One revival preacher from the last century rightly remarked that all too often the church is full of “form without force, and ritual without righteousness.” There’s an ever present danger of having a form of godliness but denying the power. It’s no good to have a tidy table, straight ties, ironed dresses, while lifting up your heart to idols.
The form & ritual of our worship are good only insofar as our hearts come with true faith. When we deceive ourselves into thinking we can go through the motions of form & ritual as a means to buy off God, we’ll find that this sacrament & service become reprehensible in God’s eyes. It’s why He says through the prophets, “I hate your solemn assemblies (Am. 5:21), your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me (Jer. 6:20), the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination (Pro. 21:27), I cannot endure iniquity & solemn assembly (Is. 1:13 ESV).”
When we pray for revival, as we ought, we must remember that we’re asking God to mess things up. If we had revival, we wouldn’t tolerate our secret sins. If we had revival, we’d rend our hearts & not our garments. If we had revival, we wouldn’t be shy about evangelizing our neighbors. If we had revival we’d get our work done on time & under budget. If we had revival, husbands would quit yelling at their wives, and wives would stop manipulating their husbands. If we had revival, we’d delight in God’s Word more than in the latest Netflix drivel. If we had revival, we would be changed.
Which is why we must come to this table, not to preserve the form & ritual, but because God calls us here to commune with Him by faith. For here, in Christ alone, by the power of the Spirit alone, to the glory of the Father alone, can true revival begin.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…