Summary: Most churches pray for revival. But there is something required on your part to make it last.
July 1, 2012
Text: 2 Chronicles 14:2-3; 15:1-4, 16:1-10
Title: Are You Willing to Pay the Price for Real Revival?
Here we are – three weeks into the Spirit proclaimed “Year of the Harvest”. Are you feeling it yet? I asked that question as kind of a teaser to the subject of revival. For many revival is just that – what you feel. The Holy Spirit moves in services, people get excited and stirred up in the Spirit, you call an evangelist in to preach four nights of services, and then you watch the “feeling” slowly fade over the ensuing months.
I want you to understand something; I’m not saying that revival won’t contain some of those things that I mentioned. In fact it probably will contain all of those things at some point. But those things are not revival. Revival is bringing back to life what God intended the church to be – a church that worships in Spirit and in truth, that relentlessly works to save the lost, and that grows into the fullness of Christ.
Listen to this definition of revival that I found in an article from Revival Fires Ministries, “Heaven-sent revival is not religious entertainment, where crowds gather to hear outstanding preachers and musical programs; neither is it the result of sensational advertising - in a God-sent revival you don't spend money on advertising; people come because Revival is there! Revival is an "awareness of God" that grips the whole community, and the roadside, the tavern, as well as the church, become the places where men find Christ. Here is the vast difference between our modern evangelistic campaigns and true revival. In the former, hundreds may be brought to a knowledge of Christ and churches experience seasons of blessings, but as far as the community is concerned little impact is made; the taverns, dance halls, and movies are still crowded, and the godlessness marches on. In revival, the Spirit of God, like a cleansing flame, sweeps through the community. Divine conviction grips people everywhere; the strongholds of the devil tremble, and many close their doors, while multitudes turn to Christ!”
I want to begin this morning by sharing a brief history of the revival that took place when Asa was king of Judah. Asa followed his grandfather and father as king in Judah. Those two had turned from the Lord and led Judah into a season of rebellion and idolatry. Turn to 2 Chronicles 14:2-5, 2Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. 3He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 4He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to obey his laws and commands. 5He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.
Asa was making an impact on his nation. But the real proof of revival is not what happens initially, but the change that follows.
Now turn over to chapter 15. This is a brief history of what happened during the time of revival at the beginning of Asa’s reign. I want to focus now on verses 1-2. 1The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. 2He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. What was it that moved Asa to the reforms that he made? It was the word of God – in this case the spoken word. 8When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of£ Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’S temple.