Archive for October 10, 2011

Revival – are we willing to pay the price?

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) says 14if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Few in the church today would argue that we are in desperate need of revival.  But are we willing to pay the price?  We talk about this constantly, but  how do we achieve this?  According to 2 Chronicles 7:14our only responsibility is the IF part, humbling ourselves, praying, seeking His face, and turning from sin, and the THEN part is all His – hearing, forgiving, cleansing, and healing.

Words of Explanation – Revival is defined in Revelation 2:4-5 and says:

Revelation 2:4 – 5 (NKJV) 4Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place—unless you repent. 

Jesus tells us we need to return to our first love which we have left!

Revival ….

  • Is God getting me where I need to be so He can do what He wants to do
  • Is God’s people getting right with him
  • Is when God moves in power in His people, to bring them back to life from hard hearts, indifference, backsliding, and spiritual harlotry, to renew their first marriage vows to Jesus only
  • Is a name we invented to explain what ought to be the normal Christian life
  • Is God’s answer to His people’s desperate plea that we are powerless to revive ourselves or others
  • Praying involves brokenness and humility, and the confession of my personal sins and the sins of the church and the country that have separated us from God
  • Is Biblical
  • Is birthed in prayer and holiness, and it will continue until the prayer and holiness which birthed it is neglected in favor of the arm of flesh of man

 Spiritual Awakening

  • When God so works in His people that we get contagious and the world notices the Reviving One in action in love and power in our lives, so that they want to rub lives with us to catch what we have
  • When God’s humbled, purified, Spirit-empowered church so lives the presence and priorities of God that the world takes notice
  • When God’s people get on fire, that unbelieving family and the world of lost people around us want to come see where the fire is
  • When revived believers repent of their sins in the holy presence of God, make right what is wrong in the power of God, give priority to the purposes of God in prayer, testify of a passion for God by their revived lives living out the reviving Life.

What is evangelism?

Evangelism is the overflow, the results, when the revived church goes into the world by the Spirit of power, who opens blind eyes so that those in darkness come to the light of Jesus Christ, when He is lifted up.  Revival results in evangelism.  Unchurched people get saved in a mighty movement of God.  In the atmosphere of prayer, purification, and praise, God moves to redeem the lost world so that entire geographic areas are swept into the kingdom.  If the harvest is His, then pray to the Lord of the Harvest as the Greatest Commission of all.

Revival is not

  • Goose bumps – not how high we jump, but how straight and honest we talk
  • Not calling down fire on those who don’t hear – Jesus rebuked that (Luke 9:55)
  • Not just asking but hearing from God.  You are only as revived as you are a good listener.
  • Not inexpensive; yes it is free, but it costs dearly – religion does not cost you anything, but revival costs you everything.  What have you got to lose?  Your sin, your pride, your reputation, your flesh, your powerlessness?

God wants to revive the church but He will do it one person at a time.  How does the fire of revival catch hold, you put a few hot coals together.  Jesus deals with us one person at a time.  We are to fix our eyes on Jesus.

  • Love of God
  • Hatred of sin
  • Your surrender to the Holy Spirit
  • Your desperation for the glory of God at all costs – God will not share His glory with those who come to use Him to make a religious reputation for themselves

Why we don’t have revival?    Ignorance

Hosea 4:6 (NKJV) says  6    My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.     Because you have rejected knowledge,     I also will reject you from being priest for Me;     Because you have forgotten the law of your God,     I also will forget your children.

We are content to live without it – the church has no vision for revival – 

Proverbs 29:18 says:   Where there isno revelation, the people cast off restraint;     But happy is he who keeps the law.

The bottomline is we are unwilling to pay the price to meet the conditions – of humbling, praying, seeking God’s face, and turning from sin.

 Henry Blackaby provides some insightful perspective for us:

“Do we not realize that scripturally it is impossible to have a call for revival without a call for repentance? This has always been God’s requirement for His people. The passionate, unceasing corporate prayer that is always present in revival is desperately lacking as well. In short, I see little evidence of sincere brokenness among God’s people for our present condition or the condition of our nation.

We call for revival without actually crying with tears and brokenness for revival. The “call for revival” seems almost like a spiritual fad, with no true passion and sincerity of heart. Many will say “amen” when they hear mention of the need for revival. But the “call” is fleeting and soon passes away. And then we quickly move on to other activity and return to our business as usual with no follow-through by the leaders of God’s people.

We must understand that a true call for revival is first and foremost a recognition that we’ve departed from God. It demands a radical response from God’s leaders and His people. Revival has always been, and remains to this day, God dealing with the sin of His own -– not the world.

Therefore, if we never recognize our need for repentance of sin, then our “call” for revival is in vain. Isaiah warned God’s people: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from God; and your sins have hidden His face from you; so that He will not hear”(Isaiah 59:1-2).”

Action steps:

May we seek God to grant us broken and contrite hearts, may our spiritual leaders “return to the Lord” and stay there;  may the people of God pray corporately with one heart and mind, and may God’s people be immediately obedient to all God reveals to them.  Amen and amen.

Supporting references:  Experiencing God and Fresh Encounter by Henry and Richard Blackaby