If Godâ€™s people want to see America saved, at least in the way for which they look towards Washington D.C., revival must come. How is it that a revival comes to a personâ€™s life, a church, a community, or a nation for that matter? Letâ€™s go back to our passage in Hebrews:
â€œTherefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.â€ (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Did you see the answer in there? No? Look again! Itâ€™s there in verse 1. Look at it by itself:
â€œTherefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…â€
We are told to lay aside every weight. In the Greek â€œlay aside every weightâ€ is apotithemi pas ogkos and transliterated it tells us to put â€œaside everything collectively whatever is prominentâ€ and the sin which so easily ensnares us. That means you have to give up a lot of stuff!
Bro Dave do you mean I have to sell my boat? If it easily ensnares you and keeps from serving the Lord, then yes.
Do I have to give up watching sports? See above…
Do I have to give up…see above!
Beloved the Bible gives us plenty of examples of what can happen to our spiritual walks if we allow this world and its possessions to ensnare us.
The first example that comes to mind is Lotâ€™s wife. Let us remember the story from Genesis 19, not one but two angels come to Sodom to rescue Lotâ€™s family from the impending judgment on Sodom. Some of Lotâ€™s family were so enamored with the Sodomite lifestyle that they laughed in his face when he tried to warn them. (Fathers, what would your children do if you tried to warn them against the evils of this world?)
So Lot is able to leave Sodom with only his wife and two daughters (the ones he was willing to prostitute out; perhaps there is a clue there about the response from his son-in-laws?). Remember now that Lot entertained angels and yet he is hesitant to do what the angels command and decides to go to Zoar instead of the mountains. And Lotâ€™s wife longingly looks back to get one more glimpse of her precious home being destroyed and she in turn is destroyed; POOF! A pillar of salt. And Lotâ€™s sin continues to haunt him later through the deceit of his daughters.
What about the rich young ruler who came to Jesus seeking counsel on obtaining eternal life?
â€œNow a certain ruler asked Him, saying, â€˜Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?â€™ So Jesus said to him, â€˜Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: â€œDo not commit adultery,â€ â€œDo not murder,â€ â€œDo not steal,â€ â€œDo not bear false witness,â€ â€œHonor your father and your mother.â€â€™ And he said, â€˜All these things I have kept from my youth.â€™ So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, â€˜You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.â€™ But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.â€ (Luke 18:18-23)
By the way, this rich young ruler broke two of the Ten Commandments in front of Jesus; he lied and he was covetous. What a heathen! Easy now; you and I do the same thing.
Beloved I could write forever on the things in this present world that mirror issues in the Bible and never make a difference in my or your lives. Until each of us, we who claim to be Christians, deal individually with the sin in our lives, then revival will not come. And we will not deal with our sin because of pride.
I donâ€™t want to admit that I have a besetting sin, be that what it may, anymore than you do!
And yet our lives continue to either spiral down or spin in place all the while we wonder why we donâ€™t grow in Christ. Why are the rats winning the rat race and we Christians are merely getting by? Because for us to run the race with endurance the writer of Hebrews told us to discard all the heavy junk weâ€™re trying to carry! We might as well strap a refrigerator to our backs and take off on a marathon the way most Christians live their daily lives, me included!!
It comes down to pride. The late Dr. Adrian Rogers once said that pride is â€œa very dangerous sin that, in my estimation, is doing more to hold back revival…â€
Pride. The sin that so easily ensnares us. You not only know your pride, you love it. No I donâ€™t Bro Dave, I love Jesus. I do too, but beloved I confess to all of you that I love my pride and how it manifests itself in my life. If I didnâ€™t I would get rid of it, instantly. I allow my flesh to have preeminence in my life instead of the Holy Spirit. I grieve the Holy Spirit daily because I want to be in control. That must stop if revival is to come.
We live in dark days and they are going to get darker in 2011; that is why we must always be looking towards heaven. If I continue to look at my circumstances or the worldâ€™s; I will panic and you know the old saying: â€œThere are no panics in Heaven, just plans.â€
One of the plans in Heaven is for God to come to His people when we repent of our sin and call out to Him for forgiveness. Let us call out the Jesus Christ our Lord, the author and finisher of our faith, to once again visit us and sweep this land. Let our heartsâ€™ cries be that of Dr. Rogers:
Study the history of revival. God has always sent revival in the darkest days. Oh, for a mighty, sweeping revival today!
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers
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