Have you ever been in a church when real revival came? Revival happens when God is among His people. Revival comes through fasting and prayer, bringing a humility required yet rarely experienced that results in a level of confession and contrition that Godâ€™s people cry out to Him for their sins and their predecessorâ€™s wickedness. It is a day of atonement that restores a wandering people back to the Wonderful Prince; revival truly comes as it did in Nehemiahâ€™s day:
â€œNow on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.â€ (Nehemiah 9:1-3)
In the top margin of my Bible above Nehemiah 9 Iâ€™ve written â€œNeh. 9 & 10 Revival comesâ€”oh that it would be!!â€ I donâ€™t remember writing that; I have no recollection of when or why I wrote that. I do remember this morning thinking, â€œYes Lord, this is what we need.â€
The Holy Spirit asked me, â€œReally? When was the last time you fasted for anything, much less something as big as your nationâ€™s revival?â€
The Holy Spirit has a way of breaking through false piety and shallow Christian talk.
I am too often like the talented basketball player we all grew up with who could have easily played at the professional level had he only put in the work, sacrificed his time in practicing, and never gave up when adversity came. And yet this person merely spoke of playing in the NBA and we all knew it would never happen.
We the American church lip sync this old tired song that I imagine must weary the angels in heaven and break Jesusâ€™ heart because they and He know that we are not serious.
When was the last time a church, or a family even, stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers? Iâ€™ve never seen that happen. Most families youâ€™re lucky to have them all in church at one time, or at home long enough to even begin to do that which is necessary to bring revival to a family much less the nation.
â€œPraise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? Who can declare all His praise? Blessed are those who keep justice, and he who does righteousness at all times.â€ (Psalm 106:1-3)
If the Body of Christ in America is truly serious about rescuing its nation then she must return to her first love; Jesus. We can not allow worldliness with all of its manifestations to hinder our relationship with Jesus Christ. Charles Haddon Spurgeon put it best:
â€œOh! 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.â€
Are there any among us? Is there one who will in his or her home pray for revival? Is there one among us whoâ€™s faith is long enough? Is his, her, or my love for Jesus so fiery that we will from this moment exercise unceasing intercession? Are there enough of us in American Christendom to bring a revival so great as to see and experience The Third Great Awakening?
I am praying that I am up to thisâ€¦I honestly do not know if I am. In my head I want to be; I just donâ€™t know yet if my heart is ready. I will pray that the Holy Spirit prepares my heartâ€¦otherwise we all know that I am not serious.
And neither are youâ€¦
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