Revivals throughout history have started with an awakening to His Word. James Montgomery Boice goes into more detail in his commentary on Psalm 85:
“Historically revivals have followed three stages. First, under strong biblical preaching by people like Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, Gilbert Tennent, or George Whitefield, the members of the church, who beforehand had thought they were Christians and that all was well with their souls, wake up to the fact that they are not Christians at all. . . . Second, those who thought they were alive but dead were revived. That is, they repent of their sin and become Christians. Thirdly, these churchgoing people who are now converted begin to live for Christ so openly and consistently, with noticeable changes of conduct, that the world outside takes notice and begins to press into the church to see what is happening. This is revival.”
Do you see here what the missing ingredient here in the church is? For many of us, when we grew up in church, the preachers would say, “Come to Jesus, trust in His saving grace that He accomplished on the cross and the empty tomb, so you will go to heaven.” Will we go to heaven? I tell you, heaven is the reward, but not the ultimate reason we come to Jesus. If we come to Jesus primarily so we will go to heaven, then we come to Jesus based on what he will do for us! And that can set a trajectory that Christianity, church, everything is ultimately about us!
Discipleship is about self-denial, submission, and sacrifice to the person of Christ for the cause of Christ. Psalm 85:8 says, “Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak to his people, to his saints.” Not just the nice, affirming things, but everything He says, even if it stings, even if it steps on our precious toes. The point of the Christian life is not that we are the hero of God’s story, but that we are to live completely for His glory, even if things may be rough. Otherwise, we are co-opting the Christian life to fulfill our needs, desires, and dreams! Christ is the hero!
Jesus is enough!