Saturday, April 24, 2021

Revival and the Transformation of Desire

                                                  (Our grandson Levi.)

I have been praying for revival for a long time. The pandemic has not changed this. Here is Michael Brown's definition of "revival."

"Supernatural renewal" includes the transformation of desire. Then, as Jesus said, If you desire me, you will keep my commands. (My translation.)

It looks like this.

"Have you ever played in a swimming pool and tried to hold a beach ball under the surface? Its tendency—you might even say its penchant and desire—is to rise to the surface. It is “restless” when it is held under the water. It keeps trying to sneak up from under your feet or hands, bursting toward the surface. It wants to be floating." (James K. A. Smith, You Are What You Love) 

True revival produces a lasting desire that cannot be contained. It's like this. As the deer pants for the water...

Matthew 6:21 says,

For where your treasure is, 
there will be your heart also.

Look at what a person treasures, and you will find their heart.

The place where your treasure is, 
is the place you will most want to be, 
and end up being. (Message)

Your heart will always pursue 
what you value as your treasure. (Passion)

You can't force desire. A person either has it, or they don't. When it is there, you don't need will power. Desire eats will power for breakfast. 

Desire desires. In this it is unstoppable.

A. W. Tozer writes, "The difference between coldness of heart and warmth of heart is the difference between being in love and not being in love." (Tozer, A. W.. Rut, Rot, or Revival, p. 156)

In real revival God brings a person's desires into alignment with His desires. I have seen this. 

I have become this.

J. Edwin Orr writes:  "Spiritual awakenings are exceedingly infectious, and proximity in time and place adds to the stimulation of desire for similar blessing." (Orr, J. Edwin, The Second Evangelical Awakening

The Ireland Revival of 1859 “created a thirsting desire for the Word of God, and it is their continual and increasing study to learn to read it for themselves. The spirit of inquiry is so great, that we have been induced to open the school two evenings during the week, for the purpose of communicating instruction.” (Ib.)

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said: “The inevitable and constant preliminary to revival has always been a thirst for God, a thirst, a living thirst for a knowledge of the living God, and a longing and a burning desire to see him acting, manifesting himself and his power, rising, and scattering his enemies.” (In Collin Hansen, A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir. Emphasis mine.)

Leonard Ravenhill writes that Charles Wesley seemed to be reaching on tiptoes when he said, ‘‘Nothing on earth do I desire, but Thy pure love within my heart!’’ (Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries, p. 127)

In true revival the Holy Spirit changes the orientation of human hearts. The Spirit transforms what the heart desires. In revival, people long for  righteousness more than unrighteousness, purity more than impurity, Jesus more than the stuff of this world.

Tomorrow morning at Redeemer I am preaching on hungering and thirsting for righteousness. I see it happening in my people. Why not, right? And ,why not in you? Why not you, as a revivalist who carries the flame of true desire to your churches and your families?

Revival fires are burning. 

Revival is the New Normal.