A public school teacher in Conway, S.C., told me that a little girl came to school each day very sleepy. The teacher noticed this pattern, and finally asked her why she was so sleepy. She said, “My church is having ‘survival’ all week.”
Of course, she meant a “revival,” which is a series of evangelistic services, held each night to renew the faith of Christians and to encourage others to accept Christ as Savior. It can be a great experience for those who are spiritually hungry, but for others it may feel more like an episode of the reality TV show, “Survivor.”
I grew up the son of an Army chaplain, and they never had week-long revivals in the military chapel. So as a boy, when I spent a summer at my grandparents’ house, I was surprised when they took me to church every night for a revival. “Do we have to go back again tonight?” I asked. But then when I went, I had to admit it was a great experience.
The difference in whether you have a “revival” or “survival” is your own attitude. If you long for God, you’ll leave the service filled. If you long for the service to end so that you can go home, you will leave empty. Jeremiah 29:13-14 (ESV) says, “When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord.”
A preacher cannot bring a revival to a church. Some churches would not have a revival if Billy Graham were the guest preacher, because they aren’t seeking it. Other churches have revival break out with a mediocre preacher, because they are praying and seeking God. G. Campbell Morgan once said, “We cannot send revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind when God chooses to blow upon His people.” How about you? Are you praying for real revival in your church, or just surviving the service week after week?
(Copyright 2011 by Bob Rogers. Email: email@example.com. For more “Holy Humor,” visit the Web site of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.)