Summary: The Road to revival begins with God's people humbling themselves before Him. But what does that look like?
From 2 Chronicles 7:14 we learn who the recipients of revival are, what the requirements of revival are, and what the results of revival are. Last time, we considered how God’s people are the recipients of revival. When we forget who we are, we tend to live in such a way as to bring dishonor to the name we bear. When this happens, we are in need of revival, a return to living for Christ in such a way as to bring honor to His name. Then spiritual awakening can occur among unbelievers, as they are drawn to Christ. Now today, we will begin to consider the four requirements for revival. The first requirement being that God’s people must humble themselves. (READ TEXT)
It should be no surprise to us that revival begins here, for pride is where rebellion begins. God’s people are in need of revival when they go the way of the world and decide to promote self, please self, and exalt self. It is only sensible then, that a reversal necessitates that we deny self, and humble ourselves.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” - James 4:1-10 (NIV)
If we are going to experience revival, if we are going to represent the Lord well in this world, if we are going to be blessed with spiritual power and God’s divine presence in our midst, we must humble ourselves before God. But what is involved in biblical humility?
Biblical humility is not to have a low view of oneself but to have a correct view of oneself. Biblical humility comes from getting a proper perspective of myself in comparison with God.
“The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.” - Phillip Brooks
One night, a Captain was on the bridge of his ship when off in the distance he spotted a strange light rapidly closing with his own vessel. Immediately he sent the message “Alter your course 10 degrees to the south.” The reply came, “Alter your course 10 degrees to the north.”
Determined that HIS ship would take a back seat to no other, the Captain snapped out the order to be sent, “Alter course 10 degrees - I am the CAPTAIN!” The response came back, “Alter your course 10 degrees -- I am Seaman Third Class Jones.” Now infuriated, the Captain fired back with the message, “Alter your course, I am a battleship.” The reply came back. Alter your course, I am a lighthouse.”
“I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his ‘steps.’” - Jeremiah 10:23 (NIV)
“A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.” - John 3:27 (NIV)
“Apart from me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5 (NIV)
“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” - 2 Corinthians 3:5 (NIV)
True, biblical humility begins with an awareness of my absolutely necessary dependence upon God for everything. Such an awareness of our nothingness apart from God results in an . . .
“Corrie Ten Boom was asked if it was difficult for her to remain humble. Her reply was simple, ‘When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, and everyone was waving palm branches and throwing garments on the road, and singing praises, do you think for one moment it ever entered the head of that donkey that any of that was for him?’