Well we’re a couple of weeks removed from our four nights of “Revive Us” worship gatherings. If you were able to make it to any or all of the nights, I pray you were blessed. It certainly was a powerful time to come together, 3 congregations, one church with one heart and focus to seek the Lord and worship Him. God was truly gracious to allow His Spirit to move amongst us and to allow His Word to pour deep into our hearts. As we stated on multiple occasions, that time was not to be seen as a one-time event, but really as a catalyst for deeper spiritual renewal that hopefully overflows into a renewed commitment to pursue the Lord and live more fully into His mission. I would venture to say though, that many of us are probably still operating or suffering from a “what now” hang-over, and let me just say that’s normal. But we certainly don’t want to stay in that place. We don’t want our spiritual walk to be made up of or fueled by spiritual experiences or programmed events. Those things are great and beneficial, but our God is much bigger than that. He is active every day, and His glory is on display at all times.
So here is what we want to do over the next few weeks. We want to release a few blog posts that we hope will encourage and assist you in continuing to foster, with the help and power of the Holy Spirit, a mentality and heart of continual dependence upon God and desperation for His continual renewal. At the end of our time at “Revive Us” we made cards available that had the 7 Distinguishing Marks of Renewal from Jonathan Edwards, and on the back were 7 prayerful suggestions the Elders laid out for us to give attention to in this season. Let me quickly review those 7 suggestions and leave you with some final thoughts.
- Pray that God would grow your hunger and longing for His Word. If you don’t already have a reading plan consider using Summit’s monthly reading plan. (Jeremiah 15:16)
- Spend time in prayer daily. Consider using time in your car or another moment during your day to commune with your Heavenly Father through prayer. (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
- Ask God to continue to grow your dependence on Him and your neediness for Him. (John 15:5, Matthew 5:3)
- Strive to deal ruthlessly with sin, asking God for His grace to repent from any and all things that do not glorify Him. (Psalm 32:5, Isaiah 55:6-7)
- Consider who you might invite into this journey with you– a spouse, friend, co-worker. Be committed to community. (Hebrews 10:24-25, Ecc. 4:9-12)
- Ask God to give you His heart for the lost around you. Ask the Lord for continual opportunities to share the Gospel. (Col. 4:2-6)
- Walk in ever growing gratitude. May your gratitude fuel your worship of our Great God. (1Thess 5:18, Psalm 107:1)
Here are some thoughts concerning suggestion #1. I know, I know, you hear it all the time, READ YOUR BIBLE, but instead of hearing that through “guilt ridden” and “jaded” ears let this sit. God has something profound to say to you, and He has so much to show you. When we aren’t in the Word we are missing out.
So here’s a quick encouragement…
- Start small. If you feel intimated or insecure right now, just start reading small passages of Scripture.
- Get a good study Bible or study Bible APP that can help you better understand what you are reading.
- Trust the Holy Spirit to illuminate God’s Word to you. Don’t be afraid to actually pray and ask God to do just that.
- Share what you read with a friend, your spouse or someone in your life group. Sharing what you read will help you connect more with the Word, build healthy accountability, and build your relationships with those around you.
- Don’t make “finishing” the focus of your reading time, but focus instead on desiring to know God and being known by Him.
“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.”