Isa 60: 19 - 22 19 “The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory. 20 Your sun shall no longer go down, Nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For the Lord will be your everlasting light, And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
This morning this passage exploded in my heart. Each time I read it my heart jumps at the thought of having Jesus replace all this artificial light in my life and Him alone becoming that true, never burning out, light of my/our life. Jesus is our light and the Light of the World. As believers we are a people who have been "brought out of darkness and into His marvelous light". Why then do we often still live as the people of the darkness? Light is suppose to dispel darkness, yet we are seemingly working hard to remain creatures of darkness for the sake of being relevant somehow. I am still trying to FIO (Figure it out) when Christianity became relevant. (We'll talk about that another day)
I was then brought to considering the condition of the Church, throughout the ages, and what Jesus desires for our condition to be, which is a church alive, awake and living in light. In the 1730s George Whitfield said " I love those that thunder out the Word. The Christian world is in a deep sleep! Nothing but a loud voice can awaken them out of it" This statement remains true for our generation. What amazed me about this statement, though, is that Pastor/Evangelist Whitfield made this statement in the midst of having thousands and thousands of people attending his open air meetings. One maybe would have thought, as we do today, that his ministry was the epitome of revival and the Church was alive and well because the crowds were coming. That was not how Pastor W saw it. He still prayed that God would use him as an instrument of revival and awakening for the Church, which the Lord granted.
In our current post-revival era... meaning that at large the Church is back asleep and veiling it with Church organizational growth mode rather than a heart felt, separated life, passionate relationship with Christ... the Church has drifted from light. Darkness is often times prevailing in our midst and the evidence of God is the number of campuses, people who fill the seats, and followers that fill our social media platforms... rather than the number of people saved, being sanctified and hearts heaven bound.
Revival is once again a thing of the past, though there are always watering wells where the Spirit of God is welcomed and moving in His Church around the globe. It is encouraged to find one of these well springs near you (move if you have too) and take a drink. The Christian world has reinvented the meaning of ole time terminologies for the sake of our marketing campaigns, which are succeeding in making people believe that we are all awake and thriving. Though, often behind closed doors we are addicted to lustful activities, indulging in much drinking of alcohol, not reading our Bibles or spending time with Jesus, consumed with houses-cars-vacations (most paid for with debt), and of course finding our next politically correct band wagon to jump on to feel good about our role in the church and world. I realize that many of us do not even realize this because our Pastors, leaders and preachers are leading us by example. Our breath is taken away with the new super star preacher and worship leader and their word and song often is more important to us than what our Pastors or even the Bible. Now we run from one conference to the next trying to learn the strategies to succeed, by happy, and get people in the pews. We do so mainly because without these strategies and relevant methodologies, in our current sleepy state, it will be hard to compete with the super star in our devices. The expectations of what Church is suppose to be has been defiled and recreated and we think this is development and staying current. Within these strategies it has become acceptable and even required that our appearance be as close as possibly to the very thing that we were taken out from, which is the darkness of the world. Once again Jesus is the Light of the World. Something to think about is: why do we want every thing to be so dark... hmmmmm?
Oh, that all of our prayers would be that God would awaken us once again and use each of us as instruments to awaken revival in our hearts, homes, and Churches. That *Churchianity* would die once again and denominational-ism/separationalism would no longer define us. That the whole Church and the people of God would become hungry once again for an intimate relationship with Christ in which light and holiness become the focal point instead of relevance, numbers, and become important on a social media platform. Lord, let revival and the move of your Spirit once again captivate our hearts, affections, time and worship services. Amen.