Summary: When God is involved revival will come even if circumstances seem not to warrant it.
How to Have Revival When Your Wood’s Wet
I want to read you something that caught my eye this week in a periodical I read.
I am very burdened about my country, the United States of America. I love my country. I am concerned about the carelessness of sinners, the coldness of saints, and the compromise of society. I am concerned about the pathetic pulpits of churches that are filled with hirelings that have mastered the art of almost saying nothing. The church, as someone said, is quickly becoming a NON-PROPHET organization.
I never thought I would see the day when we would be more concerned about offending people that we are about offending God. While the homosexuals are coming out of the closet, the church has run into the closet. We have over one million teenage alcoholics in our country. Out of thirty million teenagers in America, twenty-eight million do not attend church. According to MTV News, over fifteen million teenagers have some type of transmitted sexual disease.
Ninety-five percent of all the preachers in the world are in the United States preaching to five percent of the population. Of course that means that there are only five percent of the preachers going out to preach to ninety-five percent of the world’s population. There is a birth every 2.8 seconds: 350 people born every hour; 247,000 every day; and 90 million every year. Sixty percent of all the people who have ever lived are alive today. There are 150,000 people who die daily without Jesus Christ. If you to put all the people in a line that are dying without Jesus, that line would be 750,000 miles lone, reaching around the world thirty times and growing twenty miles every day.
Listen to what William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army said, “’Not called?’ did you say? Not heart the call, I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. God stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their fathers’ houses and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and master not to come there. Then look at Christ in the face -- whose mercy you have professed to obey -- and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”
Oswald J. Smith said, “No one has the right to hear the Gospel twice, while there remains someone who has never even heard it once.” The true greatness of any church is not how many it seats, but how many it sends!#
37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
God has chosen fire to be a symbol of His Presence. Fire destroys and fire refines. Fire led the children of Israel in the wilderness. Here fire consumes the sacrifice. When we desire revival then we desire for the fire to fall.
Elijah was driven with a passion to see his nation return to God, and the contest on Mount Carmel is a biblical model for revival! This experience jolted the children of Israel back to God.
In this passage we find steps that we should take that lead to revival.
STEP ONE. Prayer.
The first is prayer, not the kind of prayer we often hear, but prayer that brought the people to their need. He prayed that it would not rain. The drought was to prepare the people to repent and to awaken their sleeping conscience through the door of human need. He prayed “earnestly”.
Sometimes God has to get our attention in the natural world in order for us to listen in the spiritual world.
STEP TWO. Choose whom you will serve.
There is no middle ground. 1 Kings 18:21 says, “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, how long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, the follow him. Choose your which side you intend to be on. And the people answered him not a word.
Watchman Nee said, “The same fire that melts wax, hardens clay. With such men as Elijah there is no middle ground.”
STEP THREE. Repair the altar.
Elijah repaired the broken altar. We read in 1 Kings 18:30: “And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.” Altars symbolize prayer, fellowship with God, dying to self, and yielding to the will of God. The fact that the altar was in a state of disrepair was a powerful symbol of just how far the people were from God.