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)