I am looking forward to March 2 when Randy Clark and his team will come to The Crossing to share a new teaching with us called "Cultivate Revival." The nations of the world are in turmoil, the news is full of disturbing stories of violence, famine and death. The governments of humankind cannot solve the problems of our generation. There is only one thing that can transform the nations--REVIVAL--an awakening to the presence of the Lord God and His holiness and glory.
How do we cultivate the ground of our hearts and establish a heavenly mindset for the seed of revival? How do we nurture the abiding presence of the Lord? What is our responsibility in all of this? Let us look at the meaning of cultivate, most frequently used in an agricultural context. Some definitions:
(1) to nurture, (2) to prepare the soil for planting and growth, (3) to foster or promote growth by breaking up and tending the soil, (4) to improve the composition and fertility of the soil.
At the beginning of each gardening season the gardener must evaluate the soil and plan a course of action to amend it and make it ideal for growth. The initial course of action includes breaking up the hard soil and removing the rocks and sticks. This can be accomplished with a hoe, spade, digging fork or rototiller. It is important to go deep to loosen and turn over the soil. Next the gardener adds organic matter and/or sand or gypsum and fertilizer so that plant roots grow strong. The acidity of the soil must be checked in case it is necessary to add lime for a proper pH. Fertile soil is the foundation of any successful gardening project. Enriching the soil and ensuring good drainage are the basis for establishing a good growing environment. Finally, the soil is raked out so that the surface is level. Now it is time to plant seeds or seedlings.
Tending the garden after planting is just as important as soil preparation. A garden will need to be watered if there is not enough natural rain. Weeds will poke up their heads and need to be removed regularly so that they do not steal the moisture and nutrients for the plants. A covering of mulch helps preserve the moisture and keep the weeds from growing. It is also important to continue feedings plants as they are growing so that their flowers and fruit are healthy and full.
How does this relate to cultivating revival? Each of us is responsible for cultivating our own heart and mind. One faithful person who has prepared a place for the Spirit of God to root could foster the next Great Awakening! Mary, the mother of Jesus, ushered in the presence of the Lord because her heart was pure and humble and she believed what the angel of the Lord told her. She declared, "For nothing is impossible with God. I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:37-38) The seed of our Savior found fertile ground within her.
We must evaluate the soil of our hearts and minds and develop a plan to make an ideal place for the Holy Spirit to reside. Any hard spots of unforgiveness, anger, judgment, jealousy or offense must be removed. Allowing the Lord to go deep to help us identify and remove any dark areas in our lives will result in producing an environment that is conducive to good growth. Ways to enhance the ground of our hearts and minds include spending time waiting on the Lord and communicating with Him, consuming the Word of God and declaring His truth, and worshiping the Lord in spirit and truth. The idols of our lives, those things that consume our time and get placed before God, must be removed like the weeds in a garden. Worshiping God is like receiving the spring rain, and "eating" the Word of God provides us with necessary nutrients of truth. The blood of the Lord is our covering. In addition, we should welcome Holy Spirit to cloth us. This is what happened to Gideon as he led the Israelites in victory against the Midianites. "But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with Himself and took possession of Him." (Judges 6:34-AMP)
Are you ready to cultivate revival? Prepare the garden of your heart and mind. Actively seek to cultivate His abiding presence. The Lord is looking for a fertile place to root, where righteousness and praise will spring up before all nations (Isaiah 61:11) and revival is cultivated to the glory of the Lord.
Joan E. Mathias