This coming Wednesday, April 20th, I have the opportunity to lead worship outside of my own church at a local Baptist church that is having a revival service. For those that don’t know what a revival service is, it usually is a service that takes place over several consecutive days with the goal of reviving, or firing up, or re-energizing a congregation. Revivals also usually feature an evangelical focus – either a renewed commission for Christians to reach the lost, or a focus on bringing the lost to the revival service to be saved. Wednesday night is the opening night for this particular revival and I am so excited about starting things off for this church in worship.
God has really burdened my heart to pray for this church and this revival series. I don’t know much about the church or its congregation other than what I can see on its webpage, but I feel like I have some idea about where this church is at in its journey and I can relate to the need for this revival. As I was picking out what songs to share with them, I considered the fact that the personal revivals I have experienced in my own life have all started with a remembrance and renewed understanding of the holiness of God. I came across these two quotes that speak to this:
“Revival is the visitation of God which brings to life Christians who have been sleeping and restores a deep sense of God’s near presence and holiness. Thence springs a vivid sense of sin and a profound exercise of heart in repentance, praise, and love, with an evangelistic outflow.” (J.I. Packer)
“A necessary pre-cursor of any great spiritual awakening is a spirit of deep humiliation growing out of a consciousness of sin, and fresh revelation of the holiness and power and glory of God.” (John Mott)
Revival begins by realizing how perfect God is and how sinful we are. The only thing we deserved was God’s righteous judgment and wrath. Once we remember the depth of that truth, we can’t help but be astonished that instead of His wrath being poured out on us, God loved us so much that He sent his Son to take the full brunt of that judgment. We can’t help but be revived when we understand the enormity of the gift we’ve been given by Christ!
So the songs I’ve selected will mostly be songs that focus on the holiness of God. Pray that God will stir this church and give them a fresh perspective on His holiness and majesty. I hope to teach them one song that I know will be new to them called “The Lion and the Lamb.” I am also planning to teach it at my church the following Sunday. It’s one of my new favorites and it certainly calls to mind the holiness of God. It’s written by Leeland Mooring, Brenton Brown, Brian Johnson of Bethel Music and I hope it is meaningful to you.