In a most passionate way, Dr. Ronnie Floyd is convening Southern Baptists to seek the Lord for revival and spiritual awakening. The urgency of the hour is evident to anyone who cares about life and liberty.
The entire agenda of the SBC Annual Meeting is new. We cannot do business as usual. While there is business to do, the need of the hour is what happens starting Tuesday evening when Dr. Floyd and several other key leaders call God’s people to repentance and prayer.
Authentic revival is not just an individual thing where we draw a circle on the ground around us and plead with God to pour out His spirit. Revival also is a corporate, planned activity that “reboots” the believer’s stewardship of decisions, morals and obedience to God’s ways in all things in spite of the circumstances or pressure for cultural conformity.
A. W. Tozer is a hero of the faith and his column is as applicable today as it was in his day:
This could be the year in which Revival comes.
There seems to be a notion that if we talk enough and pray enough, revival will set in like a stock market boom or a winning streak on a baseball club.
We appear to be waiting for some sweet chariot to swing low and carry us into the Big Rock Candy Mountain of religious experience. Well, it is a pretty good rule that if everyone is saying something it is not likely to be true; or, if it has truth at the bottom, it has been so distorted by wrong emphasis as to have the effect of error in its practical outworking. And such, I believe, is much of the revival talk we hear today.
My reason for doubt of the soundness of it is that we appear to conceive of revival as a kind of benign miracle, a feverish renaissance of religious activity that will come upon us, leaving us morally just as we are now, except that we will be a lot happier and there will be a great many more of us. It’s a good talking point and it has an aura of superior godliness about it; but the trouble is that it is just not true.
Our mistake is that we want God to send revival on our terms. We want to get the power of God into our hands, to call it to us that it may work for us in promoting and furthering our kind of Christianity.
We want still to be in charge, guiding the chariot through the religious sky in the direction we want it to go, shouting “Glory to God,” it is true, but modestly accepting a share of the glory for ourselves in a nice inoffensive sort of way.
We are calling on God to send fire on our altars, completely ignoring the fact that they are our altars and not God’s. And like the prophets of Baal we are working ourselves into a frenzy as if we could by violence command the arm of the Almighty.
The whole error results from a confused notion of revival and a failure to recognize the moral laws that underlie the kingdom of God. God never moves whimsically; His ways are never impulsive or erratic. He never sends judgment unless there has been a violation of His laws, nor does He send blessing apart from obedience to those laws.
We cannot continue to ignore God’s will as expressed in the Scriptures and expect to secure the aid of God’s Spirit. God has given us a complete blueprint for the Church and He requires that we adhere to it 100 percent. Message, morals and methods are there, and we are under strict obligation to be faithful to all three.
Today we have the strange phenomenon of a company of Christians solemnly protesting to heaven and earth the purity of their Bible creed, and at the same time following the unregenerate world in their methods and managing only with difficulty to keep their moral standards from sinking out of sight.
Coldness, worldliness, pride, boasting, lying, misrepresenting, love of money, exhibitionism – all these things are practiced by professedly orthodox Christians, not in secret but in plain sight and often as a necessary part of the whole religious show.
It will take more than talk and prayer to bring revival. There must be a return to the Lord in practice before our prayers will be heard in heaven.
If we are foolish enough to do it, we may spend our future vainly begging God to send revival, while we blindly overlook His requirements and continue to break His laws. Or we can begin now to obey and learn the blessedness of obedience. The Word of God is before us. We have only to read and do what is written and revival is assured. It will come as naturally as the harvest comes after the plowing and the planting.
Yes, this could be the year the revival comes. It’s strictly up to us.
We do have an important role to play in living by faith in this fallen world. By doing so, we are conduits of His grace, revealing His magnificent glory in this generation before it drives itself off a cliff that leaves nothing but an apocalyptic catastrophe. ν