Wednesday, 21 February 2007

How we get revival

According to Isaiah 58, the promise of revival and the flourishing of the church depends upon certain conditions, most of which are a little surprising (at least to me they are):

1. An end to demanding (i.e. fasting) but superficial religosity (vv.1-5)
2. Corporate justice and an end to oppression (v.6, 9)
3. Good work ethics (v.3)
4. An end to verbal and physical violence (v.4, 9)
5. Sharing of the vital necessities of life with the disadvantaged (v.7, 10)
6. Opening of our homes to the poor (v.7)
8. Help to the suffering (v.10)
9. Devotion to God (in perpetual Sabbath worship) (v.13)

What is very striking in this list is the emphasis upon corporate justice and aid to the disadvantaged/poor. It would seem to indicate that lack of concern for the disadvantaged/poor is a major reason for God's judgment on His people, and repentance from that is a very significant condition in personal and corporate revival. Preaching, prayer and worship that ignore these issues must therefore be like the false fasting of vv.1-5. I'm feeling a little disturbed.......