My daughter is really close to walking on her own. The other night as we were trying to get her to take some steps, it occurred to me the reasons we need revival.
Baby Christians need revival because it can jump start some spiritual growth. In a few nights of focused attention, God can move them along greatly in the Faith.
Mature Christians who are needing help to walk like babies are in a bad way. They need revival because they have returned to a state they had passed before.
Other mature Christians need help walking because something has been broken in life. They need someone to walk alongside them to help.
“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
HEB 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity,”
What reasons are there in lives that lead to neglect or brokenness for the more mature Christian?
1. They have become lazy!
a. Heb. 5:11, “you are slow to learn” is more accurately translated, “you have become slow to learn.”
b. Paul is saying, “You got lazy!”
c. Just like babies get lazy when you do everything for them for too long, Christians can regress because they aren’t using their spiritual muscles.
d. Grandparents think it is their job to spoil babies. Then parents have to work hard to unlearn the being constantly held and entertained.
2. They have been sleeping in class
a. Hebrews 5:12 says, “By this time you ought to be teachers.”
b. The emphasis is on the idea of their lives being an example for others. That they could teach people how to live for Christ, not necessarily in a formal, or “school”, setting but rather in passing on the faith to people God has given them.
c. But they weren’t progressing and had reached the point of needing remedial work.
d. How did this happen? (Complacency, see #1-lazy, “it’s not my gift or my ministry”
3. Their zeal is choked by the world’s cares and worries
a. Fact is, the Mayo Clinic claims 80-85% of total caseload due directly to worry and anxiety.
- Many experts say that coping with stress is the #1 health priority of our day.
o One leading physician has stated that, in his opinion, 70% of all medical patients could cure themselves if only they got rid of their worries and fears.
- We know that medical science has closely tied worry to heart trouble, blood pressure problems, ulcers, thyroid malfunction, migraine headaches, a host of stomach disorders, amongst others. For example…
o 25 mill Americans have high blood pressure due to stress/anxiety; 1 million more develop high blood pressure each year. 8 million have stomach ulcers
o every week 112 million people take medication for stress related symptoms.
4. They have shifted the focus of life back upon themselves
Self-reliance kills spiritual life in 2 ways
i. Death by pride (Rev. 3:17, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”)
ii. Death by discouragement (gauge things by emotion and be sure to bring spiritual defeat)
5. They’ve been disappointed by the church or another Christian.
a. A man, returning from a business trip, was met at the airport by his wife. They walked from the gate together and were standing waiting for the baggage to be unloaded. An extremely attractive stewardess walked by. Suddenly, the man came to life. Beaming, he said to the stewardess, "I hope we can fly together again, Miss Jones."
His wife asked, "How come you knew the name of that stewardess?" The man replied smoothly, "Well dear, her name was posted up front in the plane, right under the names of the pilot and co-pilot." To which the wife replied, "Okay, so what were the names of the pilot and co-pilot?"
b. Hypocrisy is a dangerous thing. Charles Swindoll in his book on Grace puts it this way, "You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here’s how - guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do’s and don’ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately . . . yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it - emotional and spiritual damage will occur." Charles Swindoll. The Grace Awakening. Dallas: Word Pub., 1990) p.97
c. Hebrews 12:1-3, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
6. They haven’t been filled with the Holy Spirit
a. George Barna reported that 43% of American lay leadership don’t believe in the Holy Spirit.
b. In 1996 and 1997 Barna’s research indicated 61% of Christians didn’t believe in the Person of the Holy Spirit but rather believed He was a symbol of God’s Presence.
7. They have neglected the fundamentals (Heb. 5:14)
b. Bible Study & Scripture memorization
d. Putting off and putting on
In preparation for revival I want to encourage you to do several things.
1. Wednesday night I will have available a guide for you to use in your home with your family prior to revival services.
2. Arrange your schedule around the services each night. If your kids are small, maybe you can plan ahead and give baths before services and have quick meals ready. Have homework completed before supper.
3. Begin praying today about your spiritual condition.
4. Come Wednesday night for prayer meeting which will be a time of corporate and individual prayer for revival.
5. Do chores on Saturday prior to revival to get you through the week. (Shopping, yard work, house work, washing, etc.)