Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Romans 12:1-2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
This is my favorite Bible verse. It has held my attention for many years. This verse hits the very heart of revival. As a pastor who longs to see the church grow, I am tempted to try new worship songs and styles, or new ways of doing Christian education, or new mission work. We think like the world. Something new, Something different, that will bring people to church…While trying new things can be good, I sometimes wonder if maybe my focus is on the wrong things.
Will a remodel of a building revive a soul? Will introducing new songs invigorate the spirituality of a congregation? Will a small group satisfy my slothfulness in my personal study? Probably not. The longer I live the more I realize that there is not any situation or new tool in ministry that will revive my soul or anyone else’s for that matter. Instead, revival beings when we decide, when we make a choice, to submit ourselves as an offering to Almighty God.
I have come to realize there is nothing that can revive my soul but to submit my soul to God. To give God all that I am, so that he can change all that I am into what God wants for me. I am reminded of a quote by C.S. Lewis–
“Christ says, “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good…Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked–the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”
Revival begins with a personal choice, an intentional choice, to submit ourselves to God.
God, give us the strength to commit our ways to You and to love You enough to search for You. For it is in You and You alone that we find life, life abundant. It is in Your presence that we become light to those in darkness. It is abiding in You that we become salt to flavor the world. In Christ, Amen.
Go with God!