In the New Testament and throughout church history, there always have been times when God’s people needed to be brought back to a fresh vision of the greatness and glory of God’s Son. This deeply transforming work of grace has been described by various terms: “renewal,” “restoration,” “reformation,” and “revival.” Today the term, “Christ Awakening” is increasingly popular as a way to talk about and pray about the powerful and vital work of the Holy Spirit.
In this 19-minute video, David Bryant discusses various ways to describe the encouraging biblical promises for Christ Awakenings. (Taken from Session 1 of The Christ Institutes Video Series.)
QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRIST AWAKENINGS
Here’s one definition many find helpful: “A Christ Awakening is when God’s Spirit uses God’s Word to reintroduce God’s people to God’s Son for ALL he is.” Putting it in simpler terms: “A Christ Awakening is when a person or a church becomes fully alive to the full extent of the supremacy of Christ.”
The 17th century Puritans called this spiritual revolution “the manifest presence of Christ”. To illustrate: actors are “manifested” on a stage only when the curtain is pulled back. They are in the theater all along but hidden, until suddenly they’re revealed behind the curtain. In the same way, although by the Holy Spirit our Lord Jesus always is present and working among his people, in a “Christ Awakening” he pulls back the curtain, as it were, to reveal (to individuals as well as to congregations) much more of his fullness, his sovereignty, his majesty and his activity. In other words, he becomes manifested – more evident, more real, more wonderful. In turn, Christians focus on him more than ever – they trust him and love him more; then serve and share him more than ever.
So many things can diminish our vision of God’s Son. We get distracted from him by daily living; hardened toward him by unconfessed sin; confused about him by Satan’s deceptions; blinded to him by trying to use him for our own ends. Ultimately, we find ourselves in this “crisis about Christ” when we fail to give him preeminence in all things – fail to seek him and savor him and speak of him for all he is as our Redeemer King.
Yes. There are multiple examples in the Gospels: Simeon and Anna at Jesus’ birth. Jesus’ neighbors when he preached in Nazareth’s synagogue in Luke 4. The disciples at the Transfiguration. The multitudes at his triumphal entry. For 500 at one time after the resurrection (I Cor. 15). The city awakenings sited in the book of Acts. Finally, the seven churches of Revelation. We see them in church history, too: After great church councils. With missionary thrusts like Patrick’s. During the Reformation. In America’s four great awakenings. In the current global prayer movement for revival and mission. Above all, in countless individuals who have experienced the full force of 2 Cor. 4:6 (“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”)
A Christ Awakening is a gift of love from the Father, and the work of his Spirit, for the sake of his Son. It’s a work of God. Here are some ways to partner with God for your Christ Awakening:
- Ask God to open your eyes to more of Christ.
- As you do, continue to fill your mind and heart with as much truth about the vastness, wonders, and reign of Christ as you can.
- Allow the Holy Spirit to take you into more and more of Jesus’ fullness.
- Pursue Christ together with others.
- Choose to take additional steps on your Christ Awakening Journey.
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