Bonhoeffer on Revival

In Perspective, Soul Food on November 7, 2011 by The Spillover

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from The Cost of Discipleship:

Revival of church life always brings in its train a richer understanding of the Scriptures. Behind all the slogans and catchwords of ecclesiastical controversy, necessary though they are, there arises a more determined quest for him who is the sole object of it all, for Jesus Christ himself.

What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us to-day? How can he help us be good Christians in the modern world? In the last resort, what we want to know is not, what would this or that man, or this or that Church, have of us, but what Jesus Christ himself wants of us.

2 Responses to “Bonhoeffer on Revival”

  1. I pray for Calvary with everything in me.I have felt for sometime now that Calvary needs a revival , a true,spirit led revival! To put it from the words of music “all Gods people sing out glory, glory..hallelujah He Reigns! and all the powers of darkness tremble at what they just heard! ”
    Satan CANNOT dwell where the Holy Spirit is! Imagine the glory in heaven when this happens.. when Gods people get together and let loose and imagine how Satan just crumbles. I can hardly contain myself thinking about it! Satan is rendered POWERLESS! God is GLORIFIED! I cant help it, I have so much satisfaction in KNOWING I am with Jesus and as he may try (the devil) cant touch me 🙂 almost in a childish manner..looking at him(satan) , sticking my tongue out and saying “nah nah ” I love Calvary and we will be here as long as the Lord allows but please lets do something. I believe the Lord has brought us to Calvary for a reason. I pray whoever reads this prays and opens their heart to everything the Holy Spirit has to say to them.This passage puts it pretty eloquent. Its nothing that everyone hasn’t heard before. I PRAY we FEEL it!

    Scripture provides God’s people recipe for revival
    ___ 2 Chronicles 7:11-22
    ___By Tim Owens
    ___First Baptist Church, Bryan
    ___One of life’s most relevant questions for the Christian is “When will God hear and answer my prayers?” The basic biblical truth in 2 Chronicles 7:14-16 is God hears and answers the prayers of his people when they confess their sins to him and seek him with a humble heart. Christians sometimes miss the connection between their sinful attitudes and actions and their failure to experience God’s blessings in answered prayer. Humility and repentance are conditions that must be met in order for God to answer the prayers of his people.
    ___The key verse of this passage, 2 Chronicles 7:14, presents a divine recipe for revival. Many would say the greatest spiritual need in the world today is a heaven-sent revival among God’s people. Revival is a sovereign work of God in which he restores and releases his people into the fullness of his blessing. True revival results in effective witness to unbelievers, but revi
    val is first a work of God by which he draws believers into a more obedient relationship with himself.
    ___In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God is addressing his own people. While the original message was from Solomon to the people of Israel, these words are ultimately from God to his people of any age: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
    ___The term “revive” is an Old Testament term that means “to quicken or restore.” It is always used in reference to God’s covenant people. God is willing and waiting to revive his church. The experience of revival always comes to focus on prayer. Many Christian revival historians have noted that there has never been a prayerless revival. Perhaps the church wants the blessings of revival without meeting the basic conditions of revival–confession of sin and prayer.
    ___What kind of prayer will bring true revival to the hearts of God’s people?
    ___Humble prayer–“If my people … humble themselves”
    ___The meaning of the word “humble” is “to bend the knee.” The Bible teaches, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). This is both a sobering and satisfying reality.
    ___On one hand, for God to oppose a person, a nation, a denomination or a church is a serious thing. Hebrews 10:31 states: “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” On the other hand, to humble oneself under God’s mighty hand is to be lifted up in due time (1 Peter 5:6). Only the prayer of humility will bring true revival.
    ___Selfless prayer–“If my people … pray”
    ___The word chosen for “pray” means “to place selfish desires aside.” One of the major obstacles in prayer is selfish desires and agendas. Revival comes when the believer desires only the will and agenda of God. The prayer that took Jesus from crucifixion to glorification was “Not my will, but thy will be done” (Luke 22:42). Only the prayer of selflessness will lead to the glory of true revival.
    ___Persistent prayer–“If my people … seek my face”
    ___The tense of the verb “to seek” would suggest a continual, persistent pursuit of God. A casual approach to prayer will not result in the promises given in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Christians must come to the place where they avoid the activities and people that would divert them from continually seeking the face of God in prayer. Only prayer practiced with persistence will bring the fullness of God’s blessings to the lives of his people.
    ___Holy prayer–“If my people … turn from their wicked ways”
    ___This is the climax of revival praying. James says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other, so that you can be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Christians play at prayer when they try to approach God with unholy lives. True revival will never be experienced until God’s people confess their sins and approach God “in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).
    ___When these conditions of revival praying are met, God is ready to hear the prayers of his people, forgive their sins and heal their land. In fact, God is far more ready to bless his people than his people are to receive his blessings. It is God’s very nature to give abundantly to his children.
    ___May the prayer of God’s people be: “Lord, we want to be saturated with your presence. Break into our lives so that nothing else matters, except Jesus, the glory of Jesus, and the name of Jesus.” God will answer this kind of prayer and when he does, his word will come alive, his church will come alive and his work will come alive.

  2. I love it. And I feel revival in the air. Many people I talk to feel it, too.

    Praise God!

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