Summary: Revival is awakening, float-ation, renewed vision, passion, emancipation, & Holy Spirit prompting. Most Christians are suffering the 7 symptoms of dehydration -- deficient in the Holy Spirit. Our culture deprives us of spiritual oxygen. We must breathe!
A. HUMOR: ANIMAL HUMOR
1. What happens to a frog's car when it breaks down? It gets toad away.
2. Q: What did the lady duck say when he bought lipstick? A: "Put it on my bill."
3. Q: Can a kangaroo jump higher than the Empire State Building? A: Of course. The Empire State Building can't jump.
1“You, Lord, showed favor to your land…2 You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. 3 You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger. 4 Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. 6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation.” Ps. 85:1-4,6-7.
C. TITLE: “Cultivate Revival.”
I. DEFINITION OF REVIVAL
A. REVIVAL REFERS TO A:
1. STATE SIMILAR TO HIBERNATION…“spiritual reawakening from a state of dormancy or stagnation in the life of a believer.” When bears hibernate, their temperature can drop by ten degrees, their heart rate drops 75%, and they go without food for up to 100 days. Sounds like a lot of Christians, who don’t eat, get cold, and are barely alive!
2. FLOTATION “It encompasses the resurfacing of a love for God. Like you’re being held under water – in the wrong environment.
3. VISION “an appreciation of God's holiness, a convicting awareness of personal and corporate sin, a spirit of humility, and a desire for repentance and growth in righteousness. Revival invigorates and sometimes deepens a believer's faith, opening his or her eyes to the truth in a fresh, new way. It generally involves the connotation of a fresh start with a clean slate, marking a new beginning of a life lived in obedience to God.
4. PASSION “a new passion for His Word and His church. Revelation 2:4-5. Many times excitement about Christ grows cold, we lose the zeal that we had at first. Revival helps restore that first love and passion for Christ.
5. EMANCIPATION “Revival breaks the charm and power of the world which blinds the eyes of men, and generates both the will and power to live in the world but not of the world.
6. HOLY SPIRIT PROMPTING. It is initiated by a prompting of the Holy Spirit, creating an awareness of something missing or wrong in the believer's life. The Holy Spirit draws back the veil the world has cast over the truth, allowing the believers to fully see themselves in comparison to God's majesty and holiness.
1. A man once came to a Philosopher and said, “I want you to teach me knowledge.” The Philosopher said, “Very well, follow me.”
2. He went to the river and walked out chest deep. He grabbed the head of the new recruit and thrust it under the water for a time.
3. When the man came up spluttering, the Philosopher asked “What is it you want?” “I want knowledge,” the man said. The Philosopher again thrust the man’s head under the water and when he came up spluttering, the Philosopher asked “What is it you want?” “I want knowledge!”
4. He was put under a third time. The man swallowed a lot of water, and came fighting up to the surface gasping, “Give me AIR!”
5. The Philosopher replied, “When you want knowledge like you want air, you’ll find knowledge!”
6. I tell you, When you want God like you want air, you’ll find God. Hunger must be cultivated.
II. REASON WE MUST MAKE NEW EFFORTS:
Francis Bacon said, “Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they are not altered for the better designedly (on purpose).”
A. WE HAVE THE TENDENCY TO:
1. Take back our consecration to God;
2. Leave our 1st love to Christ;
3. Withdraw from a state of total surrender to God and come back under the control of a self-pleasing spirit;
4. Maintain the outward appearance of religion while backsliding in our heart-love for God.
B. WE LIVE BELOW OUR PROPER STATE
1. Many Christians live in a backslidden state of heart. Others live far below the level of Christian life they are capable of living.
2. Most Christians expect little, ask little, and thus receive little, and are content with little! “There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos!”
3. “If a man hasn’t discovered something he can die for, his life won’t be fit to live!” Joe Namath said, “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” Come on! Step over the line! Get on God’s side! If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten!
III. HUNGER FOR GOD MUST BE CULTIVATED