"How often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not!" (Matt. 23:37).
You were unwilling.
I would, but you would not, God says.
As a result, Jerusalem was reaping what she had sown. Getting the consequences of her neglect.
The resources of heaven are standing by; we neglect this to our detriment.
See what the Lord Jesus said to the leper in Mark 1. This fellow violated every convention, every standard, and instead of calling out "Unclean! Unclean!" and avoiding Him, he ran to Jesus. "Lord," he said, "if you are willing, you can make me clean." The wonderful Lord Jesus did the unthinkable and touched the untouchable.
"I am willing," He said. "Be cleansed."
I am willing.
There may be no three words more appropriate for the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ than these.
He is willing to forgive sins (see Mark 2:5, where He did so without even being asked). He is willing to bless even at the expense of stirring up opposition (see Mark 3:1-6). His love is so overpowering.
God is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet. 3:9).
He said, "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chron. 7:14, emphasis added).
My people. If they do this.
It's God's people who are the means of revival. They are God's channel.
It's God's people who stand in the way of revival. They are the roadblock.
"We have met the enemy," said the cartoon character Pogo, "and he is us."
The wonderful promise of Revelation 3:20 shows the risen, ascended Christ bringing the blessings of heaven up to the front door and waiting for the sleeping church to open to Him. Laodicea's door was closed. The fascinating thing is that immediately on the heels of that, John tells us, "I looked. And there was an open door in heaven" (Rev. 4:1).
How graphic is that! The door to the human heart is closed, while the door to heaven is open. God is willing, the problem is humanity.
Specifically, the Lord's children. The redeemed.
We must stop blaming the ills of the world on the lost and unsaved. Christ came not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved (John 3:17).
Consider this a call for God's people to humble ourselves, repent of our rebellion and our faithlessness, and to present our bodies—our very lives—as living sacrifices unto Him.
Every day of our lives, let us ask, "Father, what would You have me to do?" "Here am I, Lord, use me." "Have thine own way, Lord." "Thy will be done on earth (and in my life) as it is in Heaven."
The blame is with us. Let us pray. Let us love one another. Let us stay in the Word and on our knees.
Let us pray for revival.
Revival is simply God doing His will in the lives of His people in the world.
Joe McKeever is retired from the pastorate but still active in preaching, writing, and cartooning for Christian publications. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
This article originally appeared at joemckeever.com.
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