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After The Thirst Conference
Posted by: Westminster Presbyterian Church | more..
3,200+ views | 270+ clicks
Just a few days ago I received a letter from my dear friend, Dr. Archie Parrish who is the President of Serve International. I think you should have the benefit of reading his insightful epistle both in light of the recent Thirst Conference and the increasingly troubling direction of our country. Archie wrote, "Life in America is becoming more desperate by the day! The ultimate cause of this growing chaos is corruption of the human heart. God-sent revival is the only cure! (emphasis his) We cannot ‘work up' revival by human effort-but if we quench the Spirit (see 1 Thessalonians 5:19) we can block revival by not caring for it and not seeking it. We should prepare for revival by humbling ourselves, praying, seeking God's face, and turning from our wicked ways. Then God will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land (see 2 Chronicles 7:14). If we truly believe that God-sent revival is our only hope, this will be our highest priority." (emphasis his)

Archie goes on to say; "What I have read of American history causes me to believe that our nation was founded by godly men in answer to prayers of the leaders of the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Now separation of church and state has been perverted to justify attacks on all manifestations of faith in the public square. Christians are becoming the only unprotected minority."

"We are at war with Islamic radicals but the politically correct elites in Washington reject even using language that accurately identifies this enemy. Recently the Pentagon uninvited (emphasis his) Franklin Graham from speaking there, as part of the National Day of Prayer, because of comments about Muslim atrocities he had seen in Kosovo and especially Islamic abuse of women."

"These are perilous times! Practicing Christian principles has let America to material prosperity but our material prosperity is neutralizing the faith. Cotton Mather described the process as ‘religion giving birth to prosperity and then the daughter devouring the mother.'"[1] These are sobering words.

The same day I received Archie's letter I also received information from Franklin Graham (son of Dr. Billy Graham). In a piece developed for the National Day of Prayer, Franklin said, "In 1952 the U.S. Congress set aside the National Day of Prayer as a time to intercede for our nation and its leaders...I believe our nation is in a perilous spiritual state. We must pray. We must call on God to heal our land, forgive our sins, and lead us in the path of righteousness."[2]

I believe the Father graciously allowed us to have a taste of renewal if not a touch of revival during the Life Action Ministries "Thirst Conference." It was a wonderful sight to see the worship center comfortably filled night after night. Many of your testimonials brought tears to my ears and joy to my heart. Yet, now comes the hard part. How do you conserve the spiritual gains made in your life and keep the fire of renewal going?

First, we must look to the Lord our God to do this ongoing work in us. "‘It is not by might nor by power but by my Spirit,' saith the Lord." It is a God-thing. It's not something we can work up in the flesh. Thus, prayer is our most important activity if we would stay zealous for a closer walk with Jesus and a life that is being transformed day-by-day after His likeness.

Second, we must share with trusted Christian friends (small groups would be great for this) precisely what the Holy Spirit did in your life, what decisions he directed you to make, what life changes you were motivated to commit to, and exactly what you felt convicted to repent of since God's Word says, "Confess your sins one to another."

Thirdly, ask at least one Christian friend to help hold you accountable to the decisions you were led to make during the conference. Satan will throw the kitchen sink at you to get you back to where you were spiritually a month ago. He does not want to see you keeping those commitments so he will do all he can to increase your "busyness factor" or distract you and even discourage you in other ways. Maybe the Lord impressed upon you the need for a consistent daily quiet time with Him and you've already missed some of those early mornings. Don't allow that to defeat you and destroy the resolve that God put in your heart. This is why Scripture says, "Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness." The word "discipline" comes from the Greek word from which we get "gymnasium." I pray that each of us would be so in love with Christ that we are motivated by that alone but I know that's not always the case. As Paul says, "The love of Christ constrains me." But sometimes that emotional connection is temporarily off-line and it's at those times we must ask the Lord to give us the grace to persevere in what we know to be right though emotionally we're less than motivated. Thus, the Word tells us, "To him who knows to do right and doesn't do it, to him it is sin."

The times we live in are fragile and many things we once took for granted have been or are being shaken. The federal government seems to be bent on taking us down a road of financial servitude for decades to come with an intrusion into life that was unthinkable not many years ago. Jobs are still being lost. Our god of materialism has fallen on its face as Dagon did in the Old Testament era. But our hope is in the Lord and our eyes must be transfixed upon Him. This is only one of many reasons why we must establish the holy habit of getting our life's bearings set each day as we study God's Word, seek Him in prayer and pursue practical holiness of life that, together with the first two disciplines, will impact your world for God's greater glory. My life's verse is Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these (other) things shall be added unto you." Oh let us seek the Lord with joy. Let us worship and bow down before Him. Let us praise His awesome name (Psalm 147). May we find ourselves loving Him more and more and finding our greatest delight in our Savior from whom we have life eternal in His glorious presence. God bless you as you "grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ."

[1] From May 1, 2010 Serve International update letter written by Dr. Archie Parrish, Marietta, GA 30007. Used by permission

[2] From Billy Graham Evangelistic Association flyer regarding the May 6, 2010 National Day of Prayer, Used by permission.

Gary R. Cox Gary R. Cox

Category:  From Dr. Gary R. Cox

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