Revival and Its Arch Nemesis the “Selfie”

blog selfies

 

I am praying for revival in the Carbon Valley Area of Colorado…. Why not today?  What are we waiting for?  Are we waiting for God?  Are you waiting for someone else?  What am I waiting for?

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

We read about revival.  We have studied about revival.  But sadly to say I have never seen or experienced a city wide or global revival.  I have read in history about the great revivals of our world.  Thousands coming to Christ, all because one person decided to stand up, to live right, and to be proactive with spreading the good news of Christ.  All it takes is one!  But this will never happen…why?  Because we do not think it can happen.  Well unless we change our mind!  Unless we change our mindset.  Unless we change the way we live, pray, study, and evangelize.

Really, I do not think people pray for revival and do not seek for revival?  Why?  Because they really do not want revival.  They do not want to give up on the things that please them.  They enjoy their pleasures and sins too much to allow Christ to influence their lives!  This must stop!  As a pastor I see the many faces of people that call themselves Christians.  As I have opportunities to preach all over the US and even some in the world, many men, women, and children are consumed with…themselves.

We live in a very narcissistic society.  We are more worried than ever before in history about our approval rate among peers.  The world is obsessed with themselves!  “Selfies” are wreaking havoc on society.  I even read this last week, that a selfie was the cause of a plane crash that killed a few people.  Companies are maximizing profits of our narcissistic mindset by introducing the “selfie stick.”  It is a stick that you attach to your phone or camera that extends far out so that you have a better ability to take pictures of none other than yourself.  These selfies are being plastered all over social media in droves.  Young people and old people alike are falling to this selfie generation.  Even worse is that they do not even understand what they are encouraging.  What they are teaching others, what they are teaching their children, and what they are teaching future generations.   Is a selfie inherently wrong?  No, of course not!  But is an obsession with it wrong?

I have had to ask myself…why should I or why would I post a selfie?  I have spent some time on social media as I see a flood of these coming across my screen.  One common factor in all of them,  the comments the people receive for posting them to social media.  This self obsession/narcissism is like a drug.  If I have people tell me how cute, beautiful, or handsome I am, that cheers me up and makes me feel good inside! We thrive off of the many likes that we get and all the comments that people tell us.  Selfies are a common day drug to fuel narcissism.

“Selfies are a common day drug to fuel narcissism.”

You might asking yourself now, is he going off on a tangent?  I thought we were talking about revival.  I promise you we are still very much on the same topic.  See, ultimately revival is not happening because we are consumed with one thing…self.   We have a hard time wanting revival because we cannot see past ourselves. We cannot see the greater righteousness and holiness of God.  We see more of ourselves in view than we see how great our God is.  John 3:30, says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  This is a mindset.  This is the act of living intentionally to be like Christ.  It is on purpose.  It is easy to be consumed with ones self.  It is hard to be consumed with Christ. 

Ultimately, Christ wants us to be consumed with Him.  He wants us to be focused on Him.  He wants us to have accurate “picture”, if you will, of Him.  The more we know Christ, the less we will be consumed with ourselves.  Narcissism will fade away, because we see God in His great glory.  Psalm 23, a very familiar passage, gives us good insight of a godly focus.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

If you notice the very first verse it says if the Lord is shepherd. If He is your sustainer, guide, protector, and master;  then you will not be wanting of anything.  You will not be looking for extracurricular approval of man.  When we allow God to be our focus, we then are led beside still waters.  God restores or revives the Christian!   King David after falling in his sin with Bathsheba wrote this Psalm.

 Psalm 51

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Here David, because of his sin, was focused on himself.  It was not until David realized, in verse 10, that he could experience the joy of Salvation if he repented of his selfish ways.  Joy is a gift.  It is one of the fruits of the Spirit that God gives to those who keep Christ at the center. Christians today sometimes seem to be the gloomiest people I know.  They have no real joy. They fake happiness, and they have no true joy in their life, because they are saturated with circumstances and the glorification of self rather than the Spirit.

We make more problems as Christians than we do solve them.  Our agendas on philosophy and movements are completely focused on who gets the lime light. Very rarely does God ever that light.  We worship men more than God.  We worship man’s approval more than we do God.  We no longer keep the main thing the main thing.

The recipe for revival is rather a simple one, but it is a monumental choice for one person to get rid of self.  They need to stop being self centered and start being God Focused.  Is the “selfie” really the arch nemesis of revival?  No, but the concept of the narcissism behind it is. We do not see revival and we will not see revival until we can admit and change our self centered, self pleasing lifestyle.  Revival does not start with a multitude of people. Revival spreads when people decide that they are no longer worthy in the sight of God.  Isaiah 6:8 gives a great example of Isaiah seeing himself for who he really was.

Isaiah 6:8 “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”  The several verses before that showed Isaiah seeing the true glory and holiness of God.  It was only then that Isaiah really realized his position in Christ.  This is when true revival happened.  It was not in a church, it was not in a multitude of people, it was not at a conference, it was not in a revival meeting.  It was an individual moment in Isaiah’s life that he realized he was not worthy.  Then and only then can we experience true revival.  Isaiah was a great prophet then used by God to see many mighty things.  It was through Isaiah that he saw many of the prophecies of Christ the Messiah been given.  He did not wait for anyone to have true revival.  He was not waiting for a special circumstance.

I am praying for revival in the Carbon Valley area of Colorado.  Their are people in the Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, and Erie areas that need the Lord.  If we stay so consumed with ourselves we will forget why God has us here.  I am praying that God uses me.  I am praying that God uses Carbon Valley Bible Church. I am praying that I have the mindset of revival in myself first!  I am praying that my own revival will spread to my church.  I am praying that the church’s sincerity in serving will spread to the city and from their spread to the entire Carbon Valley Area. I am praying for Christians to step up and be Christi like.   I am praying that they have deep consuming passion for God.  I am praying that together we can reach the many depths and areas of the Carbon Valley area.  I am praying that souls are saved.  I am praying that people are discipled.  I am praying for revival.

Why can’t revival happen?  Why can’t we see great things from God?  It is not His fault. He is waiting….

 

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959.

We have ministries for ALL ages.

Created in His Image?

Genesis 1:27a

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

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There are multiple places that the Scriptures talk about the Image of God.  Have you ever asked yourself the question, What is the image of God?  Is this talking about the physical features of man?  Is this in the image of intellect? Is it in his immortality? Let us look at this phrase and see what the Scripture teaches.

Man was not made in the likeness of any creature that went before him, but in the likeness of his Creator; yet still between God and man there is an infinite distance.  This image was imparted only to humans (2:7). “Image” (ṣelem) is used figuratively here, for God does not have a human form. While he represents God and is like Him we have nothing of righteousness and holiness here. Yet, in His love and grace, He molded the first man “in His image,” referring to man’s personality—mind, will, emotions, freedom—rather than his physical appearance.

This is man’s unique identity.  This is the part of man that cannot be put in a test tube.  Humankind, in mint condition, is a divine hologram. Because of sin, the image of God is now spoilt. But we can still detect traces of God’s likeness—in our creativity, decision-making, compassion, love of company and sense of humor.  Man was created to serve as God’s representative to govern the earth. Since man is God’s image-bearer, murder merits the strongest retribution (9:6). The OT prohibits making any material image of God (Ex 20:1–4; Dt 4:16) because God is spirit (Jn 4:24). In Lk 24:39 Jesus explains that a spirit “does not have flesh and bones” (see Is 31:3). Because God is spirit, He is invisible (Jn 1:18; Rm 1:20; Col 1:15; 1 Tm 1:17).

In another passage in Scripture it also talks about the image of God.

James 3:9

“With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”

The tongue that blesses the Father, and then turns around and curses men made in God’s image, is in desperate need of spiritual medicine! How easy it is to sing the hymns during the worship service, then after the service, get into the family car and argue and fight all the way home! “My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”

We are created on a heavenly pattern!  Therefore when we curse man that is created in His image, we are cursing God for His creation.  We are saying His creation is not good and that it is not Divine!  We have been literally carved as the image of God.  This is not a lite topic, but a Divine topic.  God created us very specifically in the image of God.  Therefore we need to treat each person as a person in a manner that reflects God’s image!

 

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The Resurrection: The Solid Evidence That Surrounds It!

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is one of the best attested facts on record. There were so many witnesses to behold it, that if we do in the least degree receive the credibility of men’s testimonies, we cannot and we dare not doubt that Jesus rose from the dead. It is all very easy for infidels to say that these persons were deceived, but it is equally foolish, for these persons could not every one of them have been so positively deceived as to say that they had seen this man, whom they knew to have been dead, afterwards alive; they could not all, surely, have agreed together to help on this imposture: if they did, it is the most marvellous thing we have on record, that not one of them ever broke faith with the others, but that the whole mass of them remained firm. We believe it to be quite impossible that so many rogues should have agreed for ever. They were men who had nothing to gain by it; they subjected themselves to persecution by affirming the very fact; they were ready to die for it, and did die for it. Five hundred or a thousand persons who had seen him at different times, declared that they did see him, and that he rose from the dead; the fact of his death having been attested beforehand. How, then, dare any man say that the Christian religion is not true, when we know for a certainty that Christ died and rose again from the dead? And knowing that, who shall deny the divinity of the Savior? Who shall say that he is not mighty to save? Our faith hath a solid basis, for it hath all these witnesses on which to rest, and the more sure witness of the Holy Spirit witnessing in our hearts.”

Charles H. Spurgeon