REVIVAL IS NOW:
And It Starts With Me
by Beth Washington
Pastor Jesse’s words from Sunday resonated strongly with me, as I’m sure they did for many others. There is something about standing in a place of significance that makes me feel small in light of the observed event, yet also big - like I, too, can be part of something big. The first message of the Revival is Now series painted a clear picture of something big God is doing and how we all have a part in it. The definition of revival is restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, and strength; or a showing of an old motion picture.
The foundation of revival is a united mission, fueled by prayer, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Pastor Jesse provided a rich historical picture of this as he shared the significance of the Bonnie Brae house – where William Seymour began a prayer movement in 1906. He had found himself dissatisfied with the religious practice he saw around him in light of the Bible. God’s Word showed a church birthed in power, yet he found himself surrounded by conformity. Bonnie Brae was the one person who caught the vision, and invited him into her home where they stood together in prayer…bringing forth a revival that first burst from the house, literally, and then moved to Azusa Street where thousands gathered. All because one man refused to settle for dead religion and pressed in for what He saw in God’s Word.
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This one man illustrated the truth that stands to this day: Revival starts with me. At any given time, we are either on the receiving end of God’s mission or bringing it. So what does God’s mission look like? The mission of God is to engage the lost, establish spiritual foundations, equip believers, and empower leaders. The foundation of a revival is a church that is committed to His mission, and it is essential for the church to stand in unity and prayer. Revival only happens when people are united, and unity is destroyed when we live for me instead of we. Prayer is the foundation of everything we do.
I left church Sunday with fire in my chest because of what God is doing. Yes, it thrills me to know that God is always working for us to know him, to find freedom, discover our purpose, and make a difference. These are the things I think we long for. I know I do. But it was something more…the thrill of standing where something significant is happening now, as God works right here in Omaha. “Revival is Now” is not just a catchy sermon title– it’s a declaration. And I’m in.
For whoever wants to save their life (focus on themselves) will lose it, but whoever loses their life (lives God’s mission) for me will find it.