We had a message from Eric last month:
“We love you and pray for you in all our prayers that may God bring total REVIVAL to the church within and then throughout U.K.”
You can find the rest of the letter in our Missionary Update in February’s edition of News & Views.
I wanted to highlight these words because this is not the first time that Eric has said this in his letters to us. This country is overdue for a revival. In the 20th Century revival in the UK occurred in Wales, Sunderland and the Hebrides. Is it ridiculous to believe that the Lord might bring revival though Bishop’s Stortford?
So what is revival? It is an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit that begins in the church and moves into the community. It is the Church that is revived and the Spirit that flows out to convict people of their sinfulness and need for Jesus. Revival comes when and as the Lord ordains it. We cannot make it happen. However there are usually conditions that precede its happening. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14: 13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
These are the precursors to revival:
- The nation is in a state of turmoil because they have set aside God’s call to holy living and everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes without reference to God’s Law
- God’s people come to Him in humility and admit their need of Him
- They are willing to intercede on behalf of the nation with love, compassion, grace and mercy
- They turn from their own sin and seek to be obedient to Jesus’ teaching.
Over the years there have been many prophecies regarding revival and specifically revival coming through Bishop’s Stortford and there are people praying in other churches for this to happen.
For my part I am convinced that the vision that God has given us for the new land – for it to be used as a place of community on behalf of the hopeless and those in need – is tied into these promises.
I think that God wants to see our hearts broken for those in need and wants us to make this commitment as a sign of our readiness to serve Him. It seems to me that as you read the vision it is easy to get a sense that this is just a series of ideas for a project. I firmly believe that this is to be an expression of who we are in community and therefore, this new building will extend what we do now into new areas and transform us all. This is not something that we will bolt on to the existing work but something that will transform us all into the likeness of Jesus.
The only answer to our cynical, post-modern society is to show people who Jesus is. That’s what this vision will enable us to do even better than we are now. I don’t think it’s comfortable but I do think it is right and I urge you to embrace what God wants us to do.
Yours in Christ