Many Christians are searching for a personal revival. They want to truly know God, experience God, and be a true friend of God.
Draw close, and let me tell you a secret. It’s not a secret because God hasn’t revealed it, but because church traditions have too often obscured it. Too often we don’t want to hear the truth, because we aren’t living according to the truth.
If you consider yourself a Christian, you already have faith that Jesus was God incarnate and that He died on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins. You believe that Jesus rose from the dead, conquering death and sin once for all. These are the basics.
However, if you really want to know God, it takes more than just intellectual belief. It takes more than a mental acceptance of the foundational dogmas of Christianity. It takes a true step of faith. You need to trust God enough to begin obeying Him completely and wholeheartedly.
Listen to the words of Jesus:
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (John 14:21-23 NASB)
Jesus promises to disclose Himself to us—if we keep His commandments and thus truly love Him. The Father loves everyone who obeys Jesus’ words. This seems to speak of a deeper love than the universal love God has for humanity. This love is found when we abide in God. The Father and the Son will come to us when we love God by keeping his commands, and God will dwell with us.
More verses speak of the necessity of obedience for true communion with God. If we keep Jesus commands, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit:
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. (John 14:15-17 NIV)
And if we continue to obey Jesus’ commands after believing in Him, we will be truly set free:
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:21-32 NIV)
These verses do not deny the absolute necessity of faith in Jesus. That is a given. But if we neglect walking in obedience to Jesus, we will never truly know God. The true family of God are those that obey God. Jesus said, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35)
Obedience is the secret to a deeper walk with God. There’s no convoluted formula to knowing God and true revival. It requires faith, repentance and continued life of obedience to God. It’s so simple. Yet, it still requires a response. We must obey. As we obey, our union with God will grow only stronger and produce eternal fruits that far outweigh any temporary costs.
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. (James 4:7-10 NIV)