives, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we are sanctimonious but not sanctified, moral without being holy, and religious without being spiritual, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When the Bible remains unopened most of the week, except for Sundays, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When the Church is cluttered with program without the priority purpose of missions, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When the holy fear of God in the Church has been replaced by frivolity and feasting, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When the agony for souls and groanings cannot be heard in the Church, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When the prayer meeting is not central in the heart of the believer and the Church, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When the enemy has sowed tares while the Church sleeps, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When this our third generation has not yet experienced a heaven-sent sovereign outpouring of the Holy Spirit, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When the social fabric of our society is demoralized and demonized and we have no pain or grief, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When our tears cease to flow and our heart is hardened to spiritual realities, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we have forsaken the “Living Waters” for the stagnant and broken cisterns of the world, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we have lost the sense of urgency in Christ’s Return, WE NEED REVIVAL!
When we have rested in our past laurels and experiences, without having a present, passionate, priority, and preeminent love to God, WE NEED REVIVAL NOW!!
James Burns, writing in Revival: Their Laws and Leaders, said in 1909, in response to the question: “Do we want revival…really?”
“To the Church, a revival means humiliation, a bitter knowledge of unworthiness and an open humiliating confession of sin on the part of her ministers and people. It is not the easy and glorious thing many think it to be, who imagine it to fill the pews and reinstate the Church in power and authority. It comes to scorch before it heals; it comes to condemn ministers and people for their unfaithful witness, for their selfish living, for their neglect of the Cross, and to call them to full renunciation, to an evangelical poverty and to a deep and daily consecration. That is why a revival has ever been unpopular with large numbers within the Church. Because it says nothing to them of power such as they have learned to love, or of ease, or of success; it accuses them of sin; it tells them they are dead; it calls them to awake, to renounce the world and to follow Christ.”
Revival is wholehearted obedience to the Word and Spirit of God.
Your prayers for us and our family are deeply appreciated. We are anticipating the Lord’s clear and confirmed direction in the near future as to geography and form of ministry. He is so faithful. As the good, great, and chief Shepherd, He will speak and we, His sheep, are to know, hear, and to follow His Voice. We wait with excited expectation and a deep settled peace and patience that He knows and will reveal it to us in His time!
Blessings to you all … I wish we could sit and chat awhile. We join with you at the altar of prayer! May this Easter be not only a resurrection of Christ from the dead, but a resurrection in our lives with victorious living, a resurrection in our churches with the manifested resurrection Life of Christ to reveal, save, heal, deliver, and fill each believer, and a release of His Life and Ministry to this darkened and dormant world! Grant it, Lord!
“Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain, and the Lord will send lightnings and give them (those who ask, wait upon Him) showers of rain, and to every one green fields (fruitfulness).” Revive us again, oh, Lord, in the midst of the years …” (Zechariah 10:1; Psalm 85:6)
The Lord’s servants,
Reuben & Carmen Sequeira