Tag Archives: Revival

The Ordinary Christian Life

Christian%20Living

   There are many different views of the Christian life all ranging from minimal to radical.  I think all Gospel lovers and all true students of the Word would agree that Christ calls His people to radical commitment, you would even say extraordinary.  That is a good word to describe the born again believer, we are extraordinary people who believe extraordinary claims and live extraordinary lives.  But we can also see that there is something incredibly ordinary about our lives.  When I use the term ordinary in this sense there are no negative connotations involved.  Just a humble attempt to view our work and lives as Christians as wonderfully ordinary.

Let it be known that I am a preacher of the extraordinary, of revival, and of God working in supernatural ways, I believe in a God who still interrupts the “normal” to move His way.  In fact the church desperately needs this, the very life and body of the church is charged with the supernatural power of God.  But all this is determined by the Head(Christ) of which in his sovereignty directs to all the rest of the body.  We as the members of the body have been trying to tell the Head what to do.  He takes no orders from us, we listen to Him and respond accordingly.

There is a danger to avoid here as well, we must not always seek supernatural experiences and “good” church services.  When we become people who follow after the next great thing we are no better than those of whom Jesus rebuked for needing a sign (Matthew 12:38-39 – Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas).  The point of this post is to show that outside of God sent revivals and miracles the Church is to operate day-to-day proclaiming the Word, visiting the sick, caring for orphans and widows, feeding the homeless, loving our families, and showing grace to the world.  This all happens in very ordinary ways through ordinary men and women.  Although it is God who supplies grace and strength to do so.

Throughout church history we can find sovereign acts of God upon a people group or church.  These are classified as revivals or spiritual awakenings, from the reformation to the first and second great awakenings on down to our day God has wrought wonders!  These have brought about conversion of sinners, re-establishment of morality, social justice, and the overall expanding of the kingdom of Heaven.  But outside of these we find a church that continues her work day in and day out without much fanfare.  We need both the evangelist and the pastor, both the prophet and the teacher.  We need the revival along with the ministry of longevity.  I believe there are missionaries who live in obscurity that will never be known by men but cherished by God.  There are those who intercede who prevail with God in prayer, they will see no earthly rewards but they will be numbered with the saints of old for their “ordinary” ministry.

We must not be afraid of the ordinary, of the day-to-day grind of being the church.  Let us not fall into the notion that every service needs to be a spiritual blow-out, or every sermon needs to be at 100 mph, or that every song needs to excite the crowd.  The result is that many people come to church with these personalized expectations rather than to just submit to the teaching of the Word of God.  We want sensational rather than sanctification, entertainment rather than worship, and in the pulpit a man who parades rather than a man who prays.  Let it not be said of us in this hour that we are more concerned with pleasing men rather than God.

So I call on you dear brothers and sisters to expect the extraordinary with God but learn to live in the incredible ordinary that is the church.  Let good works be seen among men so that they may glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Do not look for thunder, fire, and earthquakes when God is speaking in a still small voice.  Get on your knees with an open bible, pray and worship in secret, and learn to listen to the slightest whisper of the Holy Spirit.  He brings fire but he descends as a dove.  Embrace the ordinary ministry of the church, walk with God through the spectacular mountain tops and lowly valley but in all things be content.  This is the Christian life, it is always glorious no matter how ordinary it may seem at times.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ministry, Revival, Uncategorized

Are we in a famine?

famine

When surveying the current landscape of evangelicalism it is not very hard to see that we are currently in a theological famine. A famine of “hearing the words of the Lord” as can be found in Amos 8:11(Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord) This indeed is a frightening judgement given by God himself to a people who traded the very words of God for stale bread. The scriptures speak clearly of this condition(2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables) Is this not true of today, especially in America?

We have successfully to our own detriment turned the biblical God into a man made idol who grants wishes. We have turned His Christ into just another addition to the American dream that says bigger and better always means more blessings. We have traded His glorious Gospel for a shell of what it really is. The Christ that once called men dead in their sins to repent and be raised to new life has become a christ who sits beggarly at the feet of men. The cross we preach is padded or completely non-existent. It is Christianity without a cross, Religion without relationship, power without prayer, anointing without abasement.

In the midst of all this softening of Christianity, we have lost some vital things that have always been hills the saints of old would die on. Great truths that are diluted or gone altogether. Such as the lost condition of man, the drawing of the spirit, the nature of the Triune God and his attributes, authority and sufficiency of scripture, the atonement, propitiation of sins, repentance, justification by faith, sanctification, indwelling and baptism of the Holy Ghost, Lordship of Christ, final redemption, and so on! These are the great doctrines taught by the early church. These were preached by men such as Wesley, Whitelfield, Spurgeon, Moody, Tozer, Ravenhill and many more! We too must teach and preach these if we want to truly carry the torch the church has handed to our generation.

Until just a few years ago, I never really saw the value in these precious truths. I say this to my own shame, for want of self-righteousness and holiness in man’s eyes I struggled through my early walk with God just trying to please people and hide my own faults. While I am very far away, praise be to God for His grace that has broken me only to start the reconstruction His way. This must be done in our lives, we must be stripped of all false assurance of self until we see ourselves as utterly helpless. Then and only then, we can boldly but humbly walk before God and men however broken we are and sing…

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand

Why no youth, why no kids, why are churches across our nation half empty…is it because our theology is three miles wide but one inch deep. No serious teaching for the seeking soul. We have done the equivalent of promising the Grand Canyon, but taking people to see a crack in the sidewalk. The youth of our nation needs a revival of leaders who will be passionate not about being cool and dressing like them, but a passion of the Word of God! A passion for solid teaching that will help them see the beauty of Christ and what He has done for them! And above all let our pastors and youth leaders be people of prayer that have complete trust in the work of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for reading and be much in prayer for a revival of the words of the Lord for our churches, families, and communities.

In Christ,
Scott Neville

Leave a comment

Filed under Doctrine, Prayer, Revival, Theology