Summary: Within our lives there are enemies to revival which prevent us from experiencing God’s power working in our lives. These are pride, prayerlessness, priorities and our practices
Enemies to Revival
God wants and expects His church to be spiritually alive. God is in the business of reviving, restoring, renewing, healing and fixing that which has been broken notably our relationship with Him. Ephesians 2 tells us that that His Spirit quickens or revives that which is dead. However, within our lives there are enemies to revival which prevent us from experiencing God’s power working in our lives. These are pride, prayerlessness, priorities and our practices.
I. Pride – “Humble”
A. Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”
B. Spiritual pride is a great hindrance to spiritual growth. When the saintly James Harvey was a young curate, he frequently talked with a wise old plowman named Clayton. One day the subject under discussion was this: "What is the greatest impediment to spiritual growth and happiness?" The curate said: "Surely to renounce our sinful self." "No," said the plowman, "the greatest difficulty is to renounce our righteous self." — Sunday School Times
C. Job 35:12 “…they cry out, but He does not answer, because of the pride of evil men.”
D. Paul W. Powell once observed: “Pride is so subtle that if we aren’t careful we’ll be proud of our humility. When this happens our goodness becomes badness. Our virtues become vices. We can easily become like the Sunday School teacher who, told the children in her class about the Pharisee and the tax-gatherer praying in the temple (Luke 18:10-14). She said that the Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank You that I’m not like other people,” while the tax-gatherer said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” The teacher explained how the pious, self-righteous attitude of the Pharisee caused him to look down on the tax-gatherer. At the end of her lesson she said, “Children, let’s bow our heads and thank God we are not like the Pharisee!” – copied
E. It is pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. - C. S. Lewis
F. 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.”
G. Pride stops one from seeing themselves as God sees them. It causes one to be blind like the Laodicean church which was unaware of their deep spiritual poverty.
H. 1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
II. Prayerlessness – “Pray”
A. Revival does not come to people who seek revival; but to people who seek God! - copied
B. Prayerlessness is the enemy of revival! It is the first cousin to pride. Prayerlessness says, “I do not need to call on the Lord, I can make it just fine without His aid.” Prayerlessness does not say, “He is all I need”; but “I am all I need.” Prayerlessness relies on self and the resources self can produce and refuses to lean on Jesus alone. – A. Carr
C. James 4:2 “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”
D. Over one hundred years ago James Ryle said: "I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of professing Christians do not pray at all." – copied
E. Prayerlessness renders us ineffective in the things that matter most. To be "too busy to pray" is to remain spiritually asleep.
F. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing”
G. John Stafford tells about an old well that stood outside the front door of their family farm house in New Hampshire. The water from the well was remarkably pure and cold. No matter how hot the summer or how severe the drought, the well was always a source of refreshment and joy. The faithful old well was a big part of his memories of summer vacations at the farmhouse. The years passed and eventually the farmhouse was modernized. Wiring brought electric lights, and indoor plumbing brought hot and cold running water. The old well was no longer needed, so it was sealed for use in possible future emergencies. One summer day, years later, John Stafford had a desire for cold, pure water. He unsealed the well and lowered a bucket for a nostalgic taste of the delightful refreshment he remembered. He was shocked to discover that the well that once had survived the severest droughts was bone dry! He asked local residents why their well had gone dry. He learned that wells of that sort were fed by hundreds of tiny underground rivulets which seep a steady flow of water. As long as the water is drawn out of the well, new water will flow in through the rivulets, keeping them open for more to flow. But when the water stops flowing, the rivulets clog with mud and close up. The well dried up not because it was used too much, but because it wasn’t used enough! Do you see the analogy to worship and developing a daily time of prayer and devotion? The consequence of not drinking deeply of God is to eventually lose the ability to drink at all. Prayerlessness is its own punishment. – Ray Ellis, Sermon Central