It is God’s will that you should be sanctified.
1 Thessalonians 4, 3
I have recently studied some revivals that have happened in recent years and centuries. Everywhere there has been the same pattern, and we are far from revival when we compare ourselves to it.
First there is the recognition of sin. A little bit of “Well, everyone has his faults” – is simply too little before God. In revivals, people cry because of their excessive guilt. They find no more rest until God forgives them and they get rest on the cross of Golgotha. It starts with the Christians and then jumps over to others. But where are we Christians today? Tears of repentance are rare. Not to mention that we want to make amends for our sins. No, confession of sin is not widespread here and today. We want to be good and we wants to be strong.
The second point is the striving for purity and sanctification. Once we have recognized our failure and our guilt, we know that it is because of our hardened heart, our old self is capable of any evil thing, and it cannot be renovated, cannot be healed or repaired. It is evil, from the ground up. We try hard, but we don’t get any closer to the goal, the old me refuses to obey. We need the new heart that Jesus gives; I call it the Jesus Heart. We need the Spirit of God in us, who makes the fruit of this new life grow: patience, kindness, generosity, humility, love, joy, peace, self-discipline, etc. The more space He takes up in us, the more similar we can become to Jesus.
And then we are already at the third point: self-denial.
We realize that we are only human beings and we do not come close to God. We simply can’t make it.
But the Spirit of God takes us into His school and leads us to give our old self into death, to separate us from His wishes, desires and goals. In the end, we even give up our own will, so that the will of God will rule us. We no longer need anything for ourselves, because God takes care of us. We can give ourselves completely to Him, and He can not only fill us completely, but also do His work in the world through us.
It is a pity, most of them only manage the first point with great pains. It is unpleasant, painful. The world has more fun to offer than this. Point 2, the sanctification, they hardly bother trying ….. Where do we stand? Where is God’s spirit working on us now? Or has He become tired and retreated? Then come back quickly to the cross of Jesus, be forgiven, be purified and seek Him anew, so that your life may have a meaning and a goal, so that joy may return and peace may permeate you. Do not be cold or lukewarm, burn for the Lord Jesus Christ!
O Jesus, I am still so far from being a good follower of Christ! I am so far away from You! LORD, rekindle the old fire, forgive my idleness, my laziness, my comfort, my pleasure principle. Oh Lord, I need a new heart!