Friday, September 24, 2010

Preparing for Revival

During the past several months the Lord has been teaching me about revival. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently taking a Revivalism course at my church on Monday nights. My professor recently mentioned that true, Biblical revival contains four components:

1) It is initiated by God,
2) It creates widespread repentance, including the conversion of unbelievers,
3) It changes society in some significant way, and
4) It averts God’s judgment.

I wanted to spend some time discussing the second point because I think when most people, myself included, think of revival we imagine masses of lost people coming to know Jesus as their personal Savior. While this is true in part, the main thrust of revival is God’s people repenting of their sins and turning in obedience toward God.

I would assume that for many of us who have been Christians for a long time, we struggle with this concept, especially when we look at the state of our nation and witness the lawlessness that abounds everywhere. But God is always concerned first and foremost with His people. In fact, the great revival verse of the Bible deals with this very topic, “If 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.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

If we truly want to see the state of our nation changed than we, as God’s people, need to humble ourselves before God and turn from our sin. This is God’s plan for true revival – it begins with the church not the world.

When you really dig down and look at the personal lives of our political leaders during the greatest times of our nation’s glory, you find things that show human nature and not divine inspiration. God is not limited by our leader’s religious views. Even when we had ungodly leaders and men of questionable character, the Lord still blessed the nation. God’s promises are not determined by who are leaders are, but by the holiness of His people.

And this is really the whole key to experiencing the presence of God – holiness. I can look at my own life and realize that the times I have felt the Lord intimately have been the times when I have forsaken sin, and likewise, when He seems distant, it has always been as a result of disobedience or failure to confess and repent of sin.

Many today do not want to hear this because if forces us to look at ourselves first and begin making changes on the inside. It is easy to want to look at our nation, our state, our church and assign blame but that is not what God has told us to do. We must humble ourselves, forsake sin, and pray.

Never underestimate the power of prayer. My professor mentioned this past week that two women prayed earnestly for a very long time for D.L. Moody to be moved to lead revival. They prayed relentlessly and were able to bring down spiritual strongholds that eventually enabled D.L. Moody to spearhead the Great Awakening of the mid-1800’s.

If you desire God to send another revival, won’t you humble yourself before God and pray earnestly with me?

"There is sanctifying power like a sweet, refreshing shower, waiting for each consecrated heart."
- Leila N. Morris, hymnist

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