Coming Back to Life
America needs an awakening, but the church needs a revival. We often use the words revival and awakening interchangeably, but there is a distinction. An awakening is when a nation comes alive spiritually, sees its need for God, and turns to Him. A revival is when God’s people come back to life again.
Revival simply means to bring back to life, to restore. To be revived is to wake up from a state of sleep. As C. S. Lewis pointed out, "A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. . . . You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping." In other words, if you think you are a great person with no problems, then you are really more asleep than you realize.
Revival is coming back. It is waking up. Revival is getting back to the Christian life as it was meant to be lived. Revival is being in the bloom of first love for a lifetime, walking closely with the Lord. You can’t always have those initial emotions you had as a new believer any more than you can have the same butterflies in your stomach you had when you first met your husband or wife to be. That is unrealistic. But your love can grow deeper. Your love can grow stronger.
That is how we ought to be as followers of Jesus. We need the faith of the Christians of the first century, the faith that turned the world upside down. Revival is nothing more or less than a new obedience to God. Then it is, to quote Nietzsche, a "long obedience in the same direction."
Only God can send an awakening to America. But revival can happen right here, right now.
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