“Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.” Revelation 3.3
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival X
The Rev. Charles J. Brown, Minister of New North Kirk Parish, Edinburgh
“The first [fruit of revival] which I mention, is profound sorrow and shame in the view of former estrangement from God…‘I will pour upon them the Spirit of grace – and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him,” mourn for him, – for dishonours done to him, – for ignominy cast upon him, – for miserable unbelief, impenitence, estrangement from God in times past…Wherever there is a genuine work of the Spirit of God, Christian souls revived, will be disposed to say with Job, ‘I abhor myself…’”
It’s safe to say, “I abhor myself” does not feature large in the mindset of contemporary Christians. At least, not publicly. The rampant narcissism and self-indulgence of our day have made feeling good about ourselves the prevailing mindset, even in the Church. In our day Christianity is regarded by its practitioners as a thing to make us happy, to give us peace and joy. We don’t want any sadness, sorrow, or self-loathing from our faith – we get enough of that from having to live in the world! But when the Spirit of God illuminates the depths of our sin and rebellion against God, Who lavishes us with grace and shields us with mercy, we cannot help but feel ashamed and sorry for the woeful condition of our walk with and work for the Lord. Revival begins in such sorrowing. When you start to see Christians weeping and repenting, brighten your hopes, for the day of renewal may be nigh.
What is the preacher’s responsibility for helping the people in his charge to look carefully at the depths of their sin?
The work of the Spirit
To further help you in preparing for revival, we have two brief books that won’t take you more than an hour to read. Preparing Your Church for Revival tells you what to expect as the Lord begins to move, and shows you how to get ready even now (click here). Restore Us! provides the rationale and means for praying together for revival. It includes 12 psalms to guide your times of praying together (click here).
Pray for Revival
All quotations in this series are taken from Ministers of Scotland,Lectures on Revival, Richard Owen Roberts, ed. (Wheaton: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1980). Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.