The Blessings and Burdens of Revival -- By: T. M. Moore
RAR 11:3 (Summer 2002) p. 20
The Blessings and Burdens of Revival
Readers of this journal, presumably, are united in their desire to seek revival for the church in our generation. Or, at the very least, to lay a foundation of preparation for revival so that, if it please the Lord, he might once again pour out his renewing grace on his Body in a generation to come. We seek revival because we understand that this is what God wants. The Lord is not pleased to see his Bride languishing in schism, controversy, strife, worldliness, complacency, marginality, and a lack of power. His desire is that his church should be vibrant and filled with love, the joy of the whole earth, grounded in and proclaiming his truth to the nations, such that they stream up to her eager to learn his ways, and to be forged together by the Spirit of God into one new Body, a glorious dwelling-place of God (Psalm 48:1–3; Micah 4:1–5; Ephesians 2:11–22). God earnestly desires that his people might be revived, and because of this, we seek revival daily, pleading with God to shower us anew with his mercy and might.
We seek revival because we know that a revived church is a blessed church, a community of people abounding in the grace and truth of God who experience life as a kingdom calling in the light of the risen Son of God. Where revival flourishes the blessings of God attend to his people, filling them with purpose, power, and joy unutterable, and moving them
RAR 11:3 (Summer 2002) p. 21
to works of love and truth on behalf of their neighbors. A revived and blessed church experiences greater richness in worship, generosity in giving, readiness for ministry, and harmony of life together. We seek these blessings, and the Lord Jesus Christ dearly desires for us to know them; for this reason we seek revival tirelessly, devoting ourselves in prayer and preparation for those blessings that God intends for his chosen and redeemed people.
But as the first Christians learned, revival can be something of a mixed bag. For the moving of the Spirit in the ways of renewal brings not only blessings, but burdens as well—burdens which, if they are not properly anticipated and addressed, can turn the blessing of revival into a bane. For, while revival springs from the pleasure and power of God’s Spirit, it necessarily comes to expression in people, and people, even though they be revived, are perpetually susceptible to sin, their own, or the sins of others. Where the presence of God’s Spirit is working mightily to revive his people, there those same people must expect that the burdens of sin will be heighten...
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