Phil. 3:7,8 ¶ But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
Have you ever been bored in church? There are usually one or two sources of this boredom. The obvious one is the apathetic, backslidden condition of the hearer. The things of religion are boring because their heart is consumed by other things. The second source is a little more disturbing. More often than we would think the problem is not the hearer but the speaker. Preachers who have no personal encounter with God themselves are speaking only in theory, like a parrot repeating what others have said. If the topic is not real to the preacher you are certain to have a sleepy congregation. What is the solution? There has to be a personal encounter with God. The great example is the Apostle Paul, how could Paul ever be boring after what he had experienced on the Damascus Road. Understanding this helps us in understanding revival. One of the players in the Great Awakening was Jonathan Edwards. His preaching came out of his encounter with the Holy Spirit. Here is a snippet from what he called His Personal Narrative.
“I have many times had a sense of the glory of the third person in the Trinity, in his office of Sanctifier; in his holy operations communicating divine light and life to the soul. God in the communications of his Holy Spirit, has appeared as an infinite fountain of divine glory and sweetness; being full and sufficient to fill and satisfy the soul: pouring forth itself in sweet communications, like the sun in its glory, sweetly and pleasantly diffusing light and life. I have sometimes had an affecting sense of the excellency of the word of God, as a word of life; as the light of life; a sweet, excellent, life-giving word: accompanied with a thirsting after that word, that it might dwell richly in my heart.”
Edwards had tasted the sweetness of the other world for himself. If someone has tasted that for themselves you will know it the moment they open their mouths. So how can we have another awakening in our country? The only answer is to taste and see, the rest is in the hands of the Lord.