When you pray for the UK, what sits in your heart, who do you see?
For every question, there are more questions, but this is important to consider when advocating such a statement. It’s also essential that our approach to all that we connect with God has God’s DNA running through it. In other words, because I love chocolate and think that everyone in the UK should love chocolate, doesn’t mean that this is God’s agenda for the nation. An extreme example, granted, but you get the point.
For some, this whole issue of revival is about restoring the United Kingdom back to a place of prominence amongst the nations. Or, the restoration of a specific local church group back to a day pre-eminence. This sentiment is often followed by, “ I remember when…” For others, liberal views about morality and the freedom to live as we please is revival.
Sounds like great chocolate right? Unfortunately, God isn’t a salesman and He’s not trying to sell us great chocolate.
Since the inception of the Hebrew scriptures and the collating of the entire Bible, His inspired word has never changed. Yes, translations have been created to engage cultures around the world, but the fundamental building blocks of God’s teachings have not. So we can be satisfied that His view of revival remains the same today.
A Biblical Example
From the moment that Israel officially became a nation, God gave them a constitution at Mount Sinai. This constitution was birthed at a time when the nations of the world were paganised and did whatever came to their hearts and minds. For Israel, they were called and appointed to represent the things of God and become an object lesson to the nations. Of course, it’s tough being the first in anything. Expectations are high and room for error is minimal. For this nation, the highs are clear for everyone to see even the world powers of Israel’s early history. However, the declines were equally as dramatic. It’s during the declines that God would wait for an appointed time to do something radical.
When the Jewish nation returned back to Israel after the Babylonian captivity recorded in Nehemiah 8, Ezra (who was a true ‘teacher’) read from the Torah from sunrise until midday. He did what he was appointed to do and taught or explained the ‘constitution,’ God’s teachings to them. Please remember that the biblical texts did not exist then as we have it now. Yet, what they were given became the bedrock of the nation and was full of grace, mercy and truth.
They had deviated from it and Nehemiah and Ezra, along with others were called to restore it back to first place. Their future depended on it!
When they had listened to it all, they reflected on themselves and their condition. This was the recorded response,
You are just in all that has befallen us; for you have dealt faithfully, but we have done wickedly. Nehemiah 9:33
Repentance and Living again (revival)
They wept over their sin and would have continued to do so. However, at the appropriate time, witnessing the sincere confession of Israel, Nehemiah and Ezra encouraged them to rejoice. They were encouraged to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles with joy by sharing in fellowship, food and making sure not to forget those that were less fortunate.
This moment in history defined much of what happened later. Future generations would do their utmost to avoid idolatry and the worship of other deities. The way the things of God were perceived were formed in this meeting. This was one of those moments that put God’s agenda back into focus.
So what should revival in the UK look like? Nothing less than the above.
It’s all about God’s teachings, His constitution, so we need teachers to educate us. People who will read to us and explain the forgotten principles again. People who are not motivated by their own personal desire to be great but a desire to prepare great people. Men and women with a servant-leader spirit like David who served others around him yet was called to the function of guiding the way for the nation (leadership). A model which is far different today due to the influence of hellenized and latinized thinking and the domineering, hierarchical structures we are trained to accept in places of employment, education and government.
Finally, He is not interested in re-building our empires, whether it is the UK or anywhere else. His focus is about establishing His kingdom which is made up of all nations. When God sees the UK, He looks beyond race and social economic background. He sees people at all levels of society.
He recognises a mixed up generation of children that have little or no idea of morality. He sees a hurting young adult population which has been influenced by a non-biblical worldview and is paying dearly for it. He also sees a church community that has placed more emphasis on the numerics of congregations than their spiritual welfare.
We will never see true revival by attempting to rewrite what is already written, through the use of clever entertainment or quaint new marketing ideas, but by relying solely on the only one that can draw a crowd and keep them. The God of Israel.
So when you pray for the UK what sits in your heart and who do you see?