Apparently, revival is breaking out.
Have you heard? At Asbury University, it’s now been over a week that the doors of the chapel have been open and there has been nonstop worship. As of today, the same thing has happened at several college campuses.
My social media and my real life are absolutely flooded with opinions.
Is it real?
Is it authentic?
Is it revival at all?
I open Instagram to a little square that promises, “Revival is happening! God is moving!” I slide my thumb and the next square tells me that this isn’t a real revival. I scroll again and am bombarded with 8 squares in a row defining for me what revival is not. In this particular post, church influencers and celebrity pastors are mentioned as making the trek to experience what is happening. The majority of the post really was good. I think that it’s wise for us as Christ followers to line up what we see with what the word of God says. He says we can test these things. Just because someone called it revival doesn’t mean that it is. However, this post told me that, “Some are seeking for God, but many are seeking for association.”
And I got mad.
I stared at my screen and all of my insides collectively shouted – “How do you know?“
This blog post is not about revival at all. It is not to differentiate whether revival is or is not happening.
I’m a little sorry if I used clickbait to get you here.
This post is about us. Our assumption of others. Our judgement that we label with discernment.
I’m really afraid of how comfortable we have gotten with judging the intentions of others.
We see behavior and we assume we know the motive. We believe that we can read between the lines and see behind the curtain. We’re pretty good at it, actually.
I used the word “we” on purpose. I am a culprit of this.
This isn’t new. Jesus addresses this a lot in Scripture.
“…Then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart.” [1 Kings 8:39 NLT]
“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” [1 Samuel 16:7[
“People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” [Proverbs 21:2]
Over and over God tells us that no one knows our hearts like He does.
It’s almost as if He is God like He says He is. God; the Creator of all things. God, the One who knits us together for almost an entire year, forming our features and our personalities. God, the One who has always been and always will be.
And somewhere along the way, without even recognizing it, we make ourselves out to be like God. This is what got satan in trouble, by the way. Yes, we are made in His image and reflect pieces of His character. But make no mistake, we are not Him. We are not all-knowing or ever present. Nor are we full of mercy and grace.
I’m just wondering if you feel a little tired like I do. Okay, fine. Really tired. I’m tired of trying to figure it out. I’m weary of my skepticism and my pride that tells me that I really can see what hides behind the outward appearance.
I know I’ve given you a bunch of scripture. Here’s one more from the message version:
“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”[Jeremiah 17:9]
We’ve made ourselves the judge and jury on the motives and intentions of others. We do it with celebrities, pastors, musicians and influencers. Because of the nature of the world we live in, our phones give us the illusion that what we watch on the rectangular device in our hands is their actual life. We watch “real” videos of people getting ready for the day, taking care of their kids, working out and meal planning. And we actually believe the lie that it’s real. We let our apps convince us that people aren’t setting up a scene with a tripod and a ring light. Social media has allowed people individually to have their own reality show.
We give ourselves even more credit when it comes to those we actually know in real life. We watch their actions. We hear their words. We see where they go and where they don’t go. We assume the heck out of it all.
And it’s killing us.
It’s keeping us separated. It’s filling us up with self-righteousness and false humility. It’s blinding us to the sin in our own lives. It’s giving a lot of power to the rulers and powers of this world.
I wanted to soften this. I actually convinced myself several times not to post it at all.
But I’m so tired of it in my own life. I’m wondering if you are too.
Y’all. We don’t even know our own hearts. How on stinking earth are we supposed to know the hearts of others? We aren’t.
It isn’t up to you to decide if something is real or fake. Truly. You can decide who you follow. You can ask God about that. You can ask the Holy Spirit who you should trust and who you shouldn’t.
But you don’t need to define their authenticity or the state of their heart.
The reality is that even the worst situation imaginable involves people who are desperately loved by God.
I beg of you. Stop watching the videos that start with “People have been asking what I think about…” Watch what’s going on in the world around you and then stop watching and start asking God to show you what’s in your own heart.
This is how the world is changed. This is how we actually love. When we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what’s in us; not what we think is in other people.
All the other stuff?
The leader who isn’t walking in integrity.
The person who is getting promoted over you.
The blessings on the life of someone who abused you.
A group of young adults in Kentucky that someone named a revival.
God will handle it. He is Sovereign. He is Just.
He is longing to reveal to you what is in your heart so that you might create more space for His presence.
He is calling you to hidden places and deeper waters that don’t involve anyone else at all. It’s His lovingkindness that leads us to repentance. And if we’re too busy pointing out where others should be repenting, we breeze past this lovingkindness and we miss the call for more.
I just don’t want to miss it.
I don’t want to miss the move of God because my heart was busy deciding if someone else’s life was authentic. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to rid my heart of its junk and find the freedom that He promises me. I want to believe and see the good and trust that God is big enough to handle the not-so-good.
Do we stand for righteousness and call sin what it is? Yeah, we do.
And then we run to God in desperation and repentance, knowing that God has no favorites and no one has reached His glory.
God, give us clean hands and pure hearts.
Let real revival start in each of us; a returning, a reviving of our designed nature to bring glory to God alone.
I don’t know what you’ll do with this. And the beauty is, I don’t have to. God does.
I feel excited, scared, nervous, hopeful about what God is doing right now in the people around me.
But as for me? My prayer is that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart would be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
2 thoughts on “If you’re confused about revival”
Rachael, God does know what is in our hearts. In the world today, what happened at that campus stirred up excitement! God is not dead! He is surely alive!
Yes, as time has gone on other factors may have come in to play….
But I believe the Holy Spirit is at work
to touch and bring attention back to praising Him. 🙏🙏
Yes! It’s incredible that college students are turning back to Him. I love it.