Over 40 years ago a read little 75-page book that powerfully influenced my life. Yesterday I started to reread it. Some of the highlights are barely noticeable. The underlines and side notes are there to help me and guide me back to a former time. And the words are there. Words that were written in 1950, five years before I was born. Words that told of glories that were being experienced by Christians who were experiencing personal revival in places all over the world as they read these words and interacted with these concepts.
Words that challenged. Words that ripped the heart apart with their brutal honesty and passionate vision of a life lived for God. Words that spoke of a life that wasn’t saturated with self but was truly intoxicated with the Living Christ.
When I read the book I was probably 2 years old in Christ. I warmed to its vision. I was convicted by its brutal honesty. I remember telling all my friends about the book that today has been translated into 40 languages with over a million copies in print. Two different people have written study guides for the book seeking to help others in both individual and group contexts explore the mysteries of a Christian way that is all too often never traveled.
Yesterday, I rediscovered the book on my shelf while I was looking for another volume to pass on to a friend in need. Twenty-one pages into this short paperback tome I discovered that my need for the book is perhaps greater than my friend’s need for the book I was looking for.
And now it is a day later and I have reread those first 21 pages. And I will probably reread them again before I move on because I’m still processing my own understanding and application of its insights.
What if revival has nothing to do with big meetings and crowds?
What if it revival starts in the interior places of the heart? What if revival has to do less with excitement and crowds and more with conviction and confession and surrender?
What if brokenness, and heartache, and longing, and grief, and sorrow over sin were precursors—necessary steps preceding revival of heart and faith??
What if any effort to reach the lost and build the Kingdom of God was wasted effort until the vessel is cleansed and emptied? Maybe all our vaunted power, and plans, and visions, and strategies are simply substitutes for real, Spirit empowered transformation?
What if revival was simply a matter re-entering the path of THE CALVARY ROAD? What if the walk we need to rediscover and embrace is the road of suffering and death? What if dying to self and all self-consciousness?
What if revival started with one heart being completely honest with God and crying out for His forgiveness and filling?
What if the heart was mine?
What if it is yours?
Want to join me in the journey to find out?