Because if we refuse to look at the world through the eyes of God, or rather, if we don’t look through eyes of jealousy guided by His Word, the only other options are pharisaic complacency, or selfish conformity. I been seeing more around me that reinforced what has already been said, with petitioning, as before. At festivals, the Mall, church….Ironically, the last time I wrote a post with this title, I said something about the song “Proud to be An American.” Not long ago, I went to a friends GED graduation (yeah) and that song, along with a mangled version of “Amazing Grace” was sung to commemorate those graduating. A man, a preacher I was told, stood to give his graduation speech. It was cliche, and all about self-esteem. Tell you the truth, I cannot see how anyone could himself a preacher and stand before a sniffnecked generation and preach sin to them. Yes, stiff-necked. The entire crowd reeked of rebellion. He would have done better to crawl up on that stage, with bruised knees, and simply to the crowd, “Let’s pray.” It’s what I would have done. It’s what most of us would have done.
Under the pressure of the crowd, what would we say? Our words might be different, but our motives might have been exactly the same. We cannot look at the world with different eyes than the ones with which we examine ourselves. I cut off that list I started earlier, ending with the church. That last two might ought to be: our families, and ourselves. I believe that any time in which we feel need on behalf of our land; when we see sin, and are grieved because this adulterous generation, and those feelings are not coupled with grief for the state our own hearts, they should at least be challenged and examined. Are we also proud to be Americans, like the Pharisee was probably proud to live amongst tax collectors?
Or to go at this with a different angle, it all goes back to rebellion; which in turn will go back to pride and unbelief. The reason people do anything they do that looks repulsive in our society ultimately begins with desiring that sensation that comes from rebellion. I mean, I don’t really believe it was Barack Obama’s politics that got him elected. If he had won the office by telling straight lies, he would have been titled “a conservative”. His incentive for change is really just the inevitable, when our hearts taek the wrong course. There are other examples. I mean, I don’t really have too much experience, but what other than a lust after rebellion and defiance causes anyone to live a lifestyle like homosexuality? People are taking the merciful warning of God, and like the Israelites think they can look God in the face and say, “Watch me.”
But what about us? As has been rightly said, in a land so saturated with church buildings, the people who profess Christianity cannot follow in natiowide rebellion: they must be leading in it, if it be there. Have we, you, me, our own hearts, let go of the hand of Christ and taken hold of that of the world? We are not independent: we must hold onto one or the other. Have we, in proportion, having been shown mercy and grace, become greater rebels than the world?
I often respond to this in the wrong way. I am constantly thinking I should spend less time thinking about world, or even local revival, and more in self examination. Where is the answer to how we should respond?
I think the answer must lie in the title. God must give us grace to see. We will never be sinless, until we reach heaven. And there won’t be much need for revival there. Those men who were parts of revivals in the past: who really, and truly had the Power of God upon them, in a way so glorious that our spirits seem to join them when we read the accounts, they felt their own sin more than we do. What could cause a lack of confidence in us, except unbelief and pride? How are we to find the balance in seeking revival, in the world and in our own hearts?
The answer to this question- as all other questions- lies in looking unto Jesus. In Him will we find the peace that is required; in Him will we find hope to carry on. It is my firm belief that the roots of revival, holiness, lie in getting to know God. There are many practical issues that we can discuss: and they should be talked about, but this is the culmination of them all. In this, self-revival and cultural revival are not just balanced: they are linked.
In Christ, faith in what He has done must rule our hearts. We must be jealous for His name; let us go forth as soldiers, because right now, at the Mall, at Church, in our hearts, our Lover, our Saviour, our Christ is King. And though all around people choose to rebel, let us not be discouraged. Rather let us remember that He has already made the Great conquest; He has shaped human hearts to love Him.
Lord, give us Your eyes, to see the way see the multitudes all around me. And let me, as Tozer prayed, behold you in and around me.
That really wasn’t what I wanted to write about, but it’s where I went, so we will leave it with this incredible verse: “[Christ] Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 1:8. Let all our efforts at self-revival be thus grounded in Him.