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WHY NO REVIVALS in THE WEST? -

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  • WHY NO REVIVALS in THE WEST? -

    WHY NO REVIVALS in THE WEST? - 10 Reasons

    by George Otis jr.


    1. EXTERNAL DISTRACTIONS

    Attention is the building block of intimacy, but many of us are

    finding our computers and cell phones more irresistible than

    quality time with God. It is not overt rejection that repels Godīs

    presence, but rather momentary distraction with lesser things...


    2. INTERNAL OFFENSES

    The Western Church has developed an astonishing, and highly

    unfortunate, tolerance for disunity. Instead of teaching and

    practicing forgiveness, we have adopted our cultureīs penchant

    for demanding rights and living in a state of perpetual offence.

    Others have become self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy,

    criticizing and distancing themselves from those who do not

    measure up. (Isaiah 58:9; Galatians 5:15; 1 Corinthians

    12:21-27; Hebrews 12:15)


    3. NO SENSE OF COMMUNITY

    Whereas many of the worldīs tribal and clan-based cultures are

    able to make sense of corporate repentance, the fragmented,

    individualized West struggles.

    (Nehemiah 4:14; Acts 2:43-47, 4:32-35)


    4. COMFORT ORIENTATION...

    Oriented toward comfort and convenience, they are glad to receive

    revival so long as it does not require them to break stride. In their

    minds, preparations should be pain-free and part-time.

    (Haggai 1:2-4; Luke 8:14; Philippians 3:18-19; 2 Timothy 4:10)


    5. LIMITING THEOLOGY

    Some Westerners view human preparation for revival as a

    presumptuous encroachment upon Godīs sovereignty. They insist

    spiritual awakening is the product of arbitrary dictate, meaning

    that faith does not enter the equation. One can only hope that

    God might, one day, choose to visit. But where there are no

    principles to apply, no guidelines to follow, no promises to

    expect, and no certainty of success, the likely outcome is

    diminished expectations and lamentable apathy.

    (2 Chronicles 7:14-15; Hosea 6:3; 2 Corinthians 6:2)


    6. ABSENCE OF HOLINESS

    Although sin is present in all countries and cultures, those living

    in the Western world are subject to temptations unprecedented

    in their sophistication, availability, and persistence. Like Achan,

    we have found ways to hide "devoted things" in our tents. Unlike

    Achan, our individualized culture makes it more likely these

    choices will go unchecked - which is why more than half of all

    U.S. pastors report struggles with pornography.

    (Joshua 7:11-12; Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 24:3-4, 66:17-19; James 4:8-9)


    7. PRAYERLESSNESS

    Despite the advent of the 24/7 prayer movement, many Western

    believers maintain only marginal contact with their Heavenly

    Father. It is a curious neglect that has prompted prayer leader

    Eddie Smith to say, "Jesus is the only bridegroom I know whose

    bride will hardly speak to him." Unfortunately, the very nature of

    revival precludes it from being welcomed by a prayerless people.

    (Isaiah 43:22; Hosea 7:13-14; James 4:2)


    8. IGNORANCE OF THE PAST

    Modern Westerners like to style themselves as "forward-thinking"

    or "progressive" in outlook. Few possess the slightest

    understanding of the spiritual continuum they are part of. Fewer

    still show any interest....


    9. RELIANCE ON PROGRAMS

    For Western Christians beset with lingering doubts about Godīs

    willingness to reveal his thoughts and presence, the way of

    revival is untested and often delayed. Program planning, on the

    other hand, offers immediate gratification. The catch is that

    earnest activity is often substituted for genuine change -

    leaving communities improved, but untransformed.

    (Jeremiah 17:50; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5)


    10. LACK OF DESPERATION

    Christian writer Norman Grubb once said: "Until there is a

    conviction of need, there can never be a desire for change." For

    many Westerners, desperation is an unattractive and unnecessary

    condition. We prefer to view problems as challenges to be

    conquered rather than emergencies requiring immediate and

    radical action. Swollen with options and possessed with a false

    sense of time, we allow incrementalism to supplant urgency.

    (2 Kings 13:18-19; Ezekiel 9:3-4, 9; Daniel 9:13; Zephaniah 1:12)
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