Throughout the history of the church, there have been movements and revivals that highlighted something that once was, but had been lost.  Revival is not a “new thing,” but often a rediscovering.  Revival should not be something extraordinary, but seeing something of heaven becoming ordinary here on earth.

One of those groups of people who experienced this kind of heavenly visitation were the Moravians.  They experienced a deep level of spiritual renewal, prayer, community, and mission.  There are things we can learn from them as we press ahead for what God has for us as the church in the days that we live in.

For over a hundred years, the Moravians were a community of followers of Jesus that were persecuted because they longed to live the gospel in truth and in simplicity.  They desired to follow Jesus, live in community, and fulfill the mission of the Great Commission.  I think in many ways, nothing has changed.  Those who long to make application of Scripture and walk in intimacy with Jesus are often persecuted, not just by those who hate Christianity, but by those who prefer the safety of religion.
The best definition I have heard for religion is keeping God at a distance.  When we try to live our Christianity and do church in a controlled and predictable environment, we keep God at a distance.  Structures and discipline are not “bad words,” but can become the mechanisms we use to keep God from getting too close to our lives.  Perhaps one of the greatest underlining issues in our lives is the Biblical concept of Lordship.  We want a Saviour to “save us,” but we struggle to submit our lives to His Lordship, and that is what religion does.  It deceives us into thinking we are “ok” without surrendering to Him.
The Moravians, after over a century of persecution, took up residence under the protection of Count Zinzendorf on his estate.  In 1722, Zinzendorf opened Herrnhut is Christianity charity, but what would happen there would impact the world.
As renewal came into the community, Zinzendorf became the leader, and developed the community.  These were seven key values that Zinzendorf brought to the Moravians:
  1. The need for personal conversion.
  2. A commitment to simplicity and integrity as marks of a true church.
  3. A refusal to be hostile to other believers—even when you believed they were not understanding the Scripture as you might.
  4. The belief that the sin of some believers was their fault, not that of the church.  Zinzendorf believed in discipline but not in coercion.
  5. A wariness of labels and names that might divide rather than unite.
  6. An active quest for spiritual growth.  There was to be no reliance on the blessings of the past.  The people of God were to be intentional.
  7. A readiness to lay aside one’s personal desires and e ready to make sacrifices for the sake of others.
The community in Herrnhut spurred a movement that became the catylist for over 3,000 missionaries and the development of similar type communities around the world.  They not only had a global impact as the Moravian movement, but impacted other movements, including having a profound effect on John Wesley, who was the key figure in the Mehtodist movement.
So what does Spiritual Awakening look like, particularly in light of the world that we live in today?
It starts with our personal relationship with Jesus.  From that, God can link us with others to create synergy, just as God did with the struggling group of refugees taking shelter on Zinzendorf’s estate.  The world is in need of a fresh “move of God.”  I need a fresh “move of God.”  Yesterday’s blessings are not sufficient.  I do not want to look at past experiences, or others experiences, but I want to surrender deep to God and grow deeper in my relationship with Jesus!