(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Testing Positive For Revival
By Zelda Dominguez
Have you ever said, “You don’t have to tell me, I already know how?” I have… But what if it’s the Lord instructing you to do something? Do we reply in the same way?
I recently prayed that I wanted to be renewed or refreshed in my walk with God. It was just becoming monotonous. I was reading, praying, going to church but it seemed so routine.
Well, when I forgot about praying for that, I was faced with a hard situation. I tried to ignore what I was experiencing at first, then thought, “Oh I can handle this. I’ll just do this and that, and it will be resolved.” But it wasn’t. I did everything I knew how to do, but to no avail. Finally, after days, my husband said, “You need to go to the emergency room!” Of course, I had my own expectations. “I’m fine, I’ll be ok.” I answered. Then I threw out, “Oh, and not that hospital! It’s too small. It’s not as good as the big one across town.” He ignored me and took me to the closest one. I wanted help, but up till then, it was on my terms (I realize now), mostly trusting in my own understanding and experience.
Doesn’t it seem like that’s where many people are at? He wants us to trust and have faith in Him. He’s ultimately is in control of everything, especially for what we need.
The word revive has the Latin root, vivere, meaning to live again or to return or to restore to consciousness or life. Revival can also mean “the restoration of something to its true nature and purpose.” The Lord’s mercy, the scripture says, are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV). Just as sure as the sun rises, it breathes new hope and offers a fresh start every single day.
He also gives us freewill, so it’s up to us if we want to receive from Him and humble ourselves under His authority.
I was reminded of Naaman in 2 Kings. He was commander of the Syrian army, a very prestigious and esteemed man. Yet, he had an unsolvable problem; he was a leper. He had an incurable disease, and nobody could help him. It is possible that the disease was still in its early stages, hidden where none could see and would eventually lead to death. Leprosy was an infectious disease, that continued to spread and affect the entire body. In many ways, leprosy was like sin. As sinners, we are dead in our trespasses and sins, and alienated from the life of God (Eph. 2:1; 4:18). Only God can make us alive. Sound familiar?
Well, back to Naaman. A Jewish servant girl said to his wife, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy” (2 Kings 5:3). This young humble girl had great faith in her God and was obedient in spite of her problems; she saw an opportunity to witness for God.
His wife tells Naaman, and he quickly takes generous gifts and sets off to see the King of Israel. When he arrives, the king thinks this is some kind of a joke or trick. Did he think he was a God to be able to heal him? You see, Naaman was thinking in terms of political and financial clout. This is what he was used to, and some people still are today.
Elisha, the prophet, hears of this, and sends word to the King to let Naaman come to him. So, the leper goes with all his entourage to Elisha’s house. Before he could enter, Elisha sends his messenger to tell the him to go and wash in the river Jordan seven times to be healed. Guess what? Naaman gets furious because he had his own expectations and ideas on how this was supposed to play out. First, he says that he thought he would at least come out and then stand there to call on the Lord, while waving his hand to cure him. And what’s more, he points out, that he might as well have washed in one of his own superior rivers of Damascus! Then he left in a rage! Naaman was a proud man. Like salvation, it required humility to receive a simple message, but he objected.
Proverbs 14:12 states, “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way that leads to death” (NET).
A simple thing to do, yet many can’t, is to “believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved [renewed]” (Acts 16:31, NLT). Simple faith… but mans’ will, pride and ego hinders.
In the end, Naamans’ servants said if he was willing to come do a hard thing, then why not do this? He deeply wanted to be clean and revived, but his own expectations and pride had prevented that until now. He goes and upon dipping seven times in the river, he was restored and made new! Rejoicing, he confesses and acknowledges his faith in the Lord.
What does God want to do in your life right now? Are you getting in the way? Would you test positive for revival?