Sunday, October 26, 2014

Revival starts with seeking God and expecting answers

Another thought occurred to me in the hope of encouraging others to fast and pray for revival, starting of course with cleaning up the church and your own life. I'm aware that I'm a believer that the Lord does communicate with us in knowable ways, which is denied by some leaders of the Church, or seems to be. Of course everyone encourages prayer as a necessity, and believes in answered prayer, but the idea that we can get identifiable knowable answers doesn't seem to be acknowledged, and is often denied, as if it were in the same category as charismatic beliefs. But I'm convinced the charismatic "gifts of the Spirit" are false and that it's important to discourage that belief in any seeking of revival. Nevertheless, I've had too much experience of a kind of answered prayer that is very real to confine myself to intellectual understanding, which is often what seems to happen with those who preach against such communication.

The main thing I'm thinking of is that prayer for answer to specific questions usually gets those answers in my experience, and I think it very important that we be seeking for answers to questions related to these revival concerns. If my list of problems that hinder revival is true others should arrive at the same list by asking God to show them what hinders revival. If the lists are somewhat different that could mean human error at any point in the process, but if we're sincerely asking God to give us His wisdom the lists should look very similar. God shows us such things sometimes directly to our minds, sometimes through other means. But I think those who aren't expecting God ever to answer in such a knowable way probably don't recognize the answers when they come. They might even think I'm a heretic for believing this. I believe pastors can be guided by God to sermon subjects, and have a strong conviction that God led them, and that all of us can be guided to spiritual issues in our own lives that we need to deal with, and so on and so forth.

I don't really want to get deeply into this subject, just want to encourage anybody who wants to pray for revival to expect that God will answer prayer for knowledge and wisdom, will show us where we need to focus our prayers and other things we may need to do. So much of the work of the Church is intellectual, and it's good work, good sermons are preached, good analysis of problems in the Church and the nation and the world are arrived at, things in accord with God's word. But that doesn't guarantee that the message of the moment is the one God would want given, and messages that God gives come with a power to affect others that messages we put together from our own knowledge usually don't have.

But if we pray for that kind of light, and especially if we add whatever degree of fasting we can manage to that prayer, and especially if we extend the prayer beyond our usual time limits, I think we can be sure we'll get the light we ask for and we'll know it when we get it. And maybe if enough of us are doing this to whatever little extent we can we could be the beginning of a revival.

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Afterthought: The two issues that are my own personal hobbyhorse at my blogs, the Bible Versions controversy and women's head covering, are usually decided intellectually, by argument alone. No doubt with brief prayer, but not the kind of prayer that seeks God's understanding of the matter. If those who have decided them that way would take the time to fast and pray and ask God about them my guess is that you'd have to come to the conclusions I've come to.

Of course the issues must be argued intellectually, but not ONLY intellectually. Perhaps if we all fasted and prayed over everything we think we'd get closer to agreement with each other on doctrinal questions.

And, perhaps more important than any of the rest, though it's all tied together in the end, is that if enough genuine Christians, those saved by faith alone in Christ alone, fasted and prayed for God's wisdom in general, I suspect that the Lord would finger Roman Catholicism as still the main enemy of all Christendom, and what a boon it would be if more people came to realize this. So many good preachers in all kinds of churches, so many good discernment ministries, apologetics ministries, and most of them are blind to the Biggest Baddest Wolf that looms behind so much of the apostasies and heresies and destruction of the Church and the nation.

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