Evidences of Spiritual Renewal
2 Chronicles 29:16-36
A young American engineer was sent to Ireland by his company to work in a new electronics plant. It was a two-year assignment that he had accepted because it would enable him to earn enough to marry his long-time girlfriend. She had a job near her home in Tennessee, and their plan was to pool their resources and put a down payment on a house when he returned. They corresponded often, but as the lonely weeks went by, she began expressing doubts that he was being true to her, exposed as he was to comely Irish lasses. The young engineer wrote back, declaring with some passion that he was paying absolutely no attention to the local girls. "I admit," he wrote, "that sometimes I'm tempted. But I fight it. I'm keeping myself for you." In the next mail, the engineer received a package. It contained a note from his girl and a harmonica. "I'm sending this to you," she wrote, "so you can learn to play it and have something to take your mind off those girls." The engineer replied, "Thanks for the harmonica. I'm practicing on it every night and thinking of you." At the end of his two-year stint, the engineer was transferred back to company headquarters. He took the first plane to Tennessee to be reunited with his girl. Her whole family was with her, but as he rushed forward to embrace her, she held up a restraining hand and said sternly, "Just hold on there a minute, Billy Bob. Before any serious kissin' and huggin' gets started here, let me hear you play that harmonica!"This gal wanted some evidence that her man had been faithful.
When I was young we learned a little about tracking. We have tracked everything from deer to possum to armadillo. You can watch the ground, the brush, the trees, and many others things because there is almost always evidence left when something or someone comes through a trail.
Our focus this year has been “Renewal.” “Lord, do it again in 2010, like you did at Pentecost.” Being spiritually renewed is not something that lends itself to secrecy. Generally, when a person senses a internal renewal from God, that renewal surfaces in a way which gives evidence of what has taken place. This is the joy of the Lord (our strength) which is coming through.
This morning, consider 5 such evidences which indicate a true spiritual renewal has taken place, When spiritual renewal arrives, these will be present.
1.The Spirit of Repentance – Repentance is a word and concept which we know is needed, but don't care to do. Here's why; humanly speaking, we do not have it in us to turn our backs on something we love. Candidly, there is a strong pull in the human heart toward sin. Why do we think that young people believe that 'all the fun' is found in sinful things? It is because of this 'worldly' pull in our heart. To repent is to turn from and forsake those things which we have come to like. Yes, this is not a popular message, but it it still true. It kind of like CHILDREN and CANDY. Most of us know that candy and sugar are not particularly good for our little guys, yet they love it. But if they persist, they will become overweight, have bad teeth, and can even have long term health issues. Even though ti taste good in the mouth, it causes problems in the body. For me, this is a fair assessment of sin. Taste good for a time, but long term?