Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2 (NIV)
There’s a crisis of passion in the 21st Century North American Church. At heart, believers are consumers. The faith practiced by Christians today is arguably less demanding, more manageable, less costly and more pragmatic than the faith practiced by the 1st Century followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Instead of being Christ driven, believers are comfort driven. Instead of being kingdom focused, Christians are “me” focused. Hearts and minds have been captivated by all sorts of other things besides the glory of God. Affection for Christ has lost its edge. Christians flirt with the world, want the things of Christ more than they want Christ Himself, and shy away from getting too personal with Him.
Passion killers abound: Self-satisfaction, self-deception, and self-righteousness head the list. Satan jumps on the bandwagon by doing everything in his power to diffuse and douse any enthusiastic pursuit of God. Fear of being exposed for whom we really are leaves many playing it safe. Listless, leisure loving, loquacious leaders quench the Holy Spirit. And insipid, dreary, introspective Sunday services drive the final nail into the coffin.
But all is not lost. The Hebrew word for crisis literally means a “birthing stool.” In Old Testament times a woman would sit on the birthing stool to aid her in the delivery of the baby. While the stool was a place of pain, it became a place of pleasure. Contractions gave way to birth. Agony turned to fulfillment. In the same way, while the present crisis is traumatic, it is also an indication of how quickly we’re approaching the time when God will give us new life.
Yes, the door is ready to be opened to renewal and revival. God is not held captive by our captivity. We are on the threshold of a great awakening. God is ready and willing to do more than we can ask or imagine. Passion can be restored. But proper repentance is necessary. Only confession and contrition will re-engage us with the purpose and person of Christ. We must humble ourselves before He will light the fire again.