Been reading through that Azusa Street book by Bartleman. It's been a pretty illuminating read. Did you know that nearly every revival that has occured throughout history has brought the church one step closer to it's apostolic origins? Some revivals emphasized Bible, others doctrine, still others the social angle of the gospel, and fairly recently the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
There is a thought that has been brewing in my mind while reading this book. It's one of those stupid yet simple things that has happened to me before. Where you finally realize something that totally illuminates and changes your soul but that everyone else takes for granted.
Faith. Such a simple word, but loaded with so much meaning. As Bartleman and others in the book recount, everyone during the period of Azusa and the Wales revival believed by faith that a revival was coming. They didn't know how, they didn't plan or try to manufacture one...they just believed, trusted in faith, that it would happen.
AND IT DID. What's to prevent us from having such a thing again? Ourselves it would seem. God...well, requires faith in order to operate. Obviously he doesn't need faith...but he tends to work when faith is present. So if enough of us pray and believe for revival...if we build up our faith...then it will come. And it will be glorious.
This actually has some personal significance too. I need to build my faith up. And continue to exercise the faith I already possess. I need to truly believe that God will provide for my needs; stop worring about money, a car, education, etc. God WILL provide. In my mind, it needs to become a foregone conclusion. Not, "God will provide if I don't mess up, if I read my Bible every day, if I witness at work, etc." NO! God promises to provide; therefore...HE WILL. Forgone conclusion.
Faith. I really want to blog about something extremely personal regarding faith...but I can't. Not yet. God won't let me. But it seems I've been living in faith for some things for a while now, and God is using this as an example of how everything in my life should be. And based on the testimony of a few people here at church, I'm certain more than ever that my faith is grounded both in God and in reality.
I delight in my faith and the objects of my faith. I'm anxious, but faith sustains. It's hard to explain...but the word "joy" comes to mind. Not happiness or some fleeting emotion...but true joy and satisfaction...and anticipation.
Thank you Lord.