Summary: In 2 Chronicles 7.14 we find a devine blue print for revival. What we find in the blue print is a conditional statment If Then. God alwasys fulfills His thens but will we as the people of God fulfill our responsibility of the "If."
Intro: We need revival? Bro Bill we are working we had a successful VBS, we have had some salvations and baptisms. Why on earth would we need revival?
Lets try and define what true revival is. True revival is not merely seeing a few people saved. True revival is not a great influx into the church. True revival is not necessarily what is going to happen September 23-26.
True revival can simply be defined as a greater sensitivity to God’s presence. That sensitivity causes a powerful conviction of sin and uncleaness.
What we have in 2 Chronicles 7.14 I believe is God’s blueprint for revival. It tells us where it starts and how it happens, and what the results are.
Why are we not seeing individuals and congregations sensing the presence of God in such a way as to cause people to fall face down on the ground overcome by sin? Why do church members no longer cry out to God and say Oh God make me clean, and acceptable to you?
What happened to God’s presence so taking over a worship service that the congregation prayed till the midnight hour for themselves and their community?
Well dinner would burn, I’d miss that football game, etc …
Listen to an excerpt from J. Vernon McGee’s book, “Feasting on the Word.”
“Feeling better has become more important to us than finding God.”
That is what revival really is. Finding God. Finding that he is holy, and righteous, and desires us to be holy, righteous, and pure.
"We ought to see the face of God every morning before we see the face of man."
I. Where it starts
“and (if) My people who are called by My name”
There are two items in this passage that work together. It is not only in 2 Chronicles that this works but all of the Bible. In salvation, revival, etc. There is Divine Sovereignty and Human responsibility. For revival to come they must meet.
A) Divine Sovereignty
“If” its a conditional statement what follows should be important for the hearers us. If we do things God’s way revival can come. You can almost sense the urgent tone. If only. If I could just get My people to see their need. If they would only see my desire is to revive them. If only they would listen. If only. God fulfills his responsibilities perfectly what about us?
B) Human Responsibility
The second item is your and my responsibility to God. The conditional statement is for Christ’s people. Are we willing to meet God’s conditions? Do we even realize that we need revival? Even if we are willing how on earth does revival starts.
Revival is born in the heart of God, and begins in the heart of men.
II. How it starts
“shall humble themselves”
A) Brokenness before God
Finally the unyielding heart bows. The desire to stand for you own rights, to have your own way, to seek you own glory. You bow you heart before the creator of the universe admitting the mistake you’ve made trying to simply do it yourself.
“and pray, and seek my face”
B) Burning Desire for God
Charles Haddon Spurgeon - Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly. Others give but an occasional pluck at the rope. But he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might.
A.W. Tozer, ?If we yearned after God even as much as a cow yearns for her calf, we would be the worshipping and effective believers God wants us to be. If we longed for God as a bride looks forward to the return of her husband, we would be a far greater force for God than we are now.?
There seems to be a lack of a hunger and thirst for righteousness in the church today. I really believed that Jesus talked about this in His sermon on the mount.
He said in Matthew 5.6 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Why is divorce as high in the church as in the world? Why is premarital sex as prominent or more in the church than in the world? Why is there no dramatic difference between the world and the church?
The thirst and hunger for God has been replaced with things that do not and cannot satisify.
(Im happy with you lord)
(someone hungry for God will have a desire to turn from their wicked ways.)
“and turn from their wicked ways.”
C) Burden because of sin
If you truly humble yourself before God it will make you sensitive to sin in your life. Walking with God not only gives you sensitivity to it but strength to confess and turn from it. If you read Isaiah Chapter 6 God’s presence causes a desire to turn from old ways of living and thinking and turn to God.