by Christopher Paré
I’m working on part two of my series on Colossians 3. It’s taking shape but I need a break, so here is another topic that’s been on my heart.
Revival. The word stirs up so much in many Christians today. It has carried through much of modern American Christianity, from the great awakenings, to the Azuza Street Revivals that birthed much of the American pentecostal movement. I’ve heard so many of my peers beg the Lord for it to come, and often hear young and old say that its on the horizon. While I love the desire burning in my brothers and sisters’ hearts, revival is not what I hope for, and here’s why.
The idea of revival stirs up thoughts of mass conversions, huge gatherings, and big, corporate moves of the Spirit. All of these are wonderful things, but they turn into a point in history that cannot be sustained. Pentecost was a single day, but the Church continued on to be so much more than that. The rest of the New Testament was written no more than forty years after the majestic work of God at pentecost, and so much of what is discussed in Acts and the Epistles refer to the faith as something that happens outside of the mass gatherings. Christianity is not brought to its fulness at big tent revivals and conferences. it is brought to its fulness as the Church moves deeper into repentance both corporately and individually in a very practical way. Revival and the events that come with it have a real place in the Kingdom because God would never bring them to pass if they didn’t. However, these events cannot support a continually maturing faith in Christ.
The more I read the scriptures, the more I realize that suffering is an essential part of the life of a disciple. It’s not all doom and gloom, but becoming more Christ like means walking the road of the cross (That simple truth is the reason for my Colossians 3 series). I believe that we can suffer for Christ in joy the same way that Christ suffered the cross because of the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). We also have a joy set before us. It is our inheritance in Christ that is worth more than any if us could ever imagine.
I don’t hope for revival, I hope for maturity. I hope for the submission of the Bride to Christ in the midst of hardship and in the face of persecution. I hope for days when we can stand firm on the truth of salvation and move into new depths of our understanding of God. I hope for days when we understand not only our responsibility to evangelize the lost, but disciple the found with the same fervency.
I’m not trying to degrade or dismiss the work that is already being done, but I know that there is so much more of God that He desires to reveal to us here on Earth. I read the scriptures and yearn for the unyielding fervency of the apostles and writers of the epistles. I yearn for a Church that reflects its savior to the world in all facets rather than having to compromise in one direction or the other. The truth is in our grasp and has not changed since our Lord rose from the dead. He will reveal himself to us and show us the way (John 17:26).
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).