Many churches have revival…”Revival here from Sunday through Wednesday. Don’t Miss It!!”…can be read on many a signs across America.
What the signs should read is; “Revival services here from Sunday through Wednesday. Don’t forget to pray for it!!!”
American Christendom has been so set on its head that I doubt most Christians in the United States understand true revival.
Revival is not evangelism, although many can be saved during a revival. Revival is not emotionally based although it might manifest itself through emotions.
Revival is a renewal in the spiritual life of a born-again believer. Too often we think of revival as lost people being saved; you can’t revive the dead…they must be born again!! As I said, if the church is revived then a by-product is evangelism and the lost being saved.
So where should revival happen? Wherever God’s people have grown cold. Revival should happen where God’s people “do church.” Revival should happen where God’s people have lost their concern for the lost. Revival should happen where God’s people are hiding or covering secret’s sins. Revival should happen where God’s people have animosity towards one another and have an unforgiving spirit. Revival should happen where God’s people are filled with pride. Revival should happen where God’s people have backslidden.
So how does revival happen Bro Dave? It begins with you and me beloved. Heed the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
“Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival – men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations.”
Is that you? Is that me? Is my love fiery enough to exercise unceasing intercession that God would appear among us and do wondrous things. Can my life be interrupted for a moment to fast for revival? Can I get on my face before God and repent of my sins and ask God to renew me?! Del Fehsenfeld Jr. asks the question this way:
“If revival depended on you — your prayers, your faith, your obedience — would your church ever experience revival?”
Beloved that question has convicted me; it has blown my heart to pieces and makes me bow my head in shame because I know that answer without hesitation…no. Right now where I am there is no way my church will ever experience revival if it depends on my prayers, my faith, and my obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am the lukewarm church in Laodicea:
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—” (Revelation 3:17)
I am the compromising church in Pergamos:
“But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (Revelation 2:14-16)
I am the loveless church in Ephesus:
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:4-5)
I am the dead church in Sardis:
“I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Revelation 3:1-3)
Beloved, the elements of all of the seven churches of Asia found in Revelation 2 & 3 are present here today.
So how does revival happen?
Only God can send revival; He alone is the source. Remember our psalm passage from yesterday?
“Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, LORD, and grant us Your salvation.” (Psalm 85:4-7)
That is why we cannot schedule or plan for revival; we can only hold revival service, which I wholeheartedly endorse if we prepare our hearts for it. So how do we prepare for it.
We do what Spurgeon called for; we pray that God will revive us.
We face the fact that we have not seen sin for what it is and confess it, repent of it, and most importantly forsake it!
We need to acknowledge God and admit that we have compromised our holiness for comfort.
I guess the real question to ask is not how can we have revival but do we really want it?!
Even a baby Christian knows that true revival brings radical change in our lives. Do I want that? God is willing to send revival to those who genuinely seek Him:
“Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
Too many Christians in America don’t want a G-O-D revival they want a G-O-P revival so the Republicans in Washington can do for them what Jesus has called us to do. Jesus did not tell the Romans or the Pharisees for that matter they were the salt and the light of the world; He told us…believers in Him. He also said that salt that has lost its saltiness is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. Ever wonder why Christians are being trampled upon in society today? Well how salty are you? If you do have a light, does it even shine? Are you a flashlight without batteries?
Revival is not a switch you can throw on or off like the lights in your house. Revival is me getting right with God and my family getting back to the place we need to be in. If we will meet God’s conditions for revival He will send it.
Our country needs revival; that I will agree with you always. But how we get there is entirely upon us dear Christians.
Let me leave you with one more quote from 19th Century Scottish minister Andrew Bonar:
“Revivals begin with God’s own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!”
(My thanks to Pastor Don Robinson of Grace Baptist Temple in Bloomington, IN for sharing his sermon notes on revival)
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers