Monday, September 6, 2010


By Odon Bulamba (23 May 2003)

- Part of the Great Salvation

In the church today we often talk about revival. We know that revival is a step from death to life; if someone is dead and comes back to life again people will testify and say that we have seen such person at such place. When we speak about revival it doesn’t mean that it’s about resurrection, it doesn’t mean that someone was dead and came back to life to sin again, it means that if you are a sinner then your soul is dead because of your sin. It means that when you meet Jesus in your life, then this soul finds life, and when life is there, we can speak about revival; this is the elementary teaching for newborn Christians.

But for adult Christians, they also need the Bible too; this revival will be a little bit different than the revival for new born Christians. The way a new born Christian will read the bible is different from the way a mature Christian will read the Bible. Of course the Bible is the same, but there are teachings for spiritually young Christians and spiritually older Christians.

For example; if I open the Bible to the Song of Songs and I say let’s study it, few people will understand the meaning of this book, because it’s a poetic book and it speaks a lot about love, many pastors teach that it speaks about the love of Jesus Christ for the church and that’s it, other churches can go without reading this book for ten years, and very few Christians know about this book in the Bible. Perhaps young people who are in love might know this book, they might take a few verses to send to their lover, but for normal Christians they don’t study this book. It’s the same thing with revival. When we talk about revival at a mature level we get closer to God who is life, there is no mention of the presence of sin, but we seek God’s presence Himself.

Listen to me well! For a newborn Christian revival means I was dead in my sin and I came back to life. But for those who are adults in the Lord, it is not about sin it’s about seeking God’s presence. Once Moses asked God if he could see Him, Moses was very keen to see God, he said God I’ve seen everything, I’ve seen my parents, my children and now I want to see you. We also might have this need to see God. Moses could hear God’s voice, he could talk with Him easily, but he wanted to go further and see God, although he could hear Him it wasn’t enough, he wanted to see with his own eyes. Like you and me, when we were saved we could read the Bible and pray, we then reached a certain level in understanding the scriptures, and then we reached a level where we asked God to help us so we could pray for ten minutes, and now we are at the level where we say God, help me to hear your voice, help me God so that when I pray for someone this person might be healed, we forget completely the level where we started, we are at another level.

There was something that died in us and we want this thing to come back to life, it’s the direct contact with God. God said to Moses you won’t see me because if you do, you won’t live but later God showed Himself to Moses. So what need do you have?

The need you have to see God is what we call revival. The need you have in your heart is that God might come close to you, to touch you and to help you in your spiritual activities. For example; if we pray together here, and God’s presence is manifested and we can feel God’s presence in our prayers, will we be ready to say let’s stop now or will we be willing to carry on, I think that if someone is touched by God’s presence, this person will want to keep feeling God and this person will feel a new life in them.

There was a woman in the Bible who married a man named Laban, this woman gave birth to two daughters Leah and Rachael. Leah was the oldest and she was weak naturally while her sister was beautiful and physically perfect in man’s eyes. In some versions it says that Leah’s eyes were a little bit tired and awkward. Although Leah had problems with her eyes, she didn’t stop growing, she would grow day by day. Although people would comment about her awkward eyes, she didn’t care, she kept growing, God continued to help her grow in an incredible way and she was proud of the physical aspects that God had given her.

After a time she became an adult and she was ready to get married. God went and visited Leah, He saw that Leah was ready to get married, and something happened in Jacob’s life on the other side; you know the story, Jacob introduced himself to Laban, and Laban said to him you can stay with me for a few months. After one month Laban said to Jacob “what do you want me to give you for all the work you’ve done here?” Jacob looked around and saw that Rachel was a beautiful wife for him, he was not afraid to say in front of his uncle that he loved his daughter. Laban thought that it’s normal that my daughter might be loved. Laban said ok, you love my daughter, that’s good but what’s going to happen? Jacob said to him, I will work for you for 7 years. Laban who knew the law and the rights said ok you can have my daughter, so Jacob started to work for 7 years.

At the end of the 7th year Jacob said I’ve finished my work now, please give me your daughter. But Laban remembered the law, the younger sister cannot get married before the oldest, first the oldest must get married and then the youngest. What happened? Laban gave Leah instead of Rachel to Jacob. In the morning Jacob realised that it was not Rachael he had married, it was Leah. From that day on, life changed, Leah came from being a single woman and then the next day she was married which her father had prepared. This same Leah who didn’t even think about getting married because it was her sister who was loved, found herself in front of her husband. Her father said to her, you will marry Jacob. Was Leah allowed to say no? Did she have the right to say no to her father or not? Maybe she had this right, maybe she didn’t love Jacob, who knows, maybe she knew that Jacob loved Rachel more than her, but she accepted what her father told her, she accepted to be married that day.

Secondly, because Leah didn’t have eyes that pleased people, she was ready to be abused by others. Imagine getting married to someone you don’t love, how will you live with this person in the same house? For example; we say to Colleen we give you this person to marry who you don’t love, will you be able to live in peace with this man, I think it will be difficult. Because there’s no love, it won’t go well. But Leah accepted, although she knew it would be difficult to be married to Jacob, she accepted.

After that Jacob went to Laban and said, you misled me. Laban said, ok stay with Leah for a week and then we’ll see, and after a week he was given Rachel, and then he had to work for another 7 years.

Why am I telling you this story? We’re going to talk about Leah. Leah means tired and when you are tired you don’t have the strength to do things. Imagine having an appointment with someone who always says come back, come back, you’ll be tired and disappointed. When you study very hard and you don’t succeed, you’ll be very disappointed. When you work with all your strength and then you are asked to carry on working, you’ll say no, you might have the will to carry on with this job but because you are tired you can’t. It’s the same thing with us, we always pray and ask God but we don’t receive to the point we are tired sometimes.

We want to do well but we cannot reach this level because we are tired. Sometimes we read the Bible and really want God’s presence but because God doesn’t show Himself we get tired and then we feel completely forgotten. But this doesn’t stop us from growing. In our weaknesses God recognises us and when we recognise our weaknesses God is there to comfort us. Let’s imagine I stand up here and I say to Sylvie from now on your name is no longer Sylvie, it’s tired. If people start calling you tired, will be happy, I think not, it’s not easy. But Leah was called tired.

When I was very young and I was told you are very lazy, I would look around to find anything to throw at that person, to show them that I wasn’t lazy. I remember one day there was a woman who lived near our place. This lady told one of my aunties that she was lazy and my aunty replied saying, “You are lazy because you’ve got a fat tummy. If you were really strong you would work and this tummy would go away, so you are the one who is lazy”. When we are told that we are lazy or tired we feel shocked. Most Christians are really shocked when you tell them their mistakes or their weaknesses.

The name plays a great role in Christian life. Leah had accepted this name, and what about you and me, what is our name? When you are called Christian, are you really a Christian, when you are called thief, liar or slanderer, are you happy with this name?

So Leah kept growing and she didn’t reject her name but she said that God is with us. Do we keep growing in the Lord or did we stop because people talked about us. After a certain time we are called to meet Jesus, and this must happen through obedience. If Leah had not obeyed her father she wouldn’t have got married. Although she wasn’t in love with Jacob and she knew that Jacob belonged to her sister, she still obeyed her father, she didn’t complain or discuss, she said ok that’s alright, I’m going to get married. Of course people teased her about her eyes, but she said I’m going to get married to this man and that’s it. How many times do we obey God’s voice each day? Start counting in your life how many times you obey God in a day or per hour.

From time to time when God tells us something, we are the first ones to say no, this is not right; we want to use human intelligence to match God’s view. For example; if I were Leah at that time I wouldn’t have married Jacob because it would have been a shame. Everybody would say look, how can she take her sister’s husband, maybe newspapers would write about it but she accepted to obey, and by obeying she got married.

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