Summary: Examining the need for revival
Are You Ready For Revival? - Part I
A while back I visited a friend and while we were visiting His children and nieces and nephews were playing church. They had a preacher, song leader, ushers, a piano player and members of the congregation. They knew the moves to make and the words to say. From start to finish they knew how it was done. The little preacher got so many amen’s and hallelujah’s that I knew they couldn’t have been playing Baptist church.
I heard a story once of a group of children who were playing church and they had a business meeting. The moderator opened the conference and when it came time for “new business” a fight broke out. (Apparently they WERE playing Baptist church)
I think much of the problem with churches today is that they are not even as spiritual as those children who were playing church. In fact, many folks today are doing just that …PLAYING CHURCH!! Let me say that we have a great church!!! I am honored to be the pastor of such a great group of people… But sometimes all we do is PLAY CHURCH!!! We have seen God do some amazing things in this place, but I believe that most of you will agree that we need revival!!
I am not referring to a series of meetings; I am speaking of REAL REVIVAL!!
G. Campbell Morgan said that - “Revival cannot be organized, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to move upon His people once again”
We can’t manufacture a revival. I can’t preach it down ...We can’t sing it down ...You can’t pray it down ...But God can BRING IT DOWN!!
But before we will ever see revival, the people of God have got to recognize that they have wandered away from the Lord. There is a barrier …a separation …a hindrance in your relationship with God. Just like those children you know how to play church. Some have been playing church for a long time but after a while you will get burnt out and one of two things will happen:
1) You will quit church all together
2) You will go somewhere else that seems more exciting.
Then you will say I left Stockdale because they weren’t doing anything for me! ....I just wasn’t getting fed anymore.... Or some will just blame it on God ….”God told me it was time to leave” (they haven’t talked to God in 6 months but all of the sudden He told hem to leave”
What brings about these actions and mindsets? When people who should be out BEING the CHURCH are only PLAYING CHURCH
o We need something that is real
o We need something that is relevant
o We need something that is refreshing
o We NEED REVIVAL!!!
In I Samuel 7, Israel was at a place where they needed revival.
They had been attacked, overcome & defeated by their enemies The Philistines.
As a result the Philistines took possession of the Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant - was the chest which held the two stone tablets of law which Moses brought down from Mount Sinai.
The Ark of the Covenant was renowned for its mysterious powers against the enemies of Israel.
During the time of Eli (the High Priest) the Ark was at Shiloh
The Philistines defeated Israel at Ebenezer - 1 Samuel 4:2 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.
The Israelites fetched the ark out of Shiloh and carried it into their camp.
Once again the Philistines attacked Israel and smote them with a very great slaughter, "for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken" (1 Sam. 4:10).
A messenger told Eli that Israel had been defeated and that his sons had been killed in the battle
Eli also learned the Ark had been taken
Upon hearing this Eli fell backward, broke his neck, and died
Shortly thereafter Eli’s daughter in law went into labor and died after giving birth - I Samuel 4:21 - Before she died she named the child Ichabod (which means “Where is the glory?”), for she said, “Israel’s glory is gone.” She named him this because the Ark of God had been captured and because her father-in-law and husband were dead.
At this point the enemies of God possess the Ark of the Covenant.
But they will find that it will bring them more harm than good.
Throughout 1 Samuel 5 much affliction came upon the Philistines:
They placed the Ark next to an idol of Dagon (In Dagon’s temple)