Revival

God uses all kinds crazy circumstances to expand His Kingdom and bring revival to dead nations. Did you know that 2 of the biggest revivals in the last 500 years were caused by malaria? Did you know that God used Watergate to bring revival to New York City? (Catch the whole story here)

As far as Malaria causing revival, listen to Paul’s words in Galatians 4:13, “As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the Gospel to you” Now, we don’t know for sure that his illness was malaria. But, given the climate of the region he was in, it would make sense if Paul had contracted malaria and had been sent to Galatia for recuperation.[1]

While in Galatia, Paul planted 4 churches.[2] After planting these churches, he would later write them the book of Galatians which emphasized the importance of justification by faith. His forceful language demonstrated that the worst kind of pervert is one who perverts the Gospel of Jesus. Check out last Friday’s post for more on this.

It turns out that this short book of the Bible was used by God to start the Protestant Reformation! When Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the doors of the Wittenburg Castle Church, Protestantism had been born.

And what drove Luther to see the error of the Roman Catholic Church? The book of Galatians! Listen to his words, “The epistle to the Galatians is my epistle. To it I am, as it were, in wedlock. Galatians is my Katherine (the name of his wife).”[3]

Had Paul not contracted Malaria, he would not have gone to Galatia, he would not have planted those churches, and he would not have written the book of Galatians. And without the book of Galatians, perhaps the Protestant Reformation would not have taken place!

Roughly 200 years later, America was in spiritual decline. While reading Luther’s commentary on Galatians, a friend of Charles Wesley wrote in their diary,

“there came such a power over me as I cannot well describe; my great burden fell off in an instant; my heart was so filled with peace and love that I burst into tears. I almost thought I saw our Savior! My companions, perceiving me so affected, fell on their knees and prayed. When afterwards I went into the street, I could scarcely feel the ground I trod upon.”

When freed from the bondage of performing to please God, these men experienced deep, personal revival! This freedom led to the Great Awakening – North America’s greatest revival! And, it all came through the book of Galatians, which came through Paul’s malaria.

 

Question: How will you allow God to use the malaria in your life to bring revival?

[1] See John MacArthur, The New Testament Commentary Series: Galatians.

[2] Antioch, Acts 13; Iconium, Acts 13-14; Lystra, Acts 14; and Derbe, Acts 14.

[3] Quoted in MacArthur, ix.

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