Today I want to share some heart and vision of what has been stirring in me as of late. Those of you who are close to me know I have the tendency to quite frequently bring the status quo into question regarding our shared faith. This has been the case for most of my Christian life.
Overall, this has served myself and others mostly well, but has at times manifested itself as frustrated immature zeal. I’m thankful for all of those who have stood beside me during the times of immaturity, and also for those who have taught me not to quench zeal but instead throw the right kind of fuel on it.
The fuel has largely been the Scriptures and the study of Church history.
I have an incurable hope for the Church. I love the body of Christ. Even as Heather and I prepare to embark on a new journey in ministry, the Church itself is our primary outreach. The vision I have is no less than seeing us all walk out the unity and devotion Jesus prayed for in John 17, that we would be one as He and the Father are one.
If you want to cultivate a heart for revival, or awakening, or whatever you want to call it- I recommend starting in John 17 as one good starting point for your journey. Read it and pray the same things Jesus prayed. Pray them over yourself, your families, your congregation or ministry. Start there.
The heart of revival begins with knowing Jesus’ heart. He is looking for a pure and spotless bride, one that is unified in its worship, devotion, and mission. One that is united across generational, denominational, and ethnic lines. One that is fixated with holy zeal upon Jesus’ gospel reaching every nation, so that Jesus can finally return and receive the great reward of His sufferings. We need to stop believing Satan’s lie that says Jesus can return at any time. Jesus cannot and will not return until He has a pure and spotless bride that has come out of every tribe, nation, and tongue.
Look around at all the madness and division over doctrine, politics, generational strife, and personal preference. It takes one second to see the division. Now, look at the Holy Spirit who is willing and able to do Holy Spirit things. We should know with unwavering faith the Holy Spirit will in fact accomplish will of God! How I see it, the call to unity and the emphasis of Christ’s return are one in the same. Will Christ return for a broken and divided Church? Most certainly not!
I believe true unity is essential to fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28- to make disciples from all nations), and it will happen within the lifetime of some people alive today. If you are alive today you can take part in fulfilling this biblical teaching and prophecy! This is the heart of revival that I carry. This is my joy and my burden for the Church.
So, how do we get on with it?
As always, your first action should be taking the Word of God to prayer. Read and pray over the Bible. Here’s a good set of Scriptures to give you a place to start. Read them in this order: John 17:20-23; Psalm 127; Malachi 4:6; Ephesians 2:14-22; Psalm 133; Ephesians 3:1-13; Revelation 10:5-7, & 10-11; Ephesians 4:1-6.
Concerning these things, pray Ephesians 3:14-21 if you would like to utilize a biblical prayer on the subject.
Next, ask God how to perfect this work in your relationships. Theology can only get you to the answer, but you have to live it out in the flesh with others. Go, learn the lesson of Matthew 12:7-8 and Isaiah 58. There is a rest that we’re called to enter into, and it has more to do with relationship than most of us realize. We all have some big risks we’re gonna need to take.
Finally, we all need to repent. Repent cannot be a four letter word in our churches. It is an invitation to the greatest freedom and grace ever conceived in the mind of God! 2 Chronicles 7:14 says that if God’s people humble themselves and pray, and turn from our wicked ways (repentance)… He will come and heal our land. Jesus has sent His gospel to all nations for our salvation, so that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord would cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.
“Our land” is anywhere the gospel has been preached. Jesus’ return is the catalyst which will effect the permanent healing of our land. The fact that there is a collective lack of priority in praying for Jesus’ return is evidence that we have missed the mark and need to repent. God gives grace to the humble and glory to a Church that unashamedly pursues the unity that dwells between the Father and the Son, a pursuit which also plays a key role in ushering in Christ’s return. (James 4; John 17; Psalm 84:10-11; 1 Peter 3).
My call to action is simple: Pray, Pursue Christian unity in Christ alone, and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and His coming. “They will know we are Christians by how we love one another” forever provides the best environment for ministry and evangelism. Fixation on Christ’s cross and Christ’s return forever supplies us the highest motivation. In the end, if Jesus isn’t the bait you’re only going to catch dead fish.
This is my heart’s cry for revival in the Church.
J. S. Marek