No sign of revival — and that may be the sign
When times are spiritually dry, churches are losing attendance and faith seems weak — this can actually herald the revival the Lord wants to bring
What seems like a fruitless and dry time where we are, may in reality be the build-up for revival, seen from the perspective of heaven.
We don't see things the way God sees them. And there are shifts happening in the heavenly realm, moves of the Spirit, which will shortly work through to create changes where we are standing.
We can be joyful in the Lord! We are now coming into a time of spiritual success!
May we shout for joy over Your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.
Psalm 20:5 NIV
This word of reassurance is similar to the encouragement that the prophet Habakuk heard -- and that was in a spiritually dry time:
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
He is saying that his heart is set on rejoicing in spiritual realities — he has a witness of them in his spirit — because he knows he can trust God's purposes and salvation.
This is in the context of a time when the trees and the vines are not producing fruit, the flocks and herds are depleted, and there is no visible harvest in the fields. Put alongside this the dramatic decline in UK church attendance, despite the rapid growth of non-denominational ’new’ churches.
So what is God saying through His word today? I believe God is encouraging us that spiritually dry times can actually herald the beginnings of revival. Dry times provoke the spiritual hunger and the longing for revival, the repentant spirit, the Lord is looking for.
And when revival comes, it is its own powerful witness. It needs little additional publicity.
The church in Thessalonica founded by Paul was not comprised of a wealthy group of people, and evidently they were going through really hard time. Paul praises them for the joyful way they received the word of the Lord, took it up in faith and proclaimed it. He says:
"You received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia... Your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything."
Excerpt from 1 Thess. 1:4-8
Our praise and our joy in the Lord -– especially when there doesn't seem to be much to praise or much to be joyful about — is not only our witness but it sets the spiritual climate for good things to happen. This is how our faith brings spiritual change.
We learn to shout for joy over the Lord's victory, before we experience the victory.
We can be joyful in the Lord and then we come into a time of spiritual success! Which is, of course, His success.
Watch this space — and praise!