2 Peter 3:9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
God’s ultimate desire is that none perish but all come to the knowledge of salvation in Jesus Christ. This is God’s heart at its core, and as His bride the Church, it too should be our desire.
In a recent newsletter, Evangelist Mario Murillo pointed out that three things came together in early 2023 that brought this idea that none perish into context.
The first was the near-death experience of Damar Hamlin … the nation watched and prayed for this young NFL football player. The second was the Asbury Revival in Kentucky, and the third was the movie ‘Jesus Revolution' released in February. All three came together reminding people of God’s presence and His desire that none should perish.
With all this media attention and positive reviews, it is a good reminder that God is not finished with America yet. He uses flawed ministries, flawed people, and flawed churches to tell His story. That was one of my takeaways when I watched the movie ‘Jesus Revolution.’ Flawed people seeking a perfect God for His perfect message of salvation for all.
With all the attention on prayer, worship, and surrender to God, we need to keep in mind that all of this comes down to God wanting none to perish. These instruments of revival are to be used to bring us back to focusing on our first love, Jesus Christ. I do believe the American Church could be guilty of losing that first love mentioned in:
Revelation 2:4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.
It is a smooth and slippery road to walk between the success of the ministry and the pursuit of God, keeping Jesus as the main target of our faith and the work of ministry. It is easy to see when success comes to a church or a movement of God that the work itself can become an enemy of God competing for our attention. The Ephesian Church was successful and powerful in its ministry and yet it was not the success Jesus was after … He wanted to remain their focus. The Asbury Revival reminded us of that where no special speaker, worship band, or ministry process would take God’s glory.
Perhaps that is what has been missing in many of our churches … a simple presence of God not orchestrated by anything other than the people’s desire to know and worship God. One of our tendencies in the church has always been to duplicate the acts of revival from other places. Many went to the Asbury Revival hoping to catch the fire of what was happening there and bring it back home to their local church. I don’t see anything wrong in doing that, but revival is not a place … it is an attitude of the heart. The heart must have a receptiveness about pursuing God that is not hindered by any competition for our attention.
Many Christians go to church and may even do some ministry outreach, but if we were to get a readout of how much of God we have pursued in a week, we might be surprised. Our phones give us a weekly readout on how much time we spend on ‘screen time’ and some weeks I am amazed at how much time my phone takes up. In this same manner, how much God time do we give Him in a week? You see, revival takes place as we pursue God and give Him time to let Him have input into our lives. I have begun a new regimen when I get up every day. I ask God to help me honor Him with my life for that day. I thought it was a wonderful way to let God know I love Him. Yet, He reminded me, that my honor to Him starts with the time I allot to pursuing Him. It's my ‘screen time’ with Him that matters because it makes me go beyond my words in prayer to the action of my heart. Sabbath has this same kind of principle … to set a day aside to pursue Him.
Revival in its truest form is ‘an active pursuit of God.’ This pursuit doesn’t need an Asbury Revival, a movie where hippies get saved, or the miracle of a recovering NFL player (as good as all these are) … it takes making the pursuit of God a priority in your life. Our relationship with God is mainly on us because He is always pursuing us. The problem always rests on ‘do we pursue Him in return?’
If you desire revival desire God first, and the other will come in time. Your first love is God … not revival. Revival is the result of our pursuit, and it starts with wanting more of God in our lives.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler
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