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Reflection by Stewart Perry

Each morning, for my daily devotional time, I listen to Nicky Gumbel’s Bible In A Year App on my phone. I’ve found it has become an important part of my daily rhythm over the last couple of years and particularly helpful in recent times. The devotion starts with some commentary and then  has a Psalm or Proverb, then commentary, then a New Testament passage, then commentary, and finishes with an Old Testament passage then commentary.

Not all of it sinks in to be honest, but most days something does, whether it be a passage of scripture or something that Nicky says. Yesterday Nicky quoted revivalist John Wimber and what he said really struck a chord. Now it’s highly likely that I heard the exact same words this time last year but they obviously didn’t sink in then or perhaps I was drawn to other words of scripture or Nicky’s comments.

There is so much to be gained by immersing ourselves daily in the words of scripture, in the reflections of those who help us understand it and in prayer and reflection during and after we read or listen to it. I know we are all busy, believe me I don’t think I’ve ever been busier, but if we don’t find time for this part of our lives then we run the risk of pushing God to the “if I have time” parts of our lives rather than at the centre where God must be for our growth, our health and the welfare of those around us.

There are other podcasts, books and rhythms of prayer that I supplement throughout the day and week but I am so grateful that my parents helped me to find the value in a daily devotional when I was younger.

Back to John Wimber… the quote that really struck a chord was that he believed that we need 3 Conversions:

  1. A conversion to Christ
  2. A conversion to His Church
  3. A conversion to His cause

It struck me at times in my life I have been ‘more converted’ to one of the 3 at the expense of the other 2. In my own story and experience, conversion is an ongoing process. Yes I can remember one moment, when I was 8 years old at a Billy Graham Crusade but there have been more conversion experiences since then – so many I haven’t been able to keep count.

I know everyone’s story is unique and God works differently throughout each of our lives but I do think there is a real challenge in John Wimber’s words, particularly at this time.

Has Christ been at our centre recently? Or have we been consumed by worry, self focus and self preservation. Do we need a fresh conversion to Christ?

We haven’t been able to meet to worship as Church but we have never stopped being THE Church. Do we need a fresh conversion to what it means to be the Church?

We were reminded of Christ’s cause 2 Sundays ago with the words of the Great Commission and this includes prioritising others. How active have we been in service and do we need a fresh conversion to His cause?

When all of these conversions occur concurrently within a group of people, we have revival on a personal level and we have revival on a corporate level.

If like me, you’ve found John Wimber’s words challenging, can I encourage you to allow yourself to be not only challenged but also changed. Conversion brings change and change that is lead by the Holy Spirit brings revival.

I do pray you have an ongoing trinity of conversions throughout your life but particularly I am praying for that trinity of conversions for you and those close to you and for our whole church family right now. Come Holy Spirit and bring your revival to our lives, our communities and our world.


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