I believe that the Living Hope body experienced a spiritual awakening during the Revive-all weekend. The truth in God’s word, spoken through Rev. Daniel Kim reminded us that the prize we strain for is Jesus Christ, Himself. All that we do, all that we suffer for the cause of the Gospel is worth it only because Jesus Christ is worthy. I was especially overcome by the Spirit’s work during the 40 hours of unbroken prayer and praise. On that Saturday, I stayed at Rowland Elementary School from 6AM to 11PM, experiencing hours upon hours of worship to God. Though I was tired, I felt an inner strength and peace that only God can give.
But then Monday rolled around. I had places to go, people to see. Tuesday was even busier and Wednesday just flew by. I was hoping to ride the waves of revival for weeks but after a few days, I felt that my spiritual stamina was already weakened. And then I remembered a book that a friend recommended a few months back. The book is Personal Revival by Stanley Voke. This short book (79 pages in all) has been out of print for years but I was able to find a used copy online. The author expounds on simple Biblical truths that promise to foster a deep, long-lasting personal revival. I wanted to share excerpts from this books with you, so that together, we could experience daily revival in our spiritual lives.
The author states that revival begins at the “sinner’s place.” He writes, “The hardest thing for anyone is to take the sinner’s place. So hard in fact that many never take it at all, while others, having once been brought there, do not care to come there again, for none are by nature fond of the sinner’s place. Yet, if we do not come there we cannot really know Christ or taste the sweetness of God’s forgiving grace [emphasis mine]. If we avoid it we are as good as saying we have no sin and so deceive ourselves … Here and here alone is the place of true peace, for here we cease our strivings and find our God. Here we cast away our pretense, and admit what we really are. Here are the springs of revival.”
When I start to feel spiritually dry and distant from God, I sit down and write down my sins on piece of paper. At first, it’s hard to make that list because my proud heart wants to focus on how good I’ve been. But once I am honest with myself, the list just goes on. Stanley Voke writes, “God’s greatest problem is not our sin (for He dealt with that on the cross) but the hardness and unbroken-ness of our hearts … True broken-ness means we are brought to the end of ourselves before God. We see our sin in the light of God, see what it has done to Him and how another Child was born to suffer and die because of it … Often we are afraid of being broken. We think we are going to lose something, to be unmanned and unmade, as though God would rob us of the best.”
God is able to conquer our sin with His grace. The sin in our hearts is great and strong. Stanley Voke writes, “The basic power of sin is its power to blind us to its nature and existence. Part of this blindness means we cannot see our own sin, so we remain slaves, for what a man cannot see he cannot deal with … Sin also holds us in the power of guilt and condemnation. The power of sin is not always the sin itself but what the devil builds upon it. It is not the foundation so much as the superstructure of guilt with its fear of disclosure … The answer to all this is the grace of God. First He touches our eyes so that we see our sins as they really are. Conviction comes and with it the desire to repent. Then like the blind man whose eyes were anointed to feel his blindness and uncleanness we are told to go and wash … It is never God’s will to leave us mourning over our sins or our sinfulness but ever lead us to rejoice in the wonder and power of His grace, freely given to us in the sinner’s place, through the blood of Christ.”
“The sinner’s place is not only the place of acceptance, peace and forgiveness but the place of revival, for it is here where Christ Himself is experienced as the Divine Answer to every need.”
The Revive-all held at Rowland Elementary was a place set aside for the people at Living Hope to corporately worship, to corporately come and experience revival. To maintain that spiritual fervor, to grow our faith so that it is fierce in nature, we must individually come to the sinner’s place seeking a personal revival on a regular basis.