by César De León Ph.D LMFT, Ministerial Director for the North Pacific Union Conference
When the sun set on the last day of 2018, I had already decided that 2019 could not simply be a repeat of the last. I had no special list in mind, as I knew better than to think I could even come up with worthy resolutions.
I did, however, think about what my personal and ministry life could become if I were to surrender ALL of my plans and agendas. . . ALL of myself to a Holy Spirit-directed revival? How would those yet unknown changes affect my life, my family, my ministry, my neighbors? I thought, if there is more that the Holy Spirit can infuse into my life to make it fuller, more meaningful and Kingdom-impacting, I wanted it! After all, when Jesus spoke concerning the effect the Holy Spirit would have on His followers, He said that out of their hearts would flow “rivers of living water” (John 7:38,39).
A few months ago, our NPUC President, John Freedman, was impressed to invite NPUC Executive Committee members, department heads and staff to 20 days of Call in Study and Prayer in 2019. We were all given Helmut Haubeil’s book, “Steps to Personal Revival” and were invited to read through this book “in community” through a call-in system, over 20 sessions of reading, meditation, discussion and prayer to consider how we might experience a personal revival that could become contagious in our circles of influence.
Jesus’ Return is eminent! I believe that in order to awaken from our Laodicean condition, we need to pray and fast for a Holy Spirit revival that will begin with me!
Haubeil proposes there are three types of people in respect to their personal relationships with God. “Within each of these groups there are many different shades depending on the parental training, character, training of oneself, age, culture, education, etc. But even with all the differences there are only three basic attitudes towards God:
1. No relationship—the Bible calls this the natural man.
2. Full, real relationship—the Bible call this person spiritual.
3. Divided or feigned relationship—the Bible describes this as a person of the flesh or carnal.
The author invites his readers to an authentic self-evaluation. After all, we can’t get too exited about a Spirit-driven revival unless we’ve identified our actual spiritual condition.
It has been an interesting journey for my wife and I so far. We are being deeply challenged to rethink the way we think about ourselves, others and Spirit-driven Kingdom-building. I am being challenged to surrender every corner of mind, heart and soul to the transforming influence of the Holy Spirit daily and to trust Him, ever deeper, with the steering wheel. The truth is, our spouses, children, neighbors and communities need to see and experience the lovely and loving character of Christ reflected in His followers, not just a beautiful set of fundamental beliefs presented by a charismatic preacher.
How might your personal life, family and ministry be affected by a Spirit-choreographed personal revival?
6 Then he said, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty—you will succeed because of my Spirit, though you are few and weak.’ Zechariah 4:6 (Living Bible TLB)
At 9:00 PM tonight, our cell phones will again ring to remind us to connect to this evening’s community study & prayer session.
I urge you to consider reading this small, relevant book and sharing it with your friends, family, church elders/leaders and members. You might even consider creating a reading & prayer community, as we have done. Can you begin to imagine the HOLY FIRE the Spirit can ignite???