I am currently going a through a Bible reading plan that guides me through thirty-one days of praying for my nation. It pains me to see how far the country in which I live is drifting from God. To be clear, I don’t believe there is any such thing as a “Christian Nation” (for an excellent, in-depth study on this topic, see “The Myth of a Christian Nation” by Gregory A. Boyd). The history of my country is filled with atrocities which should never be associated with the name of Christ. Still, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, it seemed my Country had a far greater reverence and respect for God. My parents feel their generation was even more dedicated to God, and I do not doubt this to be true.
Even in the 1960’s, A.W. Tozer made this comment: “We need a revival! We need a revival of consecration to death, a revival of happy abandonment to the will of God that will laugh at sacrifice and count it a privilege to bear the cross through the heat and burden of the day. We are too much influenced by the world and too little controlled by the Spirit.”
Pastor Tozer’s words cut me to the heart. They convict me personally and also for my nation at large. They should convict you as well. We are all part of the problem. Each of us needs a revival. How many of us can claim a “happy abandonment to the will of God”? No doubt we are happily abandoned to our own plans, hopes, and dreams but how many of those are aligned to the will of God? Somewhere along the way, we reversed the proper order of things. Instead of pursuing the will of God and finding our passions within it, we have held our passions as sacred and then endeavored to determine how God’s will might fit nicely within their construct or even worse to coexist alongside them. This is why we need a revival. We need to realign our thinking to be in sync with that of our Lord’s!
When was the last time you laughed at sacrifice? Better still, when was the last time you truly sacrificed anything for the sake of God? Giving of our excess is not sacrifice. Living in our comfort zone isn’t either. Sacrifice will hurt. It’s why we avoid it! But when we sacrifice our time, our money, and indeed our lives for the sake of the Kingdom, we will find that’s where life begins. Jesus said when we lose our life for His sake, we will find life beyond what we could have ever hoped or imagined (Matthew 10:39).
It is a privilege to carry the cross of Christ. Few are called to do it, and even fewer accept the honor. Either consciously or not, we are living lives that reject the cross of Jesus. We are unburdened and unabandoned. Jesus has called us to live differently. He has called us to be Holy and to take His gospel to all peoples regardless of what it may cost (Luke 14:26-33; Matthew 8:18-22; Philippians 3:7-8; Matthew 28:18-20). In my country like no other, He has blessed us with resources never seen in the history of mankind. What are we doing with all He has entrusted us to steward? What are we doing to proclaim His name at home and abroad? We need a revival. Desperately. We need a revival before it’s too late.