Proverbs 16:1 is a scripture that has long held great significance for me.
1 The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:1 (NKJV)
I believe an incredible move of the Spirit is imminent. At the same time I recognize that how, or even if, we will experience it depends on our heart condition. I recall reading a story from the deeper life movement in 19th Century. One of the speakers and leaders in the movement held a series of meetings where many experienced deep times of refreshing from the Lord. After the meetings he realized something – he was the teacher and his spiritual life was dry! He responded by setting aside everything else and seeking Jesus until He too experienced refreshing.
Pentecost Sunday is near and this year, as in every other year, we have an opportunity to reflect on the first outpouring of the Spirit in the Upper Room in Jerusalem to prepare our hearts. At the first Pentecost hearts in the upper room were prepared and thousands were blessed by the outpouring of the Spirit. Sadly many more in the city went on with business as usual. The history of revival, is similar. People came from all over to experience Azusa Street in the early part of the 20th Century. Most of Los Angeles continued on with business as usual, or likely a more aptly description is busyness as usual. Our heart condition is critical.
I long for two things. One, a deep move of the Spirit that touches the church and our surrounding culture. Two, wisdom to steward and sustain this move. The first requires that we, like the history of every revival I know of, prepare our hearts and the second is that we maintain steadfast hearts (more on that next week). While I am not an expert, I have read a good deal about revival and I know from scripture that hearts are first dealt with before His Spirit is poured out. As A. W. Tozer has said, ‘He first disturbs us before He fills us.’
So, I don’t know what is in your heart nor you what is in mine but Jesus knows what is in all of our hearts. If we desire to see Him move in our lives and our culture let us embrace the heart of David.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 (NKJV)