I’m always interested when Dave Butts speaks or writes. I love the way he speaks with such confidence in His Savior, the emphasis he has had in his life on prayer, and the inner urging he has to see the church come alive. So, I was very happy to pick up this book and read through the essays it contains. Right away one is challenged to do some soul searching to see where our confidence really is.
Christians seem to have more confidence in the power of political parties to change the nation than we have in the church to transform our culture.
There are many challenges to Christians in this book – serious faith challenges. And these are the kinds of challenges with which we need to be confronted. Revival is the theme and Dave spends much time trying to give us a picture of what it looks like when revival takes place within the church.
I believe that revival is the church waking up to the presence of Jesus in her midst.
When there is an awareness of the presence of Jesus, a feeling of awe comes upon us. If we realize that the Risen Savior is among us and we can see the evidence of His work in the lives of ourselves and others, we are moved to worship Him with our whole heart. Part of that response to Jesus is in the beauty of prayer. Dave and Kim Butts write and teach almost exclusively about prayer. They are great resources for this important subject.
There has never been a revival without a movement of prayer. God always calls His people to prayer in anticipation of revival
We also should be praying every day for the completion of the task of world evangelization, for revival, for our governmental leaders, for the unsaved. Those are kingdom-focused prayers.
Prayer, repentance, worship, a return to God, a dependence upon the Holy Spirit … these are themes that run through almost every chapter. Many of the chapters are rooted in the prayer book of the Bible, the Psalms.
The rediscovery of God’s Word is needed in our own culture today. In many lives, the Word has been lost. It has been unopened and unread. In many cases, even when it is read, it has not been revered, respected, believed, or obeyed. One of the key marks of a genuine revival from God is the restoration of the authority of the Bible.
One of my favorite quotes has to do with repentance … how our hearts can be like unplowed ground. I have not considered this before but it is a vivid picture. Which parts of our hearts are unplowed?
When we have broken up the unplowed ground in repentance and begin to seek the Lord with all our heart, then the promise comes. It is the Lord Himself Who comes in response to a repentant, seeking heart. He comes ready to shower His righteousness upon us.
Dave Butts’ book is not a very long one but it contains essays about revival that inform and inspire. Currently Dave is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and we pray that it is doing its work so that he can give many more years to the Kingdom of God. Our prayers are with Dave and Kim.
Heaven-sent revival is our only hope. We don’t have answers. We don’t know what to do. We don’t have any programs in our churches that are changing whole communities and our society. It’s just not happening. What we need is God.