By Dr. Earnest W. Wadsworth
Many seem to despair of revivals in local churches in view of the low spiritual condition existing in many of them. That a Corinthian-like carnal life is prevalent in most churches is apparent from many tokens. Some even go so far as to say we are quite Laodicean.
But let us take heart, for Paul strove to bring the Corinthians up to the spiritual standard, and the Lord counselled the Laodiceans to buy of Him "gold tried in the fire...and white raiment...and to anoint eyes with eye-salve" that she might see (Rev. 3:18). So let no man despair of revival in Christian congregations.
Possibility of revival must be changed into probability and certainty by obedience. It is by faith which obeys God that we link on to Godís willingness. Revival, like salvation, is always available to all who obey God. By repentance and faith that works by love these blessings are certain of manifestation.
Revivals in our churches are all of grace, but like salvation, these must be received. And obedience of faith is the hand that received this blessing. As a sinner, by faith, must link on to the promises of God for salvation, so the Lordís people must by faith (which works by love) obey God by stepping out upon His promises.
The world, the flesh, and the devil will oppose revival. As Canaanites resisted Israelís entrance into the Promised Land, so Satan and his emissaries will resist efforts to promote revival. When Satan roars and threatens a revolution when a revival has been prayed and worked for and expected, many who go by what they see and hear will cry "Halt!"
The revivals under Finney often came after hostile demonstrations. The flesh will fight against execution; the world against conviction, and many faint-hearted ones will melt away possibly like Gideonís soldiers. But God will see through to victory any minister whose faith remains. "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).
We have need of patience after we have done the will of God that we may inherit the promise. Remember Elijahís flight after his obedience and be warned against Satan and his bag of tricks. Having obeyed God, we must stand in full armor and give ourselves to all prayer in the conflict. Had Luther been less determined to go before the Diet at Worms we would have heard no more about him. The danger of fainting in a day of adversity is great, and proves faith is small.