"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer"- Acts 2:42 (NIV)
Revival has been described as increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of believers. Revivals do result into mass conversions of non-believers who repent of their sinful ways and turn back to God.
Historically revivals have led to restoration of the church to a vital and fervent relationship with God after a period of moral decline. It has been noted that the abolition movement that led to the end of Atlantic slave trade was inspired by the "Awakening" which also produced some of the greatest world universities like Dartmouth and Princeton.
Here in Uganda we are privileged to have been close by to the 1930 East Africa revival considered by some to be the longest running revival in Christian history. The "Balokole movement" had a sweeping effect on the "dead church" and helped revive it with the fire of a mesage of repentance and turning back to God.
Perhaps we can date back to the first revival to the Pentecost when believers received the holy spirit who totally changed their lives. "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting...All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them" (Acts 2: 1-4).
Pentecost totally changed the life of believers. "Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles...Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" (vv 44-47).
If we want to see a revival from which our society will change, just as before, therefore we need to be as diligent with prayer, and let the Holy spirit move!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of creation, of heaven and earth, today I pray that we as the church may devote ourselves to the ministry of prayer from which all great revivals spring and of which we need to see our nation change!
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!