Yesterday we talked about revival and the first stage of that process, “return”. Today we look at step two, “renew”. The dictionary defines “renew” as follows: to begin or take up again, to restore or replenish. Renewal involves two steps, repentance and preparation. It is repentance which links return and renew together in the chain of revival.
Repentance. Yesterday I mentioned that the Greek word for repentance is metanoia, which means to change your mind. Essentially, repentance involves a complete reversal of thought on any issue where we do not find ourselves in line with the Word of God. Consider this a “weeding of the mind”. Paul tells us we are to take captive every thought to obey Christ. Jesus also describes the parable of the sower in which the seed has taken root but the cares of this world (WEEDS!) choke out what God is trying to accomplish.
For us to move toward revival, we must begin the process of repentance by searching our hearts and minds for the “weedy” thoughts that pushed us into sin initially and then kept us there. Fortunately this is generally a process that needs little self-examination. If you are reading this thinking you have no “weeds” in your mind, then you may well have the weed of PRIDE covering your heart. Once we push past the blinding weed of pride, the weeds of our heart become evident: lust, greed, addiction, anger, self-righteousness, sexual deviance, hatred, spiritual blindness, false teaching, gossip, and the list goes on.
Stop RIGHT NOW and do NOT allow the enemy to bring condemnation to your mind! When we start looking at a list like the one I just presented, one of the FIRST things the enemy does is immediately identify us with one or more of the sins and begin condemning us. He says, “That’s you…” and then he plants thoughts in your mind like, “I’m a gossip…I’m prideful…I have an addiction, so I’m an addict.” STOP! Turn your eyes upon Jesus, the author and FINISHER of your faith and you will find NO condemnation for those of us who are IN Christ! You have been given grace…be free from the chains of condemnation and bondage!
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what do you do to pull up these mental, spiritual, and emotional weeds? Depending on where you are in your need for revival will answer that question. First, you MUST be honest with yourself about yourself. If you have an issue (and we all do), admit it and do NOT make excuses. Take responsibility for your weeds. Then turn to Jesus and ask Him to help you pull these weeds from your heart and mind. Once you have taken that first step, determine how deep the roots of your weeds run. Some of you may need to see a Christian counselor (no offense to any readers, but I personally recommend a Bible based, Christian counselor who is NOT a psychologist, but that is my opinion so please follow the lead of the Spirit in your own life here) and begin a process of healing through counseling. Some of you may need deliverance prayer because your weeds may have a demonic component that needs to be overcome. Some of you may know exactly what the root of your weed is and can pull it up fairly easily. No matter which group you find yourself in, the important thing is to PULL UP THE WEEDS BY THE ROOT. Don’t leave any part in your heart or mind to take root a second time or you will be back in this place again one day.
Preparation. The second part of RENEW is preparation. Preparation links RENEW and RESTORE in the chain of REVIVAL. Using the garden analogy presented above, preparation involves tilling up the soil of the heart and mind for fresh revelation seeds to be planted. Please note that repentance MUST come first. Any gardener will attest to the fact that a flower bed cannot be properly planted if it is not first weeded and prepped. Fortunately we have the Holy Spirit to assist us in this process. Our job is to open ourselves and surrender as we did in the first part of revival by returning to God.
It is vital that we be honest and open with God and ourselves about where we are mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. We cannot move forward towards revival if we continue to hide the weeds that are in our life and protect them instead of allowing God to pull them up. We also cannot move forward with revival if our hearts remain hard after the weeds have been pulled. God will soften your heart and till up the soil of our minds so that we will be ready for a fresh revelation to begin anew.
Remember that there is NOTHING you have done that God didn’t already know about before He created the universe. You cannot hide from Him and you cannot trick Him or fool Him. He knows you, He knows ALL your faults, He knows exactly who you are and what you’ve been thinking and doing…and guess what? He still loves you anyway!! That’s grace!! It’s freely offered to ALL. Walk in His grace today. Pull up the weeds in your life and allow God to prepare your heart and mind for revival.
Tomorrow we will look at the next step towards revival: RESTORE.
All my posts will end with this. If you do not know what all this is about. If you do not know Jesus, I ask that you look to the Word and open your heart to Him today. He has a gift of grace to offer you that is free to all who receive it with no strings attached. Once you receive this gift of grace with an open heart, you will be eternally free from sin and your heart, mind, and life will forever be changed. Seek Jesus today and you will find Him. Knock and the door will be opened. Ask and you will receive.