So what is it that stands in the way of revival? Why is it we don’t see the Spirit of God moving in the midst of His people today as He has in times past? In a nut shell it’s all of us born again types who are the main hindrance to revival.
You see, although there is no methodology that will produce revival, there is something that normally needs to be present before God chooses to renew His people. The necessary ingredient is a contrite and prayerful people. I’m not saying every Christian must be broken before God and crying out for revival: historically it has always been a small number.
Is there a remnant out there today? I don’t know. The typical modern Christian is living in a comfortable truce with the world. We may not be aware of the extent to which we have made peace with the world – or we may not care. We may have become so used to our condition we find it easy to justify our attitudes and actions. As long as we attend church fairly regular, we tell ourselves all is well with our soul. Never mind the foul language we use at work. Never mind the gossip we delight in (usually cloaked in the guise of a “prayer concern”). Never mind the fact we sell our kids down the cultural river for the sake of convenience. Never mind the lustful thoughts, the greed, the pride, the temper, the bitterness, the unforgiveness and on and on. Never mind, because if we take note we just might find our personal peace and comfort disrupted.
Now, let me be clear: I’m not setting myself up on a pedestal here. I am acutely aware of my own falling short of the glory of God (see there, I can’t even bring myself to say “sin”). But do you know what? I don’t do much about it. And I’m convinced – based on my lifelong association with the Church – I’m no different than any other Christian in this regard. That’s right: Everyone of you who are reading this article right now has sin in your life you are not willing to deal with. You are not willing to be broken and humbled before God and you’re not willing to cry out for the power of the Holy Spirit in your life to turn you around and to turn your world upside down. Instead you posture and pose, all the while knowing you are “full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Even now, many of you are marshaling your defenses (“Who does this Williams character think he is? Obviously he has a major problem – but to accuse me!). What you need to do is to fall on your knees before God and ask for His forgiveness and for His power to be manifest in your life. Indeed, we need to ask God for the desire to even ask for personal renewal.
I’ll close with this: The Bible clearly states that if the people of God “will humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways, then God will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.”
Will we do this? That remains to be seen.