"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
In Need of a Spiritual CPR
The presence of God is the reality that He is everywhere. However, His manifested presence is something different. The manifested presence of God happens when we desire, allow and welcome the activity that comes from God doing whatever He wants in our midst.
How ridiculous we must look having a discussion about the fundamentals of basketball with Michael Jordan seating at the table totally ignored by us. We do the same thing with God. He is there; He is present, but we totally ignore Him.
Wherever God’s manifested presence is, there is life; for we know that according to John 10:10 Jesus came to give life in abundance. When God’s people learn to humble themselves before the Lord and live embracing a sanctify life before the Lord He promise that HE will not only bless us, but heal the land (2 Chronicles 7:14) In the manifested presence of God we find the blessing that adds no sorrow (Proverbs 10:22)
Psalm 16:11 give us a window of how God’s manifested presence manifest among His people,
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (NKJV)
The path of life (Singular) can only be found in God through His son Jesus and with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is no other way. The greatest evidence of such presence is fullness of joy. Fullness of joy is a heart that is after what pleases God, is a heart that is at peace, a heart that is pursuing holiness, a heart that is filled with love, a heart that is sensitive to God’s voice.
In God’s manifested presence we find life for those that are dead. We find revival for those that were alive at one point, but are now dead again. God’s manifested presence is a never-ending fountain of life filled with joy, peace and love.
There is no expiration date on the life Jesus offers. Through history we have seen that we, as men, are the ones guilty of stopping and rejecting all that God has to offer. We exchange God for our doings, for what we can control, for our pride and for our religious routines.
Through history we have seen that revivals take place when God’s people come together in unity. Revivals seemed chaotic and out of control, but they serve a purpose that goes beyond falling on the floor, speaking in tongues, running, dancing, jumping, etc. Revivals are energizers that activate our gifts with anointing, power and favor to expand our ministries. Revivals are indeed God’s manifested presence and much needed spiritual CPRs to revive our souls again.
God used Martin Luther to lead a spiritual CPR in a time when the church was dead. It seems like from the times that Constantine declared Christianity the official religion in Rome three hundred years after Christ to the fifteen hundreds, the church was dead; consumed with politics and man-made religion.
Again the church was in need of a spiritual CPR as they lost their way and the message of the Gospel. So God gave us the First Great Awakening in our Colonies in the 1700s. It was a declaration of our need for Jesus for salvation. Another Spiritual CPR took place in our history at the end of the 1700 hundreds and all the way to the 1800 hundreds. It was an explosion of growth in churches especially amongst Baptist and Methodist known as the Second Great Awakening.
In the Third Great Awakening we saw a church that started confronting social injustices; they started dealing with the moral issues of slavery and other social issues of the time. This great awakening took us all the way to the end of the 1800s.
The last great spiritual CPR took place in California; in what is known as the Azusa Street Revival. It became the place where the Pentecostal movement began to spread all over the world. In Azusa God used Bishop William J. Seymour to give America a Spiritual CPR. This was a revival because it brought back the power of the Holy Ghost.
In all these movements we see a lot of hurt, division, pain, betrayal and all that goes alone with humans trying to do God’s work. But thank God to the faithful men and women, who stood strong, paid the price in prayer and many paid the price with their own lives.
Again today, in 2013, the church stands in need of another spiritual CPR. I pray that this time we can gather all of these revivals in one; I pray that we go after the lost souls with the real gospel, I pray that we affect the societies around us, I pray for a church that would have a heart for holiness, for unity and a church that would acknowledge the vital power of the Holy Ghost. All these will be birthed, like in the case of all the revivals, out of hearts that are hungry and thirsty for God.