Friday, December 23, 2011

Revival for Dummies - Dr. Ogunwale Abayomi


Hey!! Merry Christmas to you all! I hope you have been well. I have been on a blogging break for about 3 months; a break necessitated by a change of focus. It has been an interesting September- December and I'm glad to say I’ve learnt many important things. I would start a new blogging season again in January, but until then, I want to share with you something a dear friend of mine wrote on Facebook recently.

This is particularly important as we are starting a new year in 8 days and you know as the name implies, "new"... the plan is to make all things new. Read this and be made new even as the year become new.

Love.

Akan
Prologue:
Sometime last year, I hit rock bottom, spiritually that is. It was an inevitable, and totally logical but ugly finale to a decline that started some two, three years earlier. I had finally stopped struggling to stand - this race is not supposed to be a struggle in the first place by the way-, and slowly, the death that comes with sin had its jaws all over me. Looking back now, I can easily trace my decline to Sin, -read death- from the grey days of house job through service year, and later, residency. As the burden of medical practice gradually bore on me, the temptation to let go of some parts of my old, ‘safe’ life was overbearing. And piece by piece, I traded away my walk with Jesus, and plunged headlong into the stifling embrace of compromise, Sin and Shame. This Is not exactly a memoir of those dark days –for those of you who were looking forward to the juicy details of my fall; a chance to measure yourselves maybe, a little self justification perhaps, or the Ha! I knew that Zuma guy couldn’t be so straight speech . Well, I am sorry to disappoint you. Perhaps a one-on-one meeting may produce that pleasure, but hey this is Facebook, I can’t exactly put all of my filth out there you know.
Somewhere in the middle of my struggle for life, I retraced my way to the word in desperation, and Genesis one opened the floodgate of grace...
This note is written first in gratitude to a God that never forgets. And secondly, it is for the child who has missed the way –again-, the pastor who has ‘crossed a line’, beyond which men say there is no returning, and for the prodigal child who longs for the embrace of the father. This is him, calling out your name.
SOURCE SCRIPTURE: GENESIS ONE verses 1 -29
The entire book of Genesis is generally viewed as the book of beginnings. Well, it is not exactly that alone. It is actually the book of re-creation or revival. It is the elaborate story of God taking another shot at world-creation 101. In Genesis one, God took a second chance -auto-awarded no doubt-, and jump-started his pet project one more time. We must therefore understand that God indeed knows all about starting all over. The God of Moses, the failed Prince of Egypt; God Of Abraham, the seventy year old man in search of an ill defined destination; God of Peter, of Saul turned Paul, Of Jonah, Of Rahab and Rehab, Of Mary Magdalene, ...There is something infinitely powerful and Divine about starting again. Something exciting, something energizing maybe. Jehovah is the God of all those who apply for second chances. We have not a high priest who is not touched by our suffering...
Genesis 1:1 opens with a declaration of some sort; an outright and absolute statement that showed us clearly who was in charge.
Verse 1. In the beginning, GOD created the heavens and the earth, fullstop.
So be careful to trace every change that follows this point to the fact that: hey we are talking about God’s world here; his world, his problems, his yawaa mehn!
Note too that In between verses 1 and 2 are unreported millennial of the rebellion in heaven, and the casting away of angels.
...The Post cosmic-war years thus ended with the earth being void, empty, bottomless...Yeah God’s world was without form, jagajaga, upside down, a vacuum of needs, empty (barren, worthless, stripped) ...
Verse 2 b ..and the spirit of God brooded over the face of the waters...
LESSON 1- There can be no re-creation or revival without meditation.You must confront your mess from within. It is in the place of meditation that inspiration can visit. Brood over your peculiar situation till anger moves you; Or guilt, or shame does. Sometimes we must face the emptiness of our lives, and imagine a way out. God could have left the earth so, but he did not. So also we, despite our faults and our histories of recurrent failings, must never be afraid to start again. God took another chance; so can you.
Verse 3. And God said, Let there be light!!!
Lesson 2. There can be no revival without Light; for light is a metaphor for all kinds of illuminations: Maybe truth, a confession perhaps. Revival is impracticable without an honest assessment of the chaos that lies before and within. We must honestly confront the carcass of our failed lives and extract a commitment for change.God asked for light first! ‘'Hey, let’s see what we’ve got here’’,he must have bellowed. This first step is often the most difficult for most. We may also interpret the light as a call for confession to God, to a friend, or a pastor maybe. Sometimes God asks you ‘where are you’ not because he is blind to your predicament, but because he needs you to say it yourself. You must be able to articulate the co-ordinates of your plight, and if you are serious about getting a new life, you must be courageous enough to summon the lights!
Then, God began to speak more...
Lesson 3
There can be no revival without words. It is amazing how so many people think that the change they desire will come with only good intentions. Meditation is good; illumination, even better. But we must take the hunger for change further, and speak change. Release the word, let it work. We must be labile, and harness our creative faculties for the change we desire. John 1 revealed the creative potency of God’s word. And all through Genesis one, God constantly deployed his most creative element: His word, Jesus! We must let Jesus –the living word- loose into our situations. The rest will come naturally.
Verse 6-8
... And God separated the light from the darkness... He separated the water above from that below...
LESSON 4
Re-creation is an extensive study in separation. There must be separation for revival to proceed. Separation from all forms of factors that may inhibit change. There can be no new order, without separation. The story of genesis is all about a God who was dissatisfied with the world he had made, and who took up the gauntlet and confronted the issues at stake. You must take Charge!
Finally...
VERSE 26
And God said, let US...
The process of revival sometimes calls for conferencing, a pooling of virtues, of abilities, of grace(s). When it was time to make man, God called a conference. A divine ''lets-form-Voltron'' rally I imagine. It is therefore funny how men think they can effect sustainable change alone. You need at least one more partner: God.
We could also look at that call to make man from another angle.
Perhaps God, sensing the enormity of the task he faced, practically summoned himself. He called forth every resource , from every faculty that he had. Maybe he was trying to let us understand the need for total Focus. God changed the world with a fully made up mind: body, soul and spirit.
I will stop here because my fingers ache from typing from my diary.lol.
But as I learnt recently: little is much, when God is in it. (GT et all 2011)
We must never be afraid to start all over. As 2011 ends, we must run our fingers through the hair-locks of our lives, and where loose ends exist, we must set out to make them right again. The devil often tries to keep us in our old lives by suggesting how difficult it would be to start all over again. Start again Abeg, Ain't no shame innit !!!
There must be a reason why God created days and nights. I suspect he wanted to rid us of the fear of starting all over, and instill the courage for change in each of us.
Merry Xmas Y’all. Have a wonderful 2012.



37 comments:

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