Feb 6, 2007

The need for spiritual emphasis every week

by Kari Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief
Spiritual Emphasis Week ended and a number of students made a commitment to follow Christ. It was beautiful to see so many of God’s children kneeling at the throne, surrendering their hearts and their lives to the King of Kings. There was a revival at Liberty last week. Here, we call it Spiritual Emphasis Week. But shouldn’t there be an emphasis on our spirits every week? 

According to dictionary.com, a revival is the restoration to life, consciousness, vigor or strength. When it is used in reference to a church, it means an awakening. As Christians, why do we allow our spirits to go dormant, in need of an awakening? I think revival is needed for at least one of three reasons.

First, we allow ourselves to be captivated by sin. In the book of Romans, Paul tells us of his struggle. His heart delights in the law of God, but his flesh is captivated by the law of sin. We must be aware of this conflict so that we do not give into sin and allow it to have dominion in our heart.

Another reason we need revival is because we are bored and have become lukewarm Christians. In Revelation 3:16, God said that he will spew us from his mouth when we are neither hot nor cold. He doesn’t want us to become content in our Christian life. The Lord wants to continually mold us and shape us and bend us and break us so that He may conform us to be more like Him. This process is necessary and will draw us closer to Him so that He may wrap His love around us and burn in us a passion and desire to bring Him glory and honor.     

And the last reason that we need revival is because we have been spiritually starving ourselves. For those who don’t go to church, you should. For those who do, pray that your heart is receptive to the message. We often have our guard up, not really wanting our world to be turned upside down. Sitting there in the pew, we allow our minds to wander, refusing to accept responsibility for the feeding of our spirits.

Paul tells the church in I Corinthians that he was speaking to them as babes in Christ. Hebrews 5:13-14 says, “For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” We can not remain as babes. He wants us to grow, but it is our responsibility to feed our soul.

Spiritual revival is a good thing. The key to its effectiveness is our mindset going into it. We hear so many good services during the year, but tend to forget the content once we leave the sanctuary. The pastor may say something that evokes emotion, but that’s all it is – emotion. There’s no desire for a deeper commitment. But when we go into Spiritual Emphasis Week, or similar revival services, there’s a certain consciousness about the state of our spirit. There’s an emphasis on it, so we have a certain expectation when we attend services.    
Christians should wake up every morning with the same expectation. God wants to work in our lives every day. There are times when we need to wait on God, but how often do you think He is waiting on us?

He wants to work, but we lack faith or we are disobedient when that still small voice is tugging on our heart.

Our God is omnipotent and He loves us. If only we could grasp what seems like such a simple concept!  We would never need revival if we truly knew the meaning of those words. We would never need revival if we knew God and could comprehend even a fraction of His goodness.

Unfortunately, we are humans living in a fallen world. We will never truly know God until we are with Him in heaven. However, every day we seek God is another day spent in communion with the Father. This fellowship with the Father is the only thing that makes this temporary life worth living. And the only way to maintain this communion is to revive our spirit daily, not just during special services or on Sundays.

My challenge to all who read this, as well as myself, is to desire a deeper commitment with Christ on a daily basis. Remember the feelings you felt during Spiritual Emphasis Week. Desire that conviction every time you attend church, every moment you spend in prayer. Don’t allow yourself to be captivated by sin. Don’t be a lukewarm Christian. Don’t starve your spirit.

Contact Kari Mitchell at kdmitchell2@liberty.edu.

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