In recent days I have come to believe that the church is in need of revival. Not only do I believe the church in general is in such need, but I believe my own local congregation is in such need. Why? It is because of the disease of spiritual dullness.
What is spiritual dullness? Let me explain. In Mark Shaw’s book, 10 Great Ideas from Church History, the author points to the Puritan Minister, Jonathan Edwards, for an understanding of when revival is the great need.
Edwards taught that spiritual dullness grips a Christian and even a church “when the realities of God and his gospel grow so dim, and unbelief and worldly affections so strong, that the heart of the church wanders to the lusts and rivalries of a secularized mind.”
Dullness can be seen when Christians are in open sin for which they have no intention of repenting. When believers cherish various vices or engage in unbiblical sexual relationships, pursue dishonest gain, participate in gossip, or transgress into thievery it is evidence that dullness has taken root.
This condition can also be seen when believers are engaged in the ritual and routines of religion without engaging their heart and their passions toward God. How many of our churches are filled with people who mouth the words of hymns and prayers, but only out of habit with no heart or earnestness. This too is an indication that dullness has invaded like a virus.
This isn’t complex. When we drift from a surrendered, loving, and dependent relationship with God we are in need of revival.
Revival is the cure for spiritual dullness.
So what is revival and how do we experience it?
Revival is returning to God. It is repenting of the sin that caused you to drift from a totally surrendered relationship with him. It is re-establishing an all encompassing relationship with the Lord through Jesus Christ. It is getting back to the basics of scripture, prayer, and obedience to God.
Have you drifted? Have you lost your first love for the God who loves you enough to send Christ to die for your sins? (Revelation 2:4) Is it not time to confess your sin and re-surrender your entire life to God?
If so, why not right now come to Father God?
- Acknowledge that he has authority over your life and that he wants to pour his life into yours.
- Admit that you have sinned pushing God to the margin of your life.
- Turn from that sin and trust in the forgiveness of God made possible because of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross.
- Surrender to God’s lordship and commit to being obedient to his commands.
- Give to him all that you are and everything you have.
Spiritual dullness is a grave spiritual disease, but revival (a returning to God and his ways) is the cure.
Challenge: Come to God thoroughly repenting of sins that have caused you to drift and surrender afresh to the ways and commands of Christ.
Question: What are indications you have seen which give evidence of spiritual dullness? How do you suggest one pursues revival in their personal life and the life of their local congregation? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
 Mark Shaw, 10 Great Ideas from Church History: A Decision-Maker’s Guide to Shaping Your Church, IVP Books, Downers Grove, Illinois, p. 116.