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The following is an impassioned plea from my friend and fellow pastor, Al Baker. I've included not a few of his articles in these blogs because, in my opinion, the focus of his labors and the ache of his heart is for revival which, I believe, is the only hope for this nation and I am not exaggerating, using hyperbole or joking when I say that. I’m talking about true revival and not some facsimile. I'm not speaking of something you can schedule on the calendar while putting up a tent and sandwich board invitation. This is and, of necessity, must be a powerful movement of God's Spirit the results of which have no logical explanation other than to say it is an extraordinary work of God in our midst. This is what Westminster desperately needs whether we realize it or not. This is what the vast majority of evangelical churches in America needs.
In a recent Washington, D.C. rally, Glen Beck said, "What we need in this nation is not something that politics can provide. We need to turn back to God" (this is not an exact quote but is reasonably close especially the "turn back to God" part which I caught loud and clear). Regardless of what you may think of Mr. Beck, he is right on target with his conclusion as to what is needed in our nation. However, it is not the god of the Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Mormon or any other religion you wish to mention. It is a turning back to the God of the Bible - the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament Apostles who were determined to know nothing except Christ Jesus and Him crucified. But just turning is insufficient. It is a 1800 return to the Triune God WITH a broken and contrite spirit. It is a return to the El Shaddai WITH a repentant heart that longs to know Him in truth and seeks His glory above all else including (and maybe especially) our comfort and materialism.
A number of you have been exercised about what you perceive to be a lack of joy, enthusiasm and a sense of the presence of God in worship. I would be so bold as to say that if we come before the Lord on His day of worship with a heart that is truly broken over our sin while seeking to worship Him with all that is within us, you won’t have to wait long to sense His presence. He longs to reveal Himself far more than we long to experience His presence in our midst. But the Scripture speaks in the language of “if” and “when” more often than we may want to acknowledge. He is not tied to our pleadings for He is the Sovereign of the universe. He will do whatever is good and pleasing in His sight BUT He has usually confined the outpouring of His Spirit/power upon His people to those times when His people cry out for and to Him in prolonged, persistent prayer. Just how much do we desire His tangible presence in our lives and worship? Just how inconvenienced are we willing to be in waiting upon Him to come in and with “times of refreshing?” Is an hour long enough? Is two hours? Three days? Four weeks? The saints of old would say, “As long as it takes---until He comes.” Amen! Come Lord Jesus! Come and visit your people at Westminster and New Life and First Baptist and Union Chapel and all those houses of worship in Muncie, in Indiana, in America, indeed in this world, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in truth.
So, read on, my dear brother/sister. Read on and be stirred may God’s Spirit stir your heart in a way you’ve never experienced. Read on…