Summary: From the story of Hezekiah, we can discover a 'few' of the many evidences of authentic spiritual renewal.
Evidences of Spiritual Renewal
A young American engineer was sent to Ireland by his company to work in a new electronics plant. It was a two-year assignment that he had accepted because it would enable him to earn enough to marry his long-time girlfriend. She had a job near her home in Tennessee, and their plan was to pool their resources and put a down payment on a house when he returned. They corresponded often, but as the lonely weeks went by, she began expressing doubts that he was being true to her, exposed as he was to comely Irish lasses. The young engineer wrote back, declaring with some passion that he was paying absolutely no attention to the local girls. "I admit," he wrote, "that sometimes I'm tempted. But I fight it. I'm keeping myself for you." In the next mail, the engineer received a package. It contained a note from his girl and a harmonica. "I'm sending this to you," she wrote, "so you can learn to play it and have something to take your mind off those girls." The engineer replied, "Thanks for the harmonica. I'm practicing on it every night and thinking of you." At the end of his two-year stint, the engineer was transferred back to company headquarters. He took the first plane to Tennessee to be reunited with his girl. Her whole family was with her, but as he rushed forward to embrace her, she held up a restraining hand and said sternly, "Just hold on there a minute, Billy Bob. Before any serious kissin' and huggin' gets started here, let me hear you play that harmonica!"This gal wanted some evidence that her man had been faithful.
When I was young we learned a little about tracking. We have tracked everything from deer to possum to armadillo. You can watch the ground, the brush, the trees, and many others things because there is almost always evidence left when something or someone comes through a trail.
Our focus this year has been “Renewal.” “Lord, do it again in 2010, like you did at Pentecost.” Being spiritually renewed is not something that lends itself to secrecy. Generally, when a person senses a internal renewal from God, that renewal surfaces in a way which gives evidence of what has taken place. This is the joy of the Lord (our strength) which is coming through.
This morning, consider 5 such evidences which indicate a true spiritual renewal has taken place, When spiritual renewal arrives, these will be present.
1.The Spirit of Repentance – Repentance is a word and concept which we know is needed, but don't care to do. Here's why; humanly speaking, we do not have it in us to turn our backs on something we love. Candidly, there is a strong pull in the human heart toward sin. Why do we think that young people believe that 'all the fun' is found in sinful things? It is because of this 'worldly' pull in our heart. To repent is to turn from and forsake those things which we have come to like. Yes, this is not a popular message, but it it still true. It kind of like CHILDREN and CANDY. Most of us know that candy and sugar are not particularly good for our little guys, yet they love it. But if they persist, they will become overweight, have bad teeth, and can even have long term health issues. Even though ti taste good in the mouth, it causes problems in the body. For me, this is a fair assessment of sin. Taste good for a time, but long term?
The Spirit of repentance literally goes on a diet from sin. That is, it turns its back on things which feel good for a season and then destroy the soul.
If you read verses 16-19 you'll discover that the temple had to be cleansed. Every detestable thing had to be removed and put away. Everything had to be cleansed and consecrated holy unto the Lord. This is a mark of renewal sweeping the body of Christ. There is a common desire to clean up the life, souls, heart, and to walk holy before God.
We must repent to be renewed, but when we are renewed we will repent! 2 Chronicles 7:14 gives us the clearest picture of repentance in the Bible . God places the responsibility where HE desires it to be when He says, “If MY PEOPLE, called by MY NAME.” These are they who should lead the way in this thing of repentance. Until God's people relearn the need and art of repentance renewal will not come and/or will not last. My People!
Watch these actions: “humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways.” I submit a person will never turn from their wickedness if they refuse to become humble, pray, or seek God.