An Opportunity for Spiritual Renewal
- Friday, March 20, 2009
Some Recommended Responses
Become Deeply Broken - I believe this is a time for us to return to brokenness over the spiritual condition of our nation, our inadequate impact on the culture, and our need to return to holiness, truth, and spiritual renewal. God still resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).
Become Increasingly Desperate - A well-known Ugandan pastor, who survived the tragedy of Idi Amin's rule and then watched the spiritual resurgence of his nation, often issues this call to American Christians: "Desperation or devastation." Truly this is a good time to recommit to desperate praying for the spiritual revival of the church in America. We must get to a place where churches are renowned as houses of prayer more than centers for programming and Christian entertainment. This is a prime time for pastors to re-establish biblical priorities according to Acts 6:4 ("prayer and the ministry of the word') and to lead their people into consistent, powerful experiences of balanced, biblical prayer.
Become Biblically Educated - While we know that "knowledge puffs up" (2 Corinthians 8:1) and that powerless theological education can be counterproductive - we still must be resolute as approved workers who are "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). We must demonstrate the power and value of a biblical worldview. Then, as we "sanctify the Lord God" in our hearts we will "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks" for the reason for the hope that we demonstrate in this life. We must offer these answers with "meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15).
Become Meaningfully Engaged - Prayer is not a substitute for meaningful ministry; rather, it is the source of spiritually-empowered ministry. This is not a time to hide out, but a time to pray up and go out. We need to engage with lost friends, the non-religious, and those who are ignorant of the real meaning of the cross. They are not the enemy but are victims of The Enemy. As Acts 4:13 demonstrates, we may not impress them with our own acumen or status, but we must impress them "that we have been with Jesus." Acts 4:20 gives us this example: "We cannot help but speak of what we have seen and heard." This boldness, experienced and empowered by our time in His truth and presence, is a positive force for transforming a culture in spiritual decline.
Become Spiritually Empowered - As we all "with unveiled faces" experience "as in a mirror the glory of the Lord" - we will be "transformed from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18). As a result, we will understand a new definition of ministry. This ministry is described in 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 with powerful verbiage that tells us that we do not lose heart, we expose the darkness with light, we are servants with a bold gospel message, and we are shining with the glory of Jesus Christ. That kind of living has the power to turn things around in our nation.
Bad News - Good News
Yes, the headlines are touting some bad news for people of faith. But our hearts can interpret this as an opportunity for a fresh dose of good news. We must become the recipients of this good work, then serve as catalysts of this good message, accomplishing great things in a culture that is still spiritually hungry and looking for real answers.
Copyright © Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.
Daniel Henderson is Founder and President of Strategic Renewal, a ministry focused on igniting the heart of the church through personal renewal, congregational revival, and leadership restoration for the glory of Jesus Christ. An accomplished speaker, teacher and author, Daniel travels across the U.S. leading seminars and events that motivate individuals and entire congregations to greater passion and effectiveness in prayer. With 25 years of pastoral experience, he offers individuals and churches the spiritual tools for a more intimate relationship with God.
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