Summary: What happens when God's people meet the requirements of revival?
This is the final message in our series on 2 Chronicles 7:14. From this promise concerning revival, we see that when God’s people meet the requirements of revival, certain things will result.
1. The upward result - God hears
When God’s people depart from Him, they are disciplined by God by being allowed to experience an absence of His presence.
“You have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins.” - Isaiah 64:7b (NIV)
But when God’s people repent and return to their first love, then their awareness of God’s presence is restored.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” - James 4:8a (NIV)
The sun is thousands of times larger than our planet earth. That is pretty, big! Yet it is interesting what we do when that vast sun is low on the horizon and glaring into our eyes. We simply put up our hand in front of our face and block out the irritating light. Imagine that, our tiny hand can block out the sun! In much the same way, our sin, even those “little” sins, can block our view of God’s presence.
God never forsakes us. But we can forsake Him. When we do, we commit sin, and sin, like our hand, shielding us from the sun’s rays, can keep us from recognizing God’s presence. But when we return to God, we turn from our sin, we confess our sin; and with the sin removed, the glory of God’s presence is once again plain for us to see!
How long has it been since you knew the presence of the Lord in your life? The problem isn’t that God is silent or absent; the problem is that you have allowed things to come between you and your God. Repent of your sin and God’s presence will no longer be absent.
“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, ad the case of the widow.
‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’” - Isaiah 1:15-18 (NIV)
When revival comes, God’s people confess and repent of their sins. As a result, God hears them and restores to them an awareness of His presence. They return to a place where their prayers once again get past the ceiling. That’s the upward result of revival.
2. The inward result - God forgives
Is there a solution to the guilt of sin? Yes! No matter how great our sin may be which has drawn us away from God, God’s forgiveness is greater!
“Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” - Micah 7:18-19 (NLT)
Joke 1: John wrote a letter to his sweetheart, saying: “Dear Sue, it was wonderful to be with you again the other night. By the way, I remember asking you to marry me, but I have forgotten whether you said yes or no.” He received this reply: “Dear John, it was nice to hear from you. I knew that I had said no to someone, but I had forgotten to whom.”
Joke 2: One lady says, “You know, I’m getting really forgetful. This morning, I was standing at the top of the stairs, and I couldn't remember whether I had just come up or was about to go down.”
The second lady says, “You think that’s bad? The other day, I was sitting on the edge of my bed, and I couldn’t remember whether I was going to sleep or had just woken up!”
The third lady smiles smugly. “Well, my memory is just as good as it's always been, knock on
wood,” she says as she raps on the table. Then with a startled look on her face, she asks, “Who’s there?”
Joke 3: Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over the years they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards. One day they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, ‘Now don’t get mad at me . . . I know we’ve been friends for a long time . . . but I just can’t think of your name! I’ve thought and thought, but I can’t remember it. Please tell me what your name is.’ Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her. Finally she said, ‘How soon do you need to know?’