• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Wrapped In My Father's Arms

Yesterday I was chilly and I went to my closet and picked up one of two of my favorite sweaters. They were my dads. At first they smelled like him but now they just remind me of him. They were a gift from me and I can picture him in them. Sometimes they warm me but they always comfort me. It is like I am wrapping myself in love and memories. Even greater than my Dad's sweaters, I was wrapped in my Heavenly Father's arms every night this past week.

Last week I enjoyed going to revival. In the past I may have had to have nudging the first night but then I went every night. This year I wanted to be there every night. I knew God was going to be there. Exodus 25; 8, "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them." My minister would refer to when we tabernacle - a set date and time. I was ready to tabernacle each night.

For the month prior to our revival our church was in prayer for the revival. Our staff and those who wanted to could fast as they prayed for the revival. I watched our church services go to a whole other level - before the revival - and I believe this was from all of the people coming together in prayer. It was amazing worship even before the revival!!

In 1800 America had a "Second Great Awakening." Camp meetings were held and multitudes of men and women left their homes and lives as they knew it to seek God. We read that the impact was felt for years. Churches were built and tens of thousands of souls were saved. But as all things "human" the fires of this awakening dimmed. In 1831 another wave of revivals happened and an official reports said as many as 1000 congregations experienced revivals.

People talk about our country needing revival. We talk about churches needing revival but we must start with ourselves. Am I personally revived? Am I committed and on fire for Jesus Christ? It can be scary to go to revivals because I know God is going to let me hear some things I need to change about myself. I hear things I need to work on. I hear things I need to do to further His Kingdom. Am I going to be obedient? Charles Finney, who was known to be a part of a great revival, said, “The experience of revival is nothing more than a new beginning of obedience to God.”

So if change starts with our self we need to renew our relationship with God. We need to seek His face. Cry out for Him. Repent of our sin and turn away from it. Renew our commitment to Him. When we do this we will experience God's presence in a real way!

Psalm 80: 18, "Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name."

A friend of mine and I have been talking about this past week and we both agree that we are emotionally drained. Because of the things God showed us this week and the changes we know we need to make in our lives. We acknowledged hurts. We acknowledged sins that come between us and God. We recommitted ourselves to Him. You know in the spring when you work outside all day and that night you are so tired. But you call it a good tired? That is how this is. Through God's guidance we have worked hard on ourselves this past week. It is a wonderful tired and all the while we are being held in our Father's arms. There is not a better place to be.


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