Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shared in Prayer the other day...

I did not share this...but I assume Pastor Ray Kelly did in our morning prayer here at LWCC:

Revival ceases when Christians lose the spirit of brotherly love. Christ will not abide with people in a revival any longer than they continue to exercise brotherly love.

When Christians are spiritually on fire, they feel this love and they call each other "brother" or "sister." But when they grow cold, they lose this attachment to one another, and then calling someone brother or sister seems silly and they stop it. In some churches they never use such names; but where Christians are awake, they naturally do it. I never saw a revival where they didn't. But as soon as this love fades, the Spirit of God is grieved and departs from among them.

A revival will decline and end unless Christians are frequently reconverted. In order to remain in the spirit of revival, Christians need to be frequently convinced, humbled and broken before God-"reconverted." Many don't understand when we speak of a Christian being reconverted. But during a revival a Christian's heart is likely to crust over and lose its exquisite delight for divine things; unction and victory in prayer dwindle, and then the Christian must be converted again. He will impede the revival unless he passes through the process every few days.

No one I have ever worked with in an awakening could consistently manage the revival without going through this process of brokenness once every two or three weeks. Revivals often decline because if becomes impossible to make the church feel their guilt and dependence, in order to break them before God. Pastors, understand this, and learn how to soften the church and break yourselves when you need it, or else Christians will become mechanical and lose their fervor and power to prevail with God.

Peter went though this when he denied the Savior. Through his experience of surrender that followed his denial, God prepared him for Pentecost. I am surprised that "brokenness" is a stumbling block to some pastors and people who profess to know Christ. They invite Christ's rebuke, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?" Until some of them know what it is to be broken, they will do little for the spiritual growth of others.

The above excerpt was taken from page 180 of Lectures on Revival by Charles Finney.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Great post but some of the language is a little dated. The part in the 3rd paragraph about measuring how on fire you are by whether you call some one brother or sister probably applied in the late 1800's, not so much now I think, but loving one another never grows old. The message about being "reconverted" I think is really addressing becoming hard hearted. Really love Finney's stuff though.