Sunday, February 8, 2015

Revival Up Close and Personal

I was grasping the stair railing to go down, when someone asked, "Didn't I see you at the meeting last night?"  I turned to see our maintenance man directing his question to me.  I quickly thought back to where I had been the night before and responded by acknowledging that I had been at the meeting, but had missed seeing him there. We excitedly began sharing notes of what the speaker said and how we hoped for revival there on the campus where we both worked. Our amazement was mutual in considering the numbers of people coming to the meetings and how meals were served every night. I discovered he and his wife pastored a church in a neighboring town. The revival was bringing pastors together across all denominations and flavors of believers.  Even the Amish in our community are coming to the nightly gatherings.

We ended our God encounter and I returned to my desk. What is God up to?, I questioned again. What a privilege to be a part of Revive Indiana, here in my hometown!

Twenty-six days ago a revival team from Texas, led by Kyle Martin, came to a church in town to stir up believers for evangelism and love for their community.  Their original intent to stay for one week, was altered by God's request that they stay for 52 days. Every evening, except Sunday, a meeting brings thousands together for praise and worship, messages from area pastors, testimonies and a word from Scripture by Kyle. During the day groups gather for breakfast and go out in teams of 4 to pray for churches in our county. After lunch together, they go out again to pray for individuals wherever God leads--stores, businesses, schools, houses... and to share the Gospel message.  God is working through healings, breaking down barriers between churches, moving school administration to allow youth to leave during the school day to be a part of the crews going out to pray, bringing brand new souls into the kingdom, and moving our hearts to love him and others more....enough to get out of our comfort zones and share the Good News.

Kyle's messages have challenged us to get our personal lives right with God, count the cost of obedience, expect tests of faith, and to pray against the religious spirit in our community.  He models for us a heart of humility, passion for sharing God's love with the hurting and needy, and making personal sacrifices to be here for this long stretch of time, away from family and other obligations of ministry.

I'm excited to see where God is taking us.  I want to be changed. One of the worship songs expresses my desire:
Light a fire down in my soul
That I can't contain and I can't control.
I want more of you, God, I want more of you.

I pray this gives you hope that our God has not forgotten the prayers of his people for revival. Keep praying for us in this time and for you and your community.  Pray that God would grow your heart in love for people. Pray for opportunities to pray for anyone who God leads you to and then if their heart is open, to let them know who Jesus is.What a simple way to approach someone, "How can I pray for you?"

There is so much to make us sad or even fearful about this world. What better way to combat the negativity than by focusing on the good news that we believe, and sharing it. I'm also involved in a Bible study right now on the book of Acts.  As I read Paul's passion to go and share the Gospel, I can see a modern day illustration of this same Holy Spirit who moved Paul, working among us to go and preach the gospel, make disciples. Won't you join us?

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Thanks for sharing your response!