So many people talk about wonderful revivals in the past and how they are praying for revival now. And, that’s great, but there is only one thing that will bring true revival. Hunger for God—only the pure, authentic, relentless hunger for God will bring revival to our churches and our lives.
Many of you know that Covid has shut down our jail and prison ministry. I miss it so much. We often had revival in our jail services, God moved in power. Ladies were saved, healed, delivered, baptized in the Holy Spirit and experienced other miracles. I began to wonder why we often had such powerful services in jail, but we rarely experience these things in our churches.
I soon began to see what the difference was—hunger for God. When these ladies come into the services in the jail, they are not coming because it’s a fancy building with a bunch of modern conveniences. They don’t come because they are expecting expert musicians, and extremely gifted singers. They don't come to hear a dynamic speaker, or to be entertained. They don’t come for the coffee because we certainly don’t have any. They come for one reason only.
Many of them have come from painful backgrounds. They have experienced, abuse, abandonment, trauma, and other things that often lead to their endless search for peace and happiness. The terrible things that have happened to them and the search for joy and acceptance has caused them to run to every option Satan has offered them to ease their pain.
Satan’s options land them in jail feeling even more lost and hopeless than before. So, when these ladies come into the jail services they are coming because they are desperate. They have tried everything the world has had to offer them, and all of it has failed them and left them empty.
They come in with a hunger. They want answers to their problems, and peace for their souls. When Jesus see’s their desperate hearts pleading for love and acceptance, He pours it out all over them. And when they receive His forgiveness and ask Him to be their Savior that hunger only grows. They are hooked. They come to each service afterwards hungry for more and more of God. And as they continue to come hungry for more of Him, they continue to be filled.
But look at us. We come to church wondering what songs the worship team will sing. Will they be to our liking? Will the music be too loud, too soft, too high or too low? Will the temperature be to our satisfaction? Will the coffee be hot, and will the Pastor preach something that entertains us for more than five to ten minutes? Will we get out in time to beat the crowds to our favorite restaurant? And we continue this routine week after week.
Is it any wonder why so many people are absolutely sick of going to church? Yes, I said it, people are sick of going to church because they are going for all the wrong reasons. If we could ONLY realize that we must stop seeking God’s hand and start seeking His face—if we would truly HUNGER for His presence, and if we would tune out everything in and about church and come relentlessly seeking Him—then we would see revival.
God is not stingy with His presence and power, He longs to pour it out. But, He isn’t wasteful either. He shows up where He is truly wanted. He comes in power to the places where He is desired. He comes to people who are desperate for His presence. He comes to the Hungry.
Oh, that we would become hungry and desperate for Him and His presence! If we would only see that we are absolutely bankrupt without Him. If we would fall on our faces and ask Him to forgive us of our worldly fascinations, and repent for all the idols in our lives—If we truly want HIM more than anything else…Then! Then we will see true revival where people are changed for eternity. Are you hungry?
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, always give us this bread.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’”
When my youngest daughter, Hannah, was little I would take her shopping with me. After she got her “toy,” or whatever item she was in search of, she was ready to be done with shopping. I can remember how she would lay on the little bench inside the dressing room as I tried on clothes.
It didn’t take very long for her to start saying, “Mom, I’m tired and I wanna go home.” I’m sure part of it was because she wanted to go home and play with her latest acquisition, but she was also tired of going from store to store to browse. She wasn’t the least bit interested in clothes at that age. She became overstimulated by all the activity, and it was exhausting to her.
I can certainly relate. Maybe you can too. Today there is so much going on that can overwhelm and agitate us. Negativity abounds. If we turn on the television we are soon bombarded by information that distresses us, depresses us, and often just outright frustrates us.
We can sometimes become so absorbed with what we are seeing, hearing, and experiencing we find ourselves irritated, and we become increasingly bitter. When the division, violence, and total disrespect for God seems to spread like a brush fire it can be almost infuriating.
Then on top of that, we are dealing with a pandemic that just won’t go away. People are arguing daily about whether you should or shouldn’t wear a mask. Some people are carefree, while others are paralyzed with fear.
It seems like everyone wants to argue about something—anything. It’s almost as if there is a plague of disagreement, offense, and hate affecting everyone. It is a masquerade of manipulation and deception organized and imposed by Satan himself.
When we as Christians no longer want to share the gospel because we feel that we will never make a difference in lives that have become so deceived, we often want to tell God, “I’m tired and I wanna go home.”
I know I have certainly said it many times myself lately. I personally often wonder if I’m making a difference at all, and that causes me to become tired and complacent. I tend to shrink back and keep my mouth shut around certain people in order to avoid conflict or arguments.
Feeling as if we have been silenced can make a person feel indifferent to what is happening around them. I sometimes feel like I’m just tuning out the world. And, sometimes I just want to give up and say, “Jesus, YOU deal with them, I’m done!”
See how underhanded and manipulative Satan is? He knows exactly how to push our buttons. He is doing all he can to silence us in a time where all the loud obnoxious voices are drowning out the quiet desperate voices crying for help. And, they are out there.
So, even if we feel like we aren’t making a difference, we have to remember—one soul is worth it. One life changed, set free, and on their way to Heaven is worth it. One lost individual who misses hell is worth it! One person who becomes set ablaze with the Holy Spirit can reach a multitude in their own circle of influence.
We also need to realize when we need rest and refreshing. Only the Holy Spirit can refresh us and provide the strength to move us forward. We must get into the Word of God, and remember we are not the only ones who have gone through this. This is not a new tactic from the enemy of our souls. So we press on.
And, we must not get tired and give up. We have to be wise to Satan’s schemes. Its time to see his shenanigans for exactly what they are. And let’s give this short period of time we have left all we’ve got. Its time to rise up and fight the battle. We know who wins, and He is coming soon!
“He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT)
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13,14 NLT)
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.