Revival Fire Bendigo Part 4
Revival Fire Bendigo Part 4; An excerpt from “A Famine for Hearing” by David Orton (Life Messenger) – “If God’s purpose and nature have not changed between covenants and, if the shema, through the Great Commandment remains as the “main thing”, it will provide the touchstone to understand God’s dealings with us, the grid through which we can interpret what otherwise could seem to be arbitrary and meaningless events. Through the lens of God’s covenant-love – of the Great Commandment – we can now begin to recognise the hand of a loving, but just God in natural disasters, in economic recessions and in wars (see Deut 28 & Lev 26). Not that God is the author of evil, but as the sovereign creator-God he will cause the wrath of man to praise him (Ps 76:10). He will use Cyrus as his anointed (Isa 45:1). Pagan kings, religions, and ideologies, including nature itself will all be used to fulfil his good purpose. Through these things a loving Father will bring to bear his rod of discipline to restore his children. But if they do not hear his voice through the disciplines they will only increase in severity.
The law and the prophets, and especially Israel’s history, teach and demonstrate that the remedial judgements of God become incremental if his people do not listen and turn. In my view the Western church and culture are in this process right now, and have been for at least the last 100 years. From the sinking of the Titanic, through two catastrophic World Wars, a major depression, to the more recently shifting climate and weather patterns, various economic recessions, and now a fresh radical Islamic insurgence, God is after our attention. He is speaking to us, but on the whole, the Western church and culture is not listening. He is calling to us from a heart of pure love; nevertheless we continue headlong in our pursuit of other gods. This is not to say there are not tremendously encouraging signs—there are. The world-wide Holy Spirit renewal of the last 60 years, including the intercessory prayer movement reflected in countless global, national, and regional prayer initiatives crossing all denominational boundaries, the massive harvest in developing nations, and an embryonic interest by some in the city-wide church and organic church are all signs that there is a mighty subterranean shift coming, that God is at work bringing the church back to himself. But there is a prophetic urgency.
There is an acceleration and intensification of both the blessing and the judgement of God. The hour is far later than we have thought. And now is the time to cast our idols to the ground—to have done with our false theologies and values—to humble ourselves and pray. … The good news is that if we turn to the Lord in wholesale repentance and brokenness he will roll back the remedial judgements that are most certainly coming our way.”