A Resting Place
As the tremors of revival rumble across our nation, my heart is stirred more and more for Jesus. His nearness is my soul’s cry. The passion of every disciple is for Him to come and wreck our worldliness. Not too long ago, we threw schedules, careers, and livelihoods out the window to pander to a pandemic, but now I long to see Jesus take the stage with greater priority and make His presence known. Do you want to see Him invade your life? What will you sacrifice to make yourself ready? Before you assume that you have to get everything in a moral order, it may be beneficial to know that God draws near to those who possess only a few vital elements. From the history of revivals and the Biblical record of God’s desire to be near His people, we can see some common traits that provoke His presence. What are they?
We must allow our hearts to say, “God forgive me of my sins.” The sins of pride and self-commending counsel make no room for God’s power to enter and transform us. (Psalms 34:18-19)
The greatest risk we must take to welcome God’s presence into our personal lives is forgiving others. Letting others off your hook of judgment means you choose to let offenders go from your repeated recounting of negative incidents. When you keep repeating the stories of how you were hurt or how you made your point, you’re not forgiving; you’re wallowing in bitterness. You will know that forgiveness has happened when you can freely bless those who have hurt you. (Matthew 5:10-12) Jesus says when you engage in the freedom of forgiveness, you will “be sons of your father who is in Heaven.” This intimate relationship is only realized by forgiving those who have hurt you.
Choosing not to self-promote seems almost antithetical to the cultural norms of reels, shorts, and selfies. We’ve raised a generation to believe that one’s value comes from the affirmation of strangers. Too many draw their sense of achievement or success from the approving digital nod of social media likes and clicks. How did we get to this? We have forgotten the pathway of receiving affirmation from Jesus in the secret place. Today, however, the disease of desiring praise from unknown hundreds has infected the self-esteem of too many media-dependent kids in adult bodies. Ultimately, this false sense of assurance waters the seeds of pride. Pride pushes the needed presence of God far away. Humility, on the other hand, brings a soul into the reality of one’s desperate need for Jesus. If you don’t need Him, He will allow you to live in the lie that your happiness, fulfillment, and sense of success are the most important pursuit in life. He’ll even let you run with this vanity until you self-destruct in your pride, humble your heart, and confess that you need Him. (James 4:6)
Practicing these principles in your day-to-day life will prepare your heart to be a resting place for God’s presence. In the exercise of repentance, forgiveness, and humility, you can make room for the revival fire spreading across our nation.