Monday, April 6, 2009

Easter Groaning...

It is no secret, even to most non-believers, what this week represents. While there will be numerous Easter egg hunts this coming weekend, countless chocolate bunnies eaten, and family dinners galore, there is still an understanding to most that this weekend represents something far greater to those who call themselves Christians. Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part, but I believe most Americans know what we Christians mourn and celebrate about this week. The issue for me is not what the "outsiders" see from us over the next few days though. My main concern is what this week means to you and me. I believe that my love and intimacy in God cannot be hidden, and I would argue that God's work in the life of a follower is so great people would have no desire to cover it up.

For me, this week is about Revival. To be completely transparent, it is my week of total self-reflection. Yes...I realize completely that I should do that on a continuous basis, but I don't. There is something about this week that brings me to my knees in search of what I am missing in my journey with God.

Charles Spurgeon writes, "I have in some degree substantiated my claim that we are in need of revival, but now I must turn to the solution of this great problem that we face. Habakkuk prayed, 'O Lord, revive thy work.' Do you hear his groaning for revival? Our problem is this: there are so many who say they want revival but they do not groan for it, they do not long for it. The true believer, when he is confronted with his need for revival, will long for it. He will not be happy, but will at once begin to strain for it. The true believer will pray day and night, 'O Lord, revive thy work!' And what is it that will make that true Christian groan for revival? When he reflects on what Christ has done for him, he will groan for his own revival. When he hears someone tell a story about a fellow believer who is experiencing great joy in the Lord, he will groan for his own revival. When he attends a lively fellowship and feels no emotion in his heart, he will groan for his own revival. Those of you who feel you are in need of revival, I would ask you only this: Can you groan for your revival? If you can, then do it! May God be pleased to give you grace to continue to do it. And may you turn your groanings into prayers."

Wow! I have been looking at this through the eyes of our Easter week, and I am convicted to groan for God's revival in my own life like David groaning for a "clean heart", a "renewed spirit", and "restoration in God's salvation". Easter is my brick in the face that reminds me of the daily need for revival in God. I desire to be this "true believer" who groans for God's revival...the revival that can only happen through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I pray God will take this broken spirit, dirty heart, and helpless soul, and renew my desire for him. May we all, like Paul, honestly and openly say, "I want to know Christ - yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead."

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff Josh. For me I amaze myself with my ability to forget who this life is really all about. I am so good at forgeting I don't realize I have lost my focus on God and have once again began to focus on myself. But, then the symptoms come and I feel the emptiness that comes with not having God at the center of my life. When Jesus gave himself to die on the cross he gave us the ultimate example of turning it all over to God and trusting that he would resurect. Jesus expressed dispair,grief, and stress over the unbelievable suffering he was to experience. When we truly turn our lives over to God and truly die to ourselves there will no doubt be pain and suffering. Then the rebirth that is born through that suffering comes and the faithfullness of the Lord is displayed in a new and better man. As oppossed to one rebirth I find this has happened several times in my life. Each time painful, each time requiring submission to the Lord and death to myself, and each time bringing about a better man, a revival. Not a revival of Rob but a revival of God as the center of Rob's life.