Revision 2017 is forty plus days of prayer for spiritual renewal in us as individuals and as a church that we might be used to bring renewal to our neighborhoods. We begin March 1 and will end with our Good Friday celebration just before Easter.
Week One: Seeking & Waiting on the Lord
As we move into our season of prayer we want to focus this first short week on what it means for us to seek and wait on the Lord. This will then inform our posture as we progress through the next six weeks and give us a context for hearing from the Lord.
Over and over again God's people are called to seek him, to actually seek, ask for his presence in their lives for special circumstances and everyday life.
"Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God...” 1 Chronicles 22:19 (ESV)
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." Colossians 3:1-2 (ESV)
This type of seeking is the conscious choice to direct our hearts and minds toward God - his character and his promises to us. It is a pleading with God for our good and his glory. But it is not something we take lightly; we can only seek him because he made a way for us to be in relationship with him. Because Jesus lived an obedient life for us and died as our substitute on the cross, we now have the ability to be heard and approach the throne of God.
"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
In the confidence we have as those united with Christ then, we make our petitions known to the Lord asking that we may receive. Specifically in our season of prayer, for the spiritual renewal of ourselves and the church. Then we wait. We wait for an answer and for God to move among us.
While we might think of waiting in human terms - like having to wait for someone who is late to a meeting, or waiting for your paycheck to arrive - waiting on the Lord is uniquely different in that it is active waiting. There certainly may be times of quiet and stillness so we can rightly hear from the Lord but waiting is active in recounting the character of God, how he has provided for us in the gospel and continuing to petition him for his glory and our good. And it is in the waiting that we find hope.
"But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
In waiting we are strengthened for the journey he has called us to. This is where we learn to trust in him, that his sovereign plan is worthwhile. And he will come through because that is who he is. "I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1 (ESV)
This week, let us seek the Lord. Let us ask him by the Spirit for renewal, for a revival of souls and to teach us how to seek and wait as he desires. Then let us wait on the Lord. Give him space in our lives to respond and actively continue waiting, being reminded of the gospel and God's good character.
"Lord, teach us to seek you, to experience your presence and desire it all the more. Help us to wait, to discern your response and to follow the vision you have for us. May you alone be glorified in our seeking and waiting, in Jesus' name. Amen."