Summary: When preaching on revival – great frustration, because how do you describe revival? I know when it’s happening easier than know how to explain what’s happening. Feel like the guy who loaned money to another guy to get some plastic surgery. The second guy
When preaching on revival – great frustration, because how do you describe revival? I know when it’s happening easier than know how to explain what’s happening. Feel like the guy who loaned money to another guy to get some plastic surgery. The second guy never paid him back so he decided to go look for him but couldn’t recognize him. How do you recognize revival? What are you looking for?
Maybe there’s a better question than “What are we looking for when we talk about revival?” Maybe better question is “What is God looking for before he grants revival?” The key can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. READ.
I. FIRST: HUMBLE YOURSELVES
One of the great personal revivals in the Bible was a king called Manasseh. Now few kings lived more evil than Manasseh. And got brought judgment just as he promised. The Babylonians came and literally put a hook through his nose and drug him to Babylon. But look what happened to this man in 2 Chronicles 33:12. READ.
When we humble ourselves God promises to hear and respond. And he never breaks that promise. Look with me at Daniel 10:12. READ. You will not find a time in the Bible where men humbled themselves before God that he does not hear and respond. Not one time. But I want you to notice that God puts the responsibility to humble ourselves on us. The command is not to feel humble. The command is not to praise humility. The command is to intentionally humble ourselves.
God doesn’t send revival until we humble ourselves. Look at Isaiah 57:15: “This is what the high and lofty One says, he who lives forever and whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place. But also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite.” And I have to tell you something; the same God who revives the lowly in spirit is the same God who removes the prouded heart. Peter says in I Peter 5:5b-7. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand”.
That word oppose was the word for a general lining up his army about to go into battle. In otherwords, I want to say to all of us, if you’re going to be proud before God; rebellious before God; you know what he wants but in your stiff-necked rebellion you won’t do it, God says I’ll line up my resources against you and God doesn’t lose battles. If you don’t humble yourself before God, he will humble you.
We make mistake in the church today. We think many times when something bad happens to us it’s always spiritual warfare, battling with Satan. Listen, many times it is God’s discipline. God keeping his promise to humble the haughty spirit. In fact, in the end, the Bible says that God will humble all who do not humble themselves. I’ll put it to you this way, if you will not fall flat on your face before God, he’ll put you flat on your back, but one way or another your going down.
Remember King Nebekannzer In the O.T? Dan. 4:37 King Nebuchadnezzar said, “I learned a great lesson, I learned that all those who walk in pride, he is able to humble.” The Bible says one day that every knee will bow. That’s not the issue. The only issue is when. That’s what we’re talking about today. We’re not talking about whether or not you will be humble before God. We’re just talking about when. Revival is waiting for you to humble yourself now.
II. SECOND: PRAY & SEEK HIS FACE
You don’t have revival by seeking revival, but by seeking God. God says “if you will pray and seek my face, I will hear and heal your land.” One thing every revival has in common: All revivals share a passionate commitment to praying for God to return. REPEAT. Now let me make it clear when I say for God to return God is not the one who left. The reason revival is needed is because his people have gotten negligent. His people have left. But if God is going to return and be with his people it’s going to be because they asked him to.
I think that’s why Satan will do anything to keep us from getting together to pray. I think we can have all potlucks, fellowship times, class parties we want to have. Satan doesn’t care just as long as we don’t get together and pray. Revival delays because prayer decays. I’ve not studied a revival in history that started as an organized move of the church. Not a single revival where a bunch of officials got together and said, “Okay, let’s start up a committee to start a revival next year.” Revival never starts because of organizing, it starts because of agonizing. Because some people get on their knees and humble themselves and seek God and ask him to come.