By Patrick Hawthorne
I had not intended to do a series on Revival. Yet, my thoughts are on little else. As I ponder and question, read and pray, I am convinced that Almighty God is as anxious to move as I am anxious for Him to move. The more I search and inquire, the more I have come to the realization that past revivals were not the result of God’s coming and going for special seasons in the Church. No, the revivals were Him casting water upon the heads of a sleeping Church who refused to wake from its slumber.
Let me ask you this question. When was the last time, if ever, have you seen a person, lost to their sins, so convicted that they burst through the doors of the church building crying, “What must I do to be saved?” I would not imagine that you have. Nor have I. Why is this? Is it because we, the Body, have become so lax in our desire to see the lost saved that we have failed to prepare the ground?
I would assert that we, the Church, the Body of Jesus Christ, have become lazy farmers. Instead of first preparing the soil through prayer and supplication, we run out into our fields, carelessly casting salvation seed to the ground hoping that something will take root. Is it any wonder there is no conviction of sin? Is it any wonder many of our so-called conversions are here today and gone tomorrow? Consider the words of Pastor Oswald J. Smith.
“…Men are urged to be saved before they know they are lost, to believe without being convicted of their need. The fruit is picked before it is ripe, and of course the work is bound to come undone. If we are to get Holy Spirit Fruit, God must prepare the ground, the Holy Spirit must convict of sin before men can truly believe. It is right to tell people to believe when God has done His work in their hearts, but first they must feel their need.” (Oswald J. Smith, The Revival We Need, 1925 bold/underline mine)
What is the answer? Prepare the soil. To do this we, the Body of Jesus Christ, must first be willing to rise up from our slumber and to don our work clothes. We must be willing to get dirty as we first deal with removing the over growth of our own iniquities so that the ground will be clear of any obstacles. Then, we prepare the soil for planting. We pray for a mighty pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts of the lost with such conviction that they run to us crying out, “What must I do to be saved?” Be blessed.