Summary: The paradoxical point of view from a pitiful, prideful, pacified, parched, polluted, pew pushing christian sitting today in a pew near you.
We’re going to be looking at a few different points on how to experience personal revival in ones heart.
We’ve heard a lot about revival and how we wish we could have it, but maybe God’s trying to tell us something – how about we are not ready for it yet.
Why? A few reasons – maybe some of us aren’t ready because our hearts aren’t ready, and maybe some of aren’t ready because we haven’t experienced it within ourselves.
We’re going to look at 4 things a person must do to experience revival within their heart.
Every Christian is at one of these 4 steps. Don’t miss out on what God has for you tonight.
There are some people who will come to church every single week and they will leave the same way that they came in but have themselves convinced that church is for their benefit because it offers them an “alternative lifestyle”
Some people are so calloused that they forget the message the second that the benediction prayer is prayed on the service!
1. Break up
There has got to be a break up of our own hearts. The book of Joel Chapter 2, Verse 13:
“Don’t tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you.”
What we have to understand is this: God wants us literally, as in the Hebrew translation of this verse to allow our hearts to be broken, torn, and completely ripped up.
You know as well as I do that something cannot be built up again, and be made better, and more powerful and awesome if it does not first get tore down.
Our hearts must be torn for the sin in our lives, the areas in our lives that we have failed to give to God – we have to allow our hearts to be broken by God.
God will not force brokenness upon us, we have to welcome it.
Too many people expect God to only rip a small piece of their heart, so they can just put it back together themselves.
When God was speaking in this verse He was saying how our hearts need to be completely torn – if they are, there is only one person who can put them back together.
He wants our hearts to be torn to the point where we have nowhere else to turn but Him.
It’s to the point now where we have all or none. We have to rend our hearts.
When Jesus was crucified, the temple veil was torn from top to bottom symbolizing that a “new era” had begun. God the Father had just made Jesus, His son, and His salvation available through His death on the cross.
The veil was torn, and rended, and literally the way of the world was changed when Jesus yelled – IT IS FINISHED. It opened up a whole new realm, and for us, if we rend our hearts, it will do the same.
Some of us are trying to remodel something that needs a total demolition and rebuilding. Take for example the destruction of a stadium. There’s a question that everyone needs to ask themselves when dealing with the rebuilding of a stadium: WHY IS IT BEING DONE?
Regardless, get this: Regardless of how much tradition is in a building, typically (use the Boston Garden for example) something must be completely destroyed and rebuilt so that the full advantages of the facility and technology can be fulfilled.
The problem with “adding” on is that everything else remains. Some people’s hearts need to be completely torn so that Christ can rebuild them.
Just in the same, regardless of our traditions, instead of adding on, some of us need to completely tear our hearts.
2. Build Up
Once our hearts are torn to the point where the only person that can put them back together is Christ, we must allow Him to move forward.
What God has built in the past, He wants to make better. Why?
Look at the story of Hezekiah purifying the temple in II Chronicles 29. Let’s go there in our Bibles and read.
Hezekiah simply made something better. He understood that first, there must be a rendering of hearts, so that the people could understand, so the temple could be “rebuilt” in the sense of standards that were made once to be up-held once again.
We need to make sure in our lives that we are being constantly built up. Let’s take a quick look at Jude 20.
20” But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit.”