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  • Writer's picturePastor Nathan Lipscomb

The Revival's Over, Now What?

When Rachel and I were on our honeymoon, we took a day trip to Ashville to see the Biltmore estate. While we were touring through the gardens, we stopped under a flowery lattice arch to get a selfie and another couple asked if we wanted them to take the picture for us. When we were done, they asked if we had just gotten married.

Apparently, it was obvious (I don't know how they noticed) that "we still liked each other". That made me think. They did not say that they didn't like each other anymore, but it was implied that their honeymoon period was long over. Did that mean the love was gone? No doubt you have heard many times, that love is not a feeling; it is a choice. When the puppy love feeling has faded, real love kicks in and picks up the slack.

#1 Was it based on a feeling, or was it based on a truth?

I hope that the Lord has done some incredible work in your heart throughout this week of revival services, but don't let that reviving be based on an emotional response, but rather on a truth. Emotions are powerful; emotions are raw; emotions are real. Don't discount emotions. When we understand the desperateness of our condition before God, it should evoke an emotional response. I'll be the first to admit that showing emotion can be hard, but when the Lord convicts us of sin, it is supposed to hurt. When the Lord is calling us to service, it should move us. That's why we walk that aisle, get down on our knees, and humbly seek God's mercy and grace. But when that feeling fades, you are left with the truth. Did you make that decision because of a Biblical truth that the Spirit used to convict and guide you? If so, then it still applies today! If so, let me ask another question:

#2 Did you write it down?

There are certain memories of my past that are ingrained in me and I feel like I am not likely to ever forget them: birthdays, high moments, low moments, deaths, my wedding. I remember going to Bible camp when I was young, I don't remember the sermons, but I do remember some of the decisions- because I wrote them down. In the front flap of several of my Bibles, there are decisions that I made as a result of conviction during a preaching service. I wrote down the decision and the date. That doesn't mean that I have stayed true to all of those decisions, but the visible reminder is a conviction to me when I realize I have neglected to keep it.

In I Samuel chapter seven, when Samuel led a revival in Israel, they put away their false gods and gathered together to sacrifice for their sin and worship the Lord. Satan caused the Philistines to become nervous that Israel was unifying. Satan did not want Israel, God's peculiar people, to live in obedience to God. The Philistines attacked and God miraculously preserved them and gave them victory. Afterwards, Samuel set up a stone in that place called Ebenezer (stone of help) to remind the people of the great victory that God had given them. Other similar examples in the Old Testament would be Jacob at Bethel (Gen. 28), and Joshua in the Jordan River, at Gilgal, and at Shechem (Joshua 4). Leave yourself a reminder of what God did in your heart this week.

#3 Did you tell someone?

Testimony time in a church service setting can be awkward sometimes. For many, speaking in front of group is terrifying. Convincing ourselves that our church family has our best interest at heart and will overlook our stumbling or inefficient vocabulary long enough for us to speak out our praise or prayer request may be a battle, but I am reminded of a particular testimony I heard in church once. There was a deaf couple that attended regularly for years. On one Sunday evening, during a testimony time, the husband got up to speak. Deaf people are often self-conscious about their voices since they can't hear themselves speak, but he stood up and gave praise to God in the best way he could. That stuck with me; if he could overcome his fears and praise God, then so could I.

Psalm 107 tells us to "give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy." Later in verse eight, the Psalmist said, "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" You don't have to get up in front of the church and tell everyone how the Lord has worked in you this week, but will you tell someone? You could be such an encouragement and conviction to someone! Tell someone that will help keep you accountable to your decision.

Our Christian walk isn't meant for us to walk alone. We aren't meant to remain stoically immune to the Holy Spirit, our Bible reading, or preaching. Finally, we aren't meant to return back to what the Lord has just called us to leave behind. Revival's over...I sincerely hope not!

"Let the Lord revive a believer and very soon his family, his friends, his neighbors, receive a share of the benefit; for when a Christian is revived, he prays more fervently for sinners. Longing, loving prayer for sinners, is one of the marks of a revival in the renewed heart. When Christians are revived they live more consistently, they make their homes more holy and more happy, and this leads the ungodly to envy them, and to enquire after their secret." Charles Spurgeon

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