The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes. Proverbs 21.1
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival XII
The Rev. Patrick Fairbairn, Minister of Bridgeton
“There is yet another evil, though of a different kind, which we descry in the present state of society, and which from painful observation has been often pressed upon us as a great hindrance to the revival of living piety – namely, the deep and wide-spread political character of society…from the highest to the lowest ranks of society every man is more or less a politician, and with multitudes politics forms such an engrossing theme as to consume nearly the whole of their leisure thought and reading and converse.”
We will not turn to God for revival so long as we believe our best hope for improving moral and social conditions, and preserving our religious liberty, lies in political activism. Politics is a huge distraction in a day when revival is sorely needed. It dominates our attention and conversation. And it leads people to think that the only real solutions to whatever ails us must come from political sources. Christians, who know almost nothing about the history of revival, seem to believe that only politicians have the power to improve social and moral conditions. Most of us do not believe that societies can be changed, morals improved, culture renewed, and multitudes can come to saving faith in a season of revival. So, rather than seek the Lord for revival, we seek political solutions to our ills, and wonder why nothing much ever changes. Politics matters, of course, and when revival breaks out, even politics and politicians experience the shaping and moving hand of the Lord.
Would you say that your preaching and teaching lead people to believe that the Gospel has power to change the world? Why or why not?
Pray for Revival
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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.