I wrote the following article when I was a junior in high school, and I just recently came across it again. I could sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit as I read it. May you be blessed and challenged as you read.
When I was four years old, I went on a trip with my church down to Pensacola to experience the Brownsville Revival. We flew down. I had flown once or twice prior to that trip, but I was not yet familiar with the routine instructions the captain and the flight attendants would give. As we approached the Pensacola Regional Airport, the captain buzzed in and said, “Prepare for arrival.” In my four year-old mind, I didn’t understand what that phrase meant. But there was a word I did understand–revival. I thought he said, “Prepare for revival.”
“Prepare for revival?!?” I blurted out. I was so excited and already very prepared. Of course, the adults set me straight and told me what the captain really said. After that, I was a little disappointed. Yet, I did not know that on that day, I had made one of the most profound statements of my life.
Prepare for revival.
When I look at society today, it seems like we are doing anything but preparing for revival. Mostly, we’re sitting around remembering the days when God showed up, and we’re wishing He would come again. Yet, if God were to show up today, most of us would be totally caught off guard–unprepared. We can’t expect God to come if we haven’t prepared Him room. God can show up even when there’s no room for Him (i.e. no room in the inn), but that’s not His preference. If you’re waiting for that to happen, you may find yourself waiting for a very long time.
It’s time for us to convert our reactivity into proactivity. We must change potential energy into kinetic energy. We must stop our staring and start preparing. Second Chronicles 7:14 says, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.” We are supposed to take the first step. Many people are waiting for revival to come and have never prepared their hearts for God’s Presence. That’s like inviting a guest over without preparing any accomodations. It is foolishness for a farmer to pray for rain and not prepare his fields to receive. Mr. Bridges, from the movie “Facing the Giants,” said it best when he said, “God will send the rain when He’s ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.”
Notice also that 2 Chron. 7:14 says, “If My people…” Who does the “My people” refer to? Answer: the church, the people of God. God did not say, “If only the unsaved people would get their acts together,” or, “If the drug addicts and sexual predators would change their hearts.” No! A revival is not sparked when sinners repent, as so many will define it. Repentance of unsaved people is an effect of revival, not a cause. God says, “If My people.” He’s calling on us. The cause of revival is the repentance of the church; the effect of revival is the repentance of the nations. Revival is sparked, not when the unsaved get right with God, but when the church gets right with God. As the church gets right with God, everything else will fall into place. I think we’ve got some serious repenting to do. I am chiefly in need of that.
Now, you have a choice: Either sit back and treat this as just another “nice” message, wishing things could be better; or be proactive and prepare for revival, determined that things can be better. How do we do that? We can start by doing 2 Chron. 7:14: Humble ourselves, pray and seek His face, and turn from all wickedness. I don’t know about you, but I’m preparing for revival.
I’m preparing for rain.