Friday, July 15, 2011

Final Thoughts On Revival

Over the course of the last couple months, I have been reading A God-Sized Vision by Collin Hansen & John Woodbridge with several of you. I hope you learned as much as I did in this study.

In this final post about this book, I wanted to give some final thoughts about the conclusion of the book, as a summary of what I learned about how God has moved in revival around the world.

Actually, what I learned can be boiled down to one simple concept. The main thing I took from this book was the Commitment to Prayer by those that experienced revival. Each and ever chapter kept bringing me back to the issue of prayer. I felt like I mentioned it in almost every blog post, but I often feel as though I want God to revive our city. But I wonder if I want it bad enough to get up at 4 a.m. and pray that He would do it! I have been convicted by this time and time again.

Why has prayer played such a vital role in revival? I suppose it is because when we pray, we are saying that we cannot do it. There is a sense of dependence upon God to do the work in the hearts of people. The authors write,
"We must not depend on methods, cultural exegesis, strategies, and techniques (helpful though some of them can be) as our end-all approach to doing ministry. We desperately need to depend on the power of the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day lives." (181) 
This goes hand in hand with a humble dependence upon God. We recognize that He is in control and we give our lives to Him to do as He so desires. Jonathan Edwards understood that "the Lord often used humble believers to lead spiritual awakenings" (184). Is it proud to say that I want to be one of those leaders? For me, one of the most helpful summary statements was found when they wrote,
"When we are weak, God is strong. When God is strong, we worship. When we worship, the world notices. When God sends revival once more, the world won't be able to ignore it." (185)
That's what I am praying. But that praying begins with my acknowledgment of humility. I can't do it, but He can. My prayer is that God would do something in my city for His glory. As the Psalmist declared:
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. Why should the nations say, 'Where, now, is their God?' But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases." (Psalm 115:1-3)
Here are the links to each of the weeks as I worked through what I learned each week.

Chapter 1: Biblical Foundations & Theology of Revival
Chapter 2: First Great Awakening, 1730s to 1740s in North America
Chapter 3: Second Great Awakening, 1790s to 1840s in North America
Chapter 4: Prayer Meeting Revival, 1857 to 1858 in North America
Chapter 5: Global Awakening, 1910s in Wales, India, Korea, North America
Chapter 6: East Africa Revival, 1920s to 1970s in East Africa
Chapter 7: Henan, Manchurian, & Shantung Revivals, 1900s to 1930s in China
Chapter 8: Evangelical Boom, 1940s to 1950s in North America

As I finish this post, and if you have read to the end, I have one question. Is a series of blog posts like this helpful? I am trying to decide whether I will do another book like this again. I want to hear from you whether you thought this helped you understand some of the history of revival. Maybe you read the book, maybe you did not. Maybe you posted some comments, maybe you did not.

Was It Helpful?

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