Summary: How can we get to revival? 1. Humble our hearts. 2. Put a priority on prayer. 3. Sincerely seek the Savior. 4. Return to righteousness.
God’s Road to Revival
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Jan 20, 2013
*Our revival with Marion Collier starts just one week from today, and we are praying for true, spiritual revival. But remember what “revival” means.
*The Old Testament word “renew” pictures someone completely surrounded by an enemy, with no way to escape. Then, in the moment of greatest despair, God intervenes and rescues them completely. (1)
*In the New Testament, the best word picture for “revival” is a Christian who has fallen asleep in his devotion to the Lord. Then he wakes up out of that deep sleep.
-God wants us to wake up!
-So in Romans 13:11 Paul tells Christians, “It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
*Another great New Testament word for revival is “renewal.”
-This word is talking about “a renovation that makes a complete change for the better.” As we see in Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
*That’s revival, but who needs revival? -- Most of us would say: “I do.”
*Dennis Selfridge asks, “When do we need revival?”
-When the things of God do not stir you.
-When the glories of heaven do not interest you.
-When the horrors of hell do not concern you.
-When the peril of the lost does not move you.
-When the Word of God does not attract you.
-When the idea of prayer does not draw you.
-When the House of God does not delight you.
-When you do not see every part of your life as a platform to perform the will of God.” (2)
*Who needs revival? -- We do.
*In Psalm 85:6, the writer cried out to God and asked: “Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?”
*The LORD God answered that question in Isaiah 57:15: “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’”
*You see, God wants to give us revival, and today’s Scripture shows us how to get there.
*The background here is the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. In chapter 5, they brought the Ark of the Covenant to its place, and began to praise the Lord. Then the temple was filled with a cloud, so the priests could not continue, because the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
*The dedication lasted 7 days with prayers, praise and a sacrifice that included 120,000 sheep. Then after the people were sent home, God appeared and spoke to Solomon. Let’s read about it starting in vs. 12:
12. And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.
13. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
14. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
1. How can we get to revival? -- God’s Word shows us in vs. 14, and the first thing to do is humble your heart.
*Humble your heart before God. The Lord says: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves.” Notice Christians, He is talking to us. “If MY people,” He says. In Old Testament days, the Lord was talking about people who trusted in the promise of a coming Savior.
*On this side of the cross, God is talking about people who have believed the good news about Jesus Christ, people who have trusted in the Savior who came to die on the cross for our sins and rise again from the dead. God is talking about people who have opened their hearts to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
*Christians, we are His people. And God wants us to humble ourselves. The word picture is bending the knee, bowing down low before the greatness of our God.
 Why do we need to humble ourselves? -- One reason why is because we are tempted to be self-sufficient.
*You see, the more we’re blessed, the more we’re tempted to think we did it all on our own. That’s why the Lord reduced Gideon’s army from 32,000 men all the way down to 300. Church, they were up against an enemy army of 135,000! And in Judges 7:2, the Lord told Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’”