I hope you all got as much from our annual congregational meeting as Kristy and I did! I can say confidently that I am more enthusiastic and ecstatic for God’s work here at Clifton that I’ve been in a long time. I can’t explain to you the level of energy flowing through me right now.
Our congregational theme and mission for 2011 is Revival. Our shepherds and leaders have directed us in a positive direction, one that we need here! I crave revival in my soul, and I know you do, too! We really need to think about what we are asking God to do. What is revival? What is restoration? Where do we fit in? What can we do to help?
The Elder’s also selected a “theme song” if you will to remind us of our mission. The song Restore My Spirit. The words blow my mind! Verse one says,
“Restore my spirit, Lord, I need restored. My heart is weary, please help me, dear Lord. I stand in need of more strength from Your Word, Renew my love, rebuild my faith, O restore my soul.
What does it mean to ask God to restore our spirit? For me, and this is Scott’s opinion, it means we are asking God to light a fire in our hearts; a fire that burns, a fire that consumes, a fire that refines Psalm 84 gives a glimpse into what this should make us crave:
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! 2My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. ” (Ps. 84:1-2, ESV).
When is the last time your soul longed for the Lord? In the Hebrew (of which I am no scholar) the word “long” means to yearn for more than anything. It’s like an addiction! When is the last time your soul fainted for the courts of the Lord? In the Hebrew that literally means to pass out, to exhaust you. When’s the last time you felt like that coming into worship? How badly desire to be in the presence of God? How often do you desire for others to be in the presence of God?
What about verse 10?
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Think of the power the sons of Korah employ in the statement that they’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than dwell anywhere else! I can’t think of a time where I’ve said that to myself! I’m just being honest!
This year, we commit to revival! This year, God will restore us! 2011 is the year that God will restore us! Do you believe that? I do! As I type this, I am captivated by the idea that God is working in an incredible way in our congregation! I am excited to the point that I am driven to my knees! I know a lot of you are feeling the same way! We have asked and prayed for God to revive us, and that time is here! How amazing, church! I know I’m just rambling, but I’m just too pumped up to stop! God is in our midst, God is working, God is fulfilling His plan! The Clifton Church of Christ is not dead, but we are being revived by divine resuscitation!
I want to challenge you to make Psalm 80:3 your prayer this year:
“Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!”
I truly believe that if that is our prayer, and we believe it, than God will restore us! The Prophet Joel writes this, by the inspiration of the Spirit:
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. 26“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. 27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame” (Joel 2:25-27).
We’ve had a lot of years devoured by the “swarming locusts” here at Clifton, but those days are gone! Now is the time to be restored—revived! God has rekindled our spirit, our unity, and our zeal! Let’s walk confidently in the path God has prepared for us ahead of time! Let us pray that we each individually will be restored and revived—set on holy fire! Make this your goal! Just something to think about!