Have you ever been in a church situation - a ‘Christian’ situation - a religious situation - where God begins to do something new or say something fresh and the resistance is tangible? We have always done things this way and we will always be doing things this way. These words have been repeated on more than one occasion and in more than one nation.
During revival God comes and interferes with the Church.
Sadly, there are always people who respond, “How dare He?"
Those familiar with the Second Law of Thermodynamics will be aware that it is a natural thing to decline. Order descends into disorder.
Just don't interfere with your garden for a year. Forget about servicing the car and continue travelling trouble free.
The Church of Jesus Christ can soon fall into lukewarmness, backsliding, apathy, lethargy and formality, and God has to come and wake up what was dead and restore what had been lost.
The churches in western Turkey were not 50 years old when the risen Lord Jesus Christ sent seven letters to point out how they had fallen away from what He intended.
Jesus comes and feeds the fire. Sometimes it means fanning the dying embers back into life, and at times that can involve immense changes and massive disruption for those who have become most comfortable in their religious routines.
A rut is quite similar to a grave, the depth being the only difference.
In the Tabernacle and Temple, wicks had to be trimmed regularly in order that the flames burned brightly.
"How dare God trim my wick!" Ah, but He has to. Aren't you glad?
When God moves and works afresh it can appear strange, alien and amazing. When God prunes us the purpose is to enable us to become more fruitful.
He visited three barren wombs to continue His Covenant Promises.
He visited the elderly Zechariah and Elizabeth and John was born.
He visited a young virgin and Mary gave birth to the Saviour, the Messiah, in Bethlehem, the House of Bread, according to what the prophet had said would happen.
He visited 120 disciples in the Temple, 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead, anointing and equipping these beloved ones with essential power.
What would happen if God were to visit you anew and afresh?
Maybe you have read this far and you just don't believe in God at all. It is possible that He may have an easier job changing you than He has at times changing, renewing and reviving the Church.
Think carefully about that. Let this thought remain with you.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled “Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M. A. and B. D.degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.