Many of us are blessed to have a heritage of faith that goes back for generations. We have parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents who knew the Lord and served Him. For some, their heritage of faith may even go back for centuries. This is something for which many can be thankful. This is something for which I can even be thankful.
Recently, I returned from a mission trip to a very unique country. In this nation, every single believer with whom I had the privilege of meeting is a first generation Christian. Regardless of age, the furthest back any believer could trace their faith was to 1993. Think about that. For those of us who live in a nation with a long history of religious freedom, that is difficult to fully fathom.
Yet, in this particular nation, God is doing a great work. In this country of three million people, Southern Baptists have only one full-time missionary. Thanks to his faithful service and the establishment of a Bible institute, many of the pastors and lay leaders are receiving much needed training. Still, there is a tremendous need for more to be trained in the basics of ministry.
The believers and pastors in the churches of this country had become discouraged and realized they were in desperate need of revival. Our missionary friend and the leaders of the churches did a wonderful job of preparing the people for our meetings. They spent weeks fasting, praying, reading about revival, and asking God to prepare their hearts. God answered their prayers. Four preachers from America were invited to lead these meetings. I am so thankful that I was privileged to be one of the four.
God met with us. During the meetings believers began to confess and repent of sin in their lives and in the churches. After the forgiveness and cleansing of sin, there was a tangible joy and freedom in worship that was powerful. Also, even though these meetings were intended for the believers, there was a renewed burden for the lost. In two of the churches where I taught, believers were encouraged to invite the lost for the final meeting. In both churches, there were several who indicated they had prayed to receive Christ. One was a Hindu and at least one was from a Muslim family. On the flight home, I also had the opportunity to be a witness unto Jesus to an elderly Jewish lady. After a few minutes of conversation I told her that all true Christians love Israel and the Jewish people. We talked about how Christians believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. I then encouraged her to go back and read Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 again in light of our conversation. I pray that she did and that God removed the veil and showed her Jesus.
The missionary told us that to his knowledge these were the first meetings of this kind in the churches. First generation, yet already in need of revival. It has been a long time since we have had true revival sweep our nation. How desperate will we get for God to do a deep work of brokenness, repentance and cleansing in our own churches, families, and individual lives?
It is past time for us to get serious and desperate and begin to cry out to God on behalf of our families, churches and nation. Let us pray that God will bless us and visit us in His reviving power. By the grace of God, may we be a chosen generation for revival in our land.
In Christ’s service,