Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Spirit Blows Wherever It Wills

Something is happening at Wheaton College. I don’t know quite what it is. Only God does, really. But the Holy Spirit is on the move here. People are praying for revival. Let me elaborate.

Wheaton College is and always has been a place where all members of the campus community have given a high priority to scholarship, integrity, and the pursuit of truth; to meaningful, caring relationships; and to social justice. But above all else, we lift high the name the Christ, and it is in His name that we exist and work.

Sometimes, though, we forget that our calling is to glorify God. We get caught up in our studies, relationships, and ministries. The effect is that an attitude of pride and cynicism has settled on our campus community. Our studies and all the rest are blessings from God, but right now we (albeit subconsciously) take credit for them ourselves. As a result, we are distracted from truly worshipping because we don’t recognize God as the “fount of every blessing.”

Do we need a revival at Wheaton College? That’s an interesting question. Mine may be a minority opinion, so let me say respectfully that I think revival is overkill. A revival, as I understand it, is when the Holy Spirit moves in the heart of many people in one community, resulting in an extended period of unplanned worship. During such a time, people might confess sins, renew their commitments to Christ, and the like.

I do not doubt that God may use (and has used) revivals to do tremendous good in communities around the world. But here is why I think revival is overkill: I think people sometimes pray for revival to distract themselves from their own convictions. Remove the speck in your own eye and all that, right? Ask God to help you overcome your own cynicism and pride, and then ask Him to let your life be an example to others. It’s definitely something I need to do.

So let me expand my statement a bit: revival is not a bad thing, I just feel that we shouldn’t rush towards such a dramatic solution. God can work in small, subtle ways to accomplish great things.

At the same time, I do appreciate the significance of what is happening here. It’s hard to overlook the evidence that people are realizing that we have lost some of our focus. In the Conservatory, in particular, lots of people are thinking about what it means to be a Christian musician. Out of respect for my friends’ trust, I will not share on this weblog some of the personal stories I have heard, but let me say that it’s amazing. People are humbling themselves and seeking God’s purpose for their gifts.

What is my prayer? That each and every person who, because of the grace of God, is here at Wheaton, would understand more and more each day how much God loves us and wants us to know that He loves us. I’m not doing much over spring break – just going home to spend the week with my family and relax in Oak Park. But I will definitely be praying for Wheaton College. If you are part of the Wheaton community, I challenge you to join me, and if you are a friend of the College and feel so led, I humbly ask you to pray for our school.

This is Rubio, over and out.