Jonathan Edwards on Revival
The humble shall see this and be glad;
And you who seek God, your hearts shall live. Psalm 69.32
An Humble Attempt
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“If the expression in the text [Ps. 69.32] be understood agreeably to this sense, then by seeking the Lord of hosts, we must understand a seeking, that God who had withdrawn, or as it were hid himself for a long time, would return to his church, and grant the tokens and fruits of his gracious presence, and those blessed communications of his Spirit to his people, and to mankind on earth, which he had often promised, and which his church had long waited for.”
It seems strange to suggest that God has “withdrawn, or as it were hid himself” from His Church today. But the measure of God’s presence with His people is that, in many ways, they turn their world rightside-up for King Jesus. They gather as one body for joyous worship; show the beauty of the Lord to their community in service to the needy; shine like lights before their neighbors by faithful and exuberant witness; and affect all aspects of life and culture with the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Spirit. Yeah. Where’s that happening? Upon a little reflection, it becomes clearer why we might suggest that God may have withdrawn and hidden Himself from His churches in our day. For while we are very busy, active, and in many ways “successful,” where is the evidence of Christ ruling in the hearts of the people around us, and in our culture and its priorities and morality? We need God to return to us, and for this to happen, we must seek Him in prayer.
Is it reasonable to suppose that the Church should have a more pronounced impact on culture and society than we see in our day? Why or why not?
Learn to Pray for Revival – and Pray!
Ready for Revival?
Are you praying for revival? Are you gathering others to pray with you? Are you preparing your church for the coming harvest? You can, and you should. Two resources from our bookstore can help. The book, Restore Us!, can provide the rationale, resources, and encouragement you need to take up this calling as an ongoing aspect of your walk with and work for the Lord. Order your copy by clicking here. And our book, Preparing Your Church for Revival, shows you how to ready the hearts of church members and leaders for the work we look to God to do in our community. Order your copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.All quotations are from Jonathan Edwards, An Humble Attempt, &c. in Edward Hickman, ed. The Works of Jonathan Edwards(Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1834, 1995), Vol. Two, pp. 278ff.