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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
My complete profile...
The Buzz

Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
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Monday, November 23, 2009
The main prerequisite to revival...
Revival, as described in scripture, doesn't resemble what most people think of when they hear the word revival.

In the modern church the term revival is almost synonymous with week-long evangelical meetings. When some think of revival they think of a great "movement of God" and by "movement of God" they can mean anything from an uncommon number of souls being saved all the way down to people falling on the ground and acting like barnyard animals. That is, the term itself, whether it has a proper meaning or not, is by no means use according to such limits - about the only thing universal about the term revival is that it is supposed to describe something out of the ordinary.

When I talk about revival, I therefore need to be specific, lest I speak about one thing, and the reader imagine I am describing some other thing that shares the label. When I say revival, I am talking about an orderly thing, not the slayings in the spirit, not the dog barking, and snake slithering, not the week-long focused evangelical meetings in another church, or in my own - I am talking about a work that takes place in the heart - a circumcision, if you will, whereby a soul whose affection has been divided between God and the world, finally let's go of the world and is able to grasp with both hands the Lord Jesus Christ (figuratively of course).

The work of revival is really a work of "true" repentance; which itself differs from what we typically call "repentance" in that it is a work that takes place in the heart, rather than in the hands. It isn't stopping what we do with our hands, but it is a surgical work that takes place in our heart; where we determine to have Christ above everything else.

I want to be clear on that, so follow me as I expound the thought. Most "serious" Christians - the ones who attend church, read their bible, attend prayer meetings, and have a real (though not necessarily "church-sponsored") ministry - most of those who typically make up the core group - the twenty percent who do eighty percent of the work - these believers typically love the Lord Jesus; and hate sin - but they are not sold out. That is, they love Jesus, alongside their love of many other things. Jesus might be the biggest love of their life - or maybe the second or third biggest, as some love family above their Lord, or even friends - but most of this group can say that Jesus is in one of the top three "slots" for the things they place their affection on.

Now, this might sound strident, but bear with me: it doesn't matter if Jesus is their number one affection or not; it doesn't matter because all this says is that Jesus is pretty high in a list of many affections.

Scripture says that we are not to love the world, or the things in the world. Meditate on that for a second... I'll wait.

Okay - consider this now. If we are not to love the world or the things in the world, then even if Christ is our first place affection, He is still just one affection amongst many - and the rest of our affection is put into things that are in, or of, this world.

When Christ calls the church to repent (no less than six times in the book of Revelation alone), He is not calling us to simply "stop sinning so much" - but rather to repent of the love of this world in order that He becomes our sole and only affection. Repentance - true repentance - happens when Christ becomes our only affection.

You cannot love the Lord with your whole heart if your heart continues to love other things. It is this love for other things, whether it be people, things in the world - or even spiritual "seeming" endeavors such as "ministry" - if we love a thing that isn't Christ, we are divided in our affection, and so long as we are in that state, we are not "revived" - but in need of the kind of repentance that is all consuming. When we turn our hearts to God in full - that is "revival" - that is "normal" Christianity.

We know that Christianity is almost universally "abnormal" and that knowledge can only serve to strengthen our acceptance of that which is abnormal - or maybe "sub"-normal.

I am fairly convinced that the moment Christ has all our affection, only then are we able to have a right affection for anything else.

Revival comes then, when we surrender every other affection. I think this is what Jesus was talking about when He taught that we are to count the cost. If we want to follow Him, we can't stay pacified and slumbering in the dormancy of half-hearted Christianity; either be hot or cold, but being lukewarm... yuck!

Here is the thing - we don't really want to put on the Lord Jesus Christ as our sole and only garment - what we really want is to wear Jesus as the primary accessory in our life - a masterful centerpeice on a table full of other things too. We want the Lord, and we have been trained to think that He must be first in our affection, when what we should have been trained to think is that He must be our only affection.

Having said that, let me mitigate against those who have eyes and are blind, and ears and are deaf - that is, let me quickly quantify my remarks here, so as to avoid having to explain myself later.

The one who loves Christ, and only Christ - this one (by definition) will loves all that Christ loves; he or she will still love his or her children, but not with something so base as that carnal affection that even pagans muster for their children, rather he or she will love his or her spouse and children, friends and family with the love that is superior to every other love - for they will love these as Christ loves these, and more - they will love those whom Christ loves to their own hurt - that is, they will love even those who will not reciprocate their love.

It's big and heady stuff, and many and most of you aren't really into that, I know. We have our organized religion, and that's hard enough to manage sometimes. What kind of burden am I suggesting?

Well, I am suggesting a yoke that is light and a burden that is easy, it only seems heavy and impossible because the thought of setting aside all the things in the world in favor of Christ will never, ever satisfy the flesh, and the flesh will by no means desire such a thing. But if Christ's Spirit is in you, I know that you will desire this, for deep calls unto deep.

Now, how do you go about repenting? You just do it. Period. You -can- do it if Christ is in you, the reason you don't is because you don't want to. It really is that simple. Rather than encourage you with "try this" and "try that" sort of advice, I will just say, God help you if you don't repent fully. The throne of grace is waiting, but it's a limited time offer.

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posted by Daniel @ 8:22 AM  
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