I’ve been dipping into a book called ‘Revival: A people saturated with God’ by Brian H. Edwards and as conversation is bubbling around revival and outpourings of the Holy Spirit I thought I’d see what this book has to say. Well, wouldn’t you want to know what he has to say when he refers to people being saturated with God?
I can’t think of a description I would rather be attached to me, can you?
The book has a section called ‘Before Revival’, which given our pre-revival state and our hunger for more of his presence, seems an appropriate place to look.
I’ve picked out some tasters for you.
‘…sometimes over a period of time, even years, but always, step by step, they are led into a closer walk with God and a deeper understanding of God. But this is not achieved through any set formula, and it has no doctrinal label that can be tied to it. This is one of our problems today: people experience God and immediately label it and then demand that others receive the same; but that is a human attempt to shackle God and confine him to a set experience. God comes in a thousand different ways to his people, and to put a label on those experiences or to demand that others follow the same kind of pattern is completely false. True revival is dangerously uninhibited.’…
‘...we shall always miss the mark when we long for another man’s experience. Leaders in revivals have wanted God and holiness and have done everything in their power to gain both.’…
‘…revival leaders are men and women with hearts on fire. It is as if God has invaded their lives in every part and taken them captive; they are men and women who love God, trust in him, hold fast to him and never cease to follow him. Their ministry is not a job, still less an interest or hobby; rather it is an all-consuming passion. And they fear above everything losing the sense of the presence of God. Most of the great men of revival had a strong hold on theology, but never at the expense of a vivid and life-changing relationship with God.’…
..’It is impossible to read the story of Hezekiah without being impressed with his longing for everything to be done in line with the holy character of God. The revival that swept through the nation and brought cleansing from the house of God outwards had actually begun in the heart of the king.’…
…’Not only are the leaders in revival men and women with a deep passion for holiness, but, as we should expect, they are people who are obedient to the Word of God. In 2 Chronicles 29:2 we are told that Hezekiah ‘did what was right in the eyes of the Lord’. But how did he know what was right in the eyes of the Lord? The answer is that he was reading the law of Moses: ‘He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.’ (2 Kings 18:6).
The commandments of Moses mattered to Hezekiah; he wanted to know what the Word of the Lord had to say. Here was a diligent man searching out the Word of God, and there is evidence for this because Hezekiah is mentioned in the book of Proverbs.
In Proverbs 25:1 we have the beginning of a new section; these are the proverbs of Solomon that seem to have been lost for a while and had been rediscovered:
‘These are more proverbs of Solomon, copied by the men of Hezekiah King of Judah.’ if you look down the next few verses in Proverbs 25 you will notice how often the word ‘king’ is referred to.
The proverbs that caught Hezekiah’s attention, and which he ordered to be copied out, were not the proverbs that referred to his military commanders, or the proverbs that told the people in the fields how best to organise their vineyards. He was not concerned chiefly to copy proverbs that told his educators how they should be teaching the nation.
He was primarily concerned for proverbs that spoke of the life of a king. In other words Hezekiah was concerned to know what God’s word had to say to him.
That is where revival begins.’
This isn’t bible reading or study for the sake of it, to tick off a list of things to do, this is a hungry search for what God cares about enough to record it for us. He cares how we live, he cares if we are close to him or not, he cares how we treat each other, and as he cares he has let us know what he cares about. Most of all, he cares about us knowing him through Jesus. The bible isn’t an end in itself, it is to show us whose we are and to bring us by the power of the Holy Spirit to an amazing relationship with God, why amazing? Amazing because we can be close, really close, to this holy God and not be fried, because we can be as close to him as a wife to her husband and know Jesus loves us like that too.
Get this settled in your soul and you’ll find him irresistible. He loves you.