Spiritual revival of towns and cities has historically come through the sweeping reform of an uncommon repentance, as persons one by one came face to face with accountability before God.
Repentance is about a heart of brokenness where, before God, we acknowledge our spiritual nakedness, and we feel compelled to do something to put it right.
As we look over the history of revival worldwide we notice a trend that reveals a truth from the ages:
To recognise the utter paucity present in our own heart is to recognise the most powerful truth that exists about us.
The heart of brokenness is brokenness of the heart.
When revival is the born and it spreads, it has its genesis one person at a time, but in viral stereo.
A message of brokenness is preached. A message entirely foreign to the carnal instinct of humanity. A message that is eternally warranted. A message that, on the one hand, we despise; but on the other hand, we know we need it. It’s a message we’ve been waiting all our lives to hear. That God would have the audacity to usher the message into our consciousness.
It’s the moment we recognise God has caught up with us.
It’s the moment our fraud comes to light, but we find grace doesn’t judge it. It’s the common fraud called sin. It’s both a transformative and a terrifying moment. But we face a just and trustworthy God. We are safe in His hands. And revival is about to break out in and through us, as a person of God. And though it will shake us to our feet, the result will glorify God.
We’ve perhaps been a person of God for years. Maybe we’re brand new to this kind of faith. It matters little where we come from, or from how far we’ve come. What matters right now is this moment of holy reckoning. It’s as if we’re dressed to rehearse our meeting with God where, once for all time, we must give an account. And arriving at such a moment, on this side of eternity, is the blessing of a lifetime, no matter what it seems to cost.
Such an account is different to all other accounts we’ve ever given.
This time, instead of defending ourselves, we tell on ourselves. We hold nothing back. And the more we confess, the more God shows us, and the more that is revealed, the more two divergent things happen:
the more cut to the heart we are about our sin, the more forgiveness we experience.
The more of God’s forgiving grace we experience firsthand, the more we realise that it’s now our eternal possession. It can never be taken away from us. And suddenly the fleeting fancies in life pass over for the surpassing glory of God which we now lay hold of. All from brokenness of the heart.
And yet, for sin, for brokenness, for shame, we’re reconciled to the only saving grace there ever is, was, or ever will be. The secret, the only secret, is unveiled as the veil is torn in two.
For honesty, because we stand on the Lord’s side against ourselves, on account of our sin, which is the only way we can be for ourselves.
And, there, in that locale of being on the Lord’s side, we sit astride these two divergent realities at one and the same time: as we give ourselves wholly unto the truth, God’s truth, where there is complete exposure with perfect composure, we reconcile our lack and redeem the divine shalom. In one and the same movement of spirit. Then, what is ours can never be taken away from us, as we reside in a kind of Mary-moment (Luke 10:38-42), where the Lord said that what she was experiencing would not be taken from her.
That same peace of Mary’s, a communion with the Saviour, is ours as our strength-of-self falls away.
Mary’s communion with the Lord Jesus came because she sought the only fulfilment any one of us needs. Knowing she was broken without her Saviour, in her communion she reconciled her lack simply being at Jesus’ feet.
In being true to her brokenness, in her vulnerability and acknowledgement, Mary was able to sit with Jesus and experience His fullness of Spirit.
When the world of circumstance breaks our heart, and we feel so misunderstood and betrayed, that’s when we can feel God’s empathy most.
God’s Presence is felt closest when we’re farthest from ourselves.
When we’re most heartbroken, we’re least lost to God.
God is closest to the broken-hearted.
God can reach and help us most when we have least strength. This is why there is strength in weakness.