Nerf wars are awesome

If you’ve never been a part of one, you need to! A few weeks ago we had a birthday party / kids ministry event. As with many events, our Nerf War for the kid’s ministry was cancelled due to COVID-19. So, we rescheduled it for a time that we could do it and get double use out of all the fort building. Kids ministry got to enjoy it. And the birthday kids got to enjoy it!

It was a win-win!

Until you got shot that is!

Kids and adults teamed up for a game of capture the flag. Each team had a certain amount of time to build their fort out of cardboard and duct tape. The rules were simple — capture the other team’s flag behind the protection of their fort and return it to your side without getting shot with a Nerf dart. If you were shot in the process, you had to go down, leaving you unable to walk, run, or move for that matter! You were down — that is until someone came and “revived” you. And so, you’d wait for a teammate to come tap you and “revive” you. Sometimes the teams would appoint just one person to be a reviving person. Their role was critical. They waited for one of their teammates to be down and ran out to revive them. And when you were revived you’d be back in the game again running among the rest of the chaos.

And it was glorious chaos!

If you were a fly on the wall that day, you’d have seen not only the chaos, but a solid principle unfolding right in front of your eyes. Kids and adults that were shot and down that needed revived were yelling out to their teammates to come and help them. They needed revived. They wanted back in the game. They didn’t want to miss another moment just watching another round go by without their being a part of it.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

To be revived means that something has been brought back to life, to be brought back to a consciousness, to be made active again, or to restore a vigor that was absent. In short, revival is the activity in which something that was alive but now is dead is brought back to life.

That sounds awfully familiar to what revival is for all of us doing their best to follow the ways of Jesus. That’s me. That’s you.

Life can get you down

We all take shots in life. Words spoken in harshness. Impatience. Anger. Back biting. Hurt feelings. Disagreements left unresolved. Bitterness. Un-forgiveness. Over time, they get heavy. Over time, they take their toll. And they bring us to our knees. We are down.

We all experience tragedy. We all face trials. We all struggle. Those struggles of finances, troubled marriages, raising kids, our health, the stress of life that seems so mountainous on our shoulders, they all get heavy. Over time, they take their toll. And they bring us to our knees. We are down.

We all experience serious hurts, habits, and hangups as so well-spoken by Celebrate Recovery. A wife walks out on her marriage after twenty years. Drug or alcohol abuse has robbed one spouse of their “forever after”. Pornography has stolen a father away from his kids and his wife. Over time these get heavy. Over time, they take their toll. And they bring us to our knees. We are down.

What we do when we’re down is vital

What we do when we’re down is essential.

Just because you have a relationship with Jesus does not exempt you from what happens in life. Just because you attend a church does not free you from being bound by circumstances, leaving you down.

We all (me included) need revival. Revival is for the sons and daughters of God. It’s for the leaders. And by leader, I don’t just mean someone publicly. If you have kids, you’re a leader. If you have grandkids, you’re a leader. If someone, anyone, is looking at you for an example (and that’s all of us), then in some way, you’re a leader.

Revival starts with leaders leading the way. Revival begins when we recognize that we are down, we see past the dark of what’s brought us down, and we begin to see who’s by our side — who’s always been by our side. And we begin to yell out for help…for Jesus to revive us.

Jesus is always about bringing back to life what has died. I would say he’s the expert on the topic. You know, with the resurrection and all.

Do you want back in the game? You know you don’t want to miss another moment, watching another round go by without being a part of it, do you? Don’t you want something more? Don’t you want to join in the chaos, the glorious chaos that comes with immeasurable peace?

Then what you do when you’re down is critical.

All of us, in some aspect of our lives, is down. We need a risen Savior who defeated death to bring something in our lives back to life, to breathe new life into our spirits.

All of us need revived. All of us need a revival. And if you want to see a revival in your family, your community, your nation, then let it start with you.

It must start with you.

It starts while you’re down on your knees

It starts realizing that you have a real Jesus that’s just waiting for you to yell out to him for help. You’re down somewhere in your life and you need revived. Know that you have a very present Savior who is an expert at reviving something that’s died. Get back in the game. Don’t let another moment go by without him touching you, letting him break on through, and bring you back into the game. It’s simply going to him, down on your knees, and yelling out to Jesus to be revived. He’s waiting for you. He’s watching for someone to be down so that he can come revive them.

But you have to cry out to him.

I don’t know what’s going on in your life just as much as you don’t know what’s going on in mine. That doesn’t matter. The person that matters is Jesus. The one that can revive what’s died.

So, don’t let another round go by without being a part of it. Get back into the game. Jesus is waiting. Yell out to him now to come and revive you.

The glorious chaos awaits…