What is God after in Revival? What is His goal? Of course, we know that the Father delights in glorifying His Son, and we understand that the great harvest of souls is always near His heart. But there is something else He is after -- me! He is jealous for my total loyalty, my unreserved dedication, unblemished love, my unswerving commitment. Almighty God wants all of you and all of me! That is the root of revival. The Lord lays absolute claim on His own.
Unfortunately, as intense as revival can be, it is possible to get caught up in the externals, in things "outside" of us. We can witness God touch people dramatically; watching them weep and seeing them swoon, marveling at the manifestations. And all the while, we can be little more than spectators. We can talk about the sin of our nation, grieving over moral decline and racial division, agonizing over the endless abortions and unspeakable immorality, sickened by the pervasive drug abuse and ghastly murders. And still, the focus is outside of us. "America -- not me -- is in a mess." We can even lament over the backslidden state of the Church, over our powerless words and feeble deeds. And yet the emphasis is more on "them" than on "us." The problem lies with this abstract "Body" of which we are merely a part. But that is not the heart of revival. No. God is probing deeper! He is putting His finger on me.
We need revival because I have sinned, because my heart has grown cold, because my life has become compromised. God wants to light the fire again in me. He wants to rekindle the passion in me. That is the root of revival. The Lord is purifying His bride. The Lord is reclaiming His Church -- one member at a time. It is awesome to be dealt with by God! His very nature is jealous, as He said to Moses, "Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God" (Exod 34:14). Putting anything or anyone before Him is idolatry.
Idolatry? Yes. It means allegiance to other gods, and if such a thought is repulsive to us, remember: It is much more repulsive to our Lord, who spilled His blood that we might be His. It's time to smash the idols! It's time to live for God and God alone. It's time to be consumed in our commitment and radical in our relationship. Does He deserve anything less?
In the world some of us partied with abandon, not even thinking about the consequences. We gave our bodies and minds to sin, embracing lust and license with delight. But now things have changed -- for the worse. Some of us lost our health for the devil. Now we won't lose our reputation to the Lord! Some of us went to jail for the enemy. Now we won't even go to prayer meetings for our Friend. Some of us were brash for Satan. Now we're bashful for Jesus! Some of us were on fire on hell. Now we're lukewarm for heaven. We once gave ourselves freely for that which cost us everything and profited us nothing. Now we hold ourselves back from that which cost us nothing and profits us everything. How can this be? It just doesn't make sense.
Revival makes things right. God desires nothing less than all of us, and when we are revived, desire nothing less than all of Him. It is a marriage made in heaven. Revival articulates the cry of Song of Songs 8:6-7:
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns ike blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivvers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
Revival is all about the claims of love. Husbands, how strong is your love for your wives? Wives, how deep is your love for your husbands? Parents, how intense is your love for your children? God's love for your is infinitely stronger, deeper, and more intense. He aches for you! He longs for you! How do you feel towards Him? Is the cry of your heart the same as David's?
O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
It is that earnest seeking of God, that desperate thirst driving Hunger that is so characteristic of revival. It leads to an encounter that is so dramatic that we can only say, "Your love is better than life!" What more can we want than Him? And what more does He want than you and me?
A Time for Holy Fire- by Michael L. Brown pgs. 97-99