Will You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? - Psalm 85:6
The Israelite people could look back and remember times when God showed up. He appeared to Abraham and promised him a nation. He appeared to Moses in a burning bush and promised his people deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Their history was filled with stories of God's faithfulness to appear even in the darkest of times. In fact, a whole book of the Bible, Judges, is just story after story of God visiting his people through the likes of Deborah, Gideon, Samson, and more.
In 1802, in an area called Cane Ridge in Bourbon County, Kentucky a Methodist lay preacher stood on a fallen tree on a Sunday morning before 15,000 people, taking his text from 2 Corinthians 5:10 – “We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of things done in the body, whether good or bad”. As he spoke hundreds fell to the ground by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was the beginning of the camp meeting phenomena. The Great Awakening lasted for over 20 years. The Cane Ridge Revival lasted only four days.
Last Friday more than six churches gathered to pray in our city. It felt as if God was there. Blessing the unity of the body and speaking to us about humility and repentance. If revival is about God reviving his people, we were experiencing that very thing. Our hearts were not only being drawn close to Jesus and one another but also towards the city we live in as we were moved to pray for our neighborhoods, friends, and those who found themselves in challenging and distressing situations.
Revival often begins when people remember what God has done in the past and begin to long for Him to do it again. This desire revives hearts forming in us a desire for more, a desire to see God as he truly is. It involves humility as we acknowledge who God truly is. It involves repentance as realize the ways are lives are not in line with God's purposes and ask him do do the necessary alignment in us.
At City Church, we want God to do that heart work in us. Our vision to live like Jesus is only possible to the extent that God aligns our hearts with his heart. As we continue to pursue God together in worship and prayer with churches across the city, I believe our hearts and minds will more fully see the greatness of Jesus. As we do (and respond appropriately), we will experience the reviving of our own hearts and the awakening of our city that we are hoping for.