Colorful coolers. Lofty ladders. Sweaty saints. These sights and more will permeate the halls and meeting places of our building this week for the 10th year of Wichita WorkCamp. Once again Northside will play host to somewhere in the ballpark of 200 teen-aged, college-aged, and adult volunteers, as we set out to “serve God by serving others” and shine the light of Jesus in our community.
Each year we incorporate a spiritual theme into our camp in order to expand the experience for our participants. While they tirelessly work to bring about a physical change in the world around them, we also encourage them to seek a spiritual change for their own lives which only comes through Jesus Christ. This year’s theme is simply the word “REVIVE,” and will be presented to us by Northside’s own talented Minnesota missionary, Alex Flood. I encourage you to join us each evening at 7:00, Monday through Friday, for worship and to hear the messages from Alex. As all of the WorkCamp participants look forward to hearing those messages, I can’t help wondering myself about this topic.
Have you ever felt like your faith has veered off course? Perhaps at some point along the way you derailed, but apathy caused you to just stay off the tracks. Well, you must know that the first wrong turn is always you moving away from God. If you wake up one day and find yourself stuck in a spiritual desert, then start retracing your steps back to where you left God’s path. Just as God spoke through the prophet Joel to His unrepentant children:
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity (Joel 2:12-13).
The Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that God wants to revive our relationship with Him. He wants to wake us up, fan the flames, and refresh our faith. To be “revived” spiritually is to have a renewed interest after a period of indifference and backsliding. This realization should ultimately lead a person to repentance.
Thus, true revival is returning to God’s path, setting our eyes on the goal ahead (cf. Phil. 3:14; Hebrews 12:2), and pursuing with renewed passion the One who can make our dry bones come alive again! (cf. Ezekiel 37). Revival is joyously experiencing and adoring God at the center of our lives! May we be like the Psalmist who asked of the Lord – “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6). If you’re in need of spiritual revival, there’s only one place to find it – rather, only one person who can provide it.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord (Lamentations 3:40).