Do you want your life to change?
Either this is the lead to an infomercial about making money from home, or the hottest new health product “not sold in stores.” People who pursue changed lives through earthly means may get what they sign up for, but at best, the change is on the surface. More dollars, fewer pounds. (Realistically, the other way around, right?)
The kind of life-change that Jesus died to provide goes far beyond what this world can offer; far beyond the cosmetic or the economic or even the emotional. Jesus transforms people.
I grew up in a family where transformation was sorely needed. My mom was an emotional wreck due to guilt over bad decisions; my dad was a heavy drug user. There was a moment in my childhood (actually more than one) when the fragile alliance we called “our family” was on the brink of breakup. Mom thought about running. Dad thought about suicide. Both thought about divorce.
Into the darkness of our lives came the light of Christ; what man called impossible, God did anyway. Everything changed. That led to my own conversion to Christ and subsequent call to ministry. As for my parents, they’re still together and sharing Christ as full-time jail chaplains. After getting saved, my dad had a bumper sticker printed that served as a family motto: “Miracles Happen: Ask Jesus for details!”
If Jesus is powerful enough to transform my family, I’m pretty confident He can work in yours. He can restore broken marriages. He can heal old wounds. He can jumpstart dead love. He can scale the highest barriers our hearts have erected against Him. He can transform men, women, children, rich, poor, strong, weak, wandering, settled, wishful, regretful, violent, placid, passionate, bored, academic, healthy, unhealthy and, believe it or not, He can transform you.
This leads me to a question: Could the transformative power of Jesus change a whole nation, a whole culture, or even the whole world? Or how about just one city, or one church? It stands to reason that if one family can be changed, many can.
And if such great things are possible, then how do we get there from here?
In Psalm 85, God’s people needed dramatic transformation, and the sons of Korah sang out in prayer, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.” (85:6-7)
Within their song we discover the answer. Revival from God can restore, refresh, and renew. Yes, we have a part to play–new obedience, faithful prayer, honest confession, ready repentance. But all of these are just as much results of revival as they are elements that lead up to it. Heaven-sent revival changes everything. It is like a wildfire of God’s work raging through your life, your family, your church, and then, through all of culture.
If we really want this kind of change, rather than adopting a new chart of Christian priorities or signing up for another Bible study, you and I should pray, earnestly, for revival. God would do in a moment of revival power what “church as usual” couldn’t do in twenty years. Things that seem impossible for us today (my family changing, my nation repenting, my spouse turning to Christ) would, in a moment of revival, move from our prayer list to our praise report. Revival would change everything!
We can begin with God, praying to Him. “Lord, would you change me? I’ve tried and failed many times. I’ve tried to change myself the world’s way. But today I turn to You. I ask You to revive me, to thoroughly transform me–even if it is a difficult process–I’m ready for You to begin. And Lord, in faith, I ask for this reviving change not just to touch me, but everything. And everyone. For your glory.”