Christian revival means Christians quit taking a little bit of materialism…hedonism…American culture…eastern mysticism…gnosticism…, and base our lives on the God of the universe. “You have hewn cisterns that will not hold water,” warned the Old Testament prophet. We make mistakes (sins) in our twenties and spend the rest of our lives paying for them (stds, abortions, financial disasters). But Christian revival means to repent and to turn to the risen Jesus Christ for our hopes and plans.
I also did the opposite of that for several years, just as you did or are doing now. God can use our past, no matter how we messed it up. But I am convinced that when we build on Godly and positive actions and thoughts we will have better impact on others, and a more fulfilling life for ourselves. Revival for me came not because I am smarter or better than others, but because several car wrecks got me thinking that I was heading in the wrong direction. I knew that already, but I needed some disaster to get me to turn around.
The Bible says those God loves he chastises or disciplines, and without that we are ilegitimate and not really children of God at all. So when we hit a bump in the road, instead of whining I hope we go to the Lord in prayer and get God’s perspective. David did that many times. We read that he inquired of the Lord before he undertook any important action (he did neglect to ask God’s opinion before he committed adultery with Bathsheba and then have her husband murdered).
Do we sincerely do that? Or do we plough ahead with our ideas and opinions of our friends? That is tempting to do, after only a nod to God. Frankly, I do not fast and pray as much as I did in the past, and I am not convinced that I am better off. I do pray much. But I am not in anguish very often over my sins and those of my fellow Americans. The Bible says weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.
We want the joy without the weeping but that is impossible, except in a very shallow and trivial way. When we draw near to God he draws near to us. We can be sure that has never happened to us, unless we have caught a glimpse of the holiness of God and how far we are from being holy ourselves. In other words, if we have ever really come into the presence of God, we have been traumatized by the consciousness of our sins. That leads to either hostility and resentment towards God, or a brokeness before God(revival).
Dr. Mounger wrote a little booklet about our heart being the home of Christ. He encouraged us to search each room of our heart, as we would a house. Then we are to look for anything and everything that would not honor Jesus Christ. We may not have 2 or 3 spouses or significant others in our house/heart, but if we are honest we will regularly find some selfishness, desire for revenge, or other trait that hinders us from being in the center of the will of God. God says in the book of Revelation that if we are lukewarm, he will spue us out of his mouth. May God help us to have deeper and deeper layers of repentance and to take out the little bits of all that keep us from walking humbly with the risen Jesus Christ.