Stir It Up
To stir up means to agitate, trouble (a thing, by the movement of its parts to and fro), to cause an inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, disturb his equanimity, to disquiet, make restless, to strike one's spirit with fear and dread.
A Stirring up also means to cause (someone) to feel a strong emotion and a desire to do something, to cause (something, usually something bad or unpleasant) to happen.
As Christians, we sometimes need to be stirred up in order to bring about a change in circumstance. The narrative of 1 Samuel talks about how God answered Eli’s desire for a son through Hannah’s prayer for the same. God knew Eli needed a successor and Hannah needed a son and for that purpose to be birthed, Peninnah, her rival had to provoke Hannah to the point where she could no longer bear the pain of barrenness. By Peninnah’s action, Hannah stirred herself up through prayer. Eli seeing her that way thought she was drunk at first but later realized it was not so. This made him prophesy to her and God honored the word.
Stirring provokes a rising up. A rising up is akin to a revival.
Our primary text is Ps 85:6 and it says “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”
A revival is the improvement in the condition or strength of something, a renewed attention to or interest in something. It also means to return to consciousness or life; become active or flourishing again, to restore from a depressed, inactive, or unused state; bring back and to renew in the mind or memory. God is the one who revives. Though we have life already we are prone to dying. Nehemiah 8: 10 tells us without revival, the ability to rejoice is dead. The joy of the Lord is our strength and without revival we are without much hope and verve for life. It follows that without joy-the power of rejoicing-we are weak, drained, tired, of low energy, disinterested in life and depressed.
John 5:1-10 (KJV) “...After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
Apathy, hopelessness, welfare mentality, survival of the fittest, settlement or acceptance of the status quo and miserable harmonizing seemed to be the culture at the pool and these attributes can be likened to the state of the church today. The water in the pool must have come from some source, and even though it is residential yet it is stagnated meaning every church has a residential anointing, and unless we stir it up we may never get that anointing to be a blessing unto us.
The question Jesus asked the man “do you want to be made whole” is a pre-requite for revival; a personal desire for change, a decision to change and an action towards change. We often have the same excuse as the lame man “I have no man to put in me in the pool” but recognize that you do and that person is you. Do not let religion become your opium; don’t hide in the church, rise up and stir up yourself. The world laughs at us because are walking in faith but are not exercising our works.
Sometimes people must be provoked out of their comfort zone and brought to a place of discomfort so they can reconnect to God through prayer. Because prayer is necessary for the enforcement of heaven’s purposes. Prayer is also necessary for cultural identity as a believer and sometimes God must provoke us to purpose by causing a stirring up. James 5:16. Prayer is a pre-requisite for divine visitation, a vehicle for revival and when sin is lowered; prayer breaks forth.