Pastor Daniel Bramlett
I long for revival. Like the parable of the widow who refused to give up asking for justice, so the Church is invited into the pains of childbirth until the revival we await finally comes. Do you long for revival? When I say “revival” I am not talking about an emotional experience. While a great move of God is often emotional, our emotions can be easily swayed. I am not looking for a tearful worship service or a convicting truth timely spoken. I thank God for both of these gifts, but revival is much more that our emotions can attest to. I am not talking about excitement. While a move of God is certainly exciting, it is first distressing. What does God expect of us if revival is to come?
Like the persistent widow, God is calling us to linger in prayer, expectant, confident prayer for His arrival. Revival does not just appear. God is not a magician. He is not waiting on a certain incantation or a potion to be mixed. God calls us to labor for revival like a woman in childbirth. Because she knows life is about to appear, she endures great pain and tears. She is willing to pass through nine months of suffering to experience the sheer joy that is connected with new life. This type of labor requires determined hearts, minds fixed on Jesus, and lips dedicated to lifting up the requests of the Kingdom.
This is hard! I am convinced this is why we do not see revival more often. What are your concerns for our corner of Arkansas? A blind man can see the troubles we endure. We do not want more pain, hurt, and darkness. But do we want the presence of the Light, His healing, and His awesome power? Are we willing to do what it takes to experience a great move of God among us?
I think we too often settle for what we can accomplish on our own. Too often we do not want to labor for the birth of revival, so we decide to just get by with good things. We content ourselves with small victories and little joys. But so much more is waiting on the other side of the Labor and Delivery room, if we will just pass through.
For the good of our churches, will you labor with me? For the survival of our neighborhoods, will you enter into birth pains with me? For the sake of our schools, will you come to the throne with me? For the hope of our families, will you present yourself broken at the altar? For the future of our justice system, will you linger at the feet of the Father with me?
Jesus knew what it was to tarry in birth pangs. He prayed so intensely we find Him sweating blood in the Garden. For years I thought this blood was dripping primarily from a place of anxiety and fear as He approached the cross. Now I believe there is more to the story. I believe Jesus was calling a move of God into reality. I believe He had carried in His heart and mind this desire and hope for change and the salvation of His people for a long time. We hear that in His lament over Jerusalem. We hear His heart breaking at Lazarus’ tomb. We catch a glimpse of His anger in the Temple overturning tables. But it all comes to a head in the Garden. This is the Labor and Delivery room we are witnessing. And no one is willing to tarry with Him. His closest friends fall asleep while Jesus is calling down Heaven. The anguish Jesus endured was realized some 40 days later at Pentecost. The Kingdom of God was manifest in power for the first time in a long time. Thousands of people entered in. Thousands of lives were changed. Eternity grew. All because Jesus lingered before the throne of God in anguish and tears, pouring out what God had poured into Him for the salvation of His people.
How far are you willing to go to see revival sweep our county? Will you linger? Will you wait? Will you pray persistent, confident, anguish-filled, Spirit inspired prayers for the sake of the Church and the lost? The future of our area is on the line. This is the job of the saint. This is the task we’ve been called to.