Summary: Revival - Sleeping in church - revival is not a church meeting, it is a movement of God.
I wasn’t sleeping! (Revival) II Chronicles 7:11-16
One particular Sunday a preacher was preaching a powerful sermon on hell and how terrible hell would be. In the congregation there was this one fellow who fell asleep every Sunday. The preacher came to a point where he pounded the pulpit to emphasize how bad hell was, and said if anyone wants to go to hell let him stand up right now.
Well the only part that the sleeping guy heard was the "stand up right now" so he did! He stood there for a few moments and looked around and noticed an uncomfortable silence as everyone looked at him.
Then he said" Well preacher, I don’t know what we just voted on, but it looks like you and me are the only ones for it."
There are times when I have been sleepy in church, other times when I felt board by the message. I am going to resist asking if any of you ever feel that way….I know I would get and answer. Or at least that is what I am afraid of.
But, I guess I have always felt like the reason to come to church was to be re-energized and sometimes fired up. Perhaps, I came to find comfort, peace and some Sundays I really needed to be reminded about God’s Grace and what that meant for me.
Some people seemed to be affected by church in a different way. Some find it tiring, and even exhausting. For them church is more of a burden that needs to be done. Some people will say “ I am too tired to go to church” and we don’t see them go at all.
So for most lethargic Christians there needs to be some kind of new change.
From time to time, we all need for God to relight the flame in our hearts and soul.
We might call it an attitude adjustment. I can’t say I liked to hear the phrase from my dad, “you need and attitude adjustment….I knew that I was minutes away from some memorable moments with my dad.
But after that special time, I at least for a while would be more attentive to my duties around the house and perhaps offer more respect.
In a small way, correction by my parents often had a sense of revival.
For me going to church is a weekly revival, luckily it has less of a sense of conflict.
Often churches will pray for revival and I am not sure that they know what they are asking God for.
So the question is what is revival? First let me tell you what it isn’t!
REVIVAL IS NOT A SET OF CHURCH MEETINGS.
A lot of us grew up saying that our church is going to have a revival on such and such date. It is part of the year’s schedule, like Christmas or the church yard sale. We advertised it and invited preachers that were sometimes blunt or harsh, preachers that pushed the people for some kind of a response.
Holding a “revival” is a good thing to do, but it isn’t really a revival.
The thing that you need to understand about a revival is that real revivals come from God. When God starts a revival….WE…have almost no control over what is going to happen.
-- It is like the attitude adjustment from my parents, once I went across an invisible line, there was going to be no negations, no deals, what was going to happen happened whither I wanted it or not.
The definition of the word revival hints that something is alive but at a minimum or lower level. It hints that there is some form of vival already present.
So re-vival indicates that the person or activity or thing is not living up to full potential. It is struggling with life and needs to be awakened or strengthened, or encouraged.
As a Christian there is a good chance that during the course of our Christian lives we will need a few revivals. It is human nature to become distracted and need some redirection from time to time.
So what is a revival…..
Revival is when God Visits! Maybe more specifically, it is when God acts. God hears the prayers of repentance by his people and does something even bigger than forgiving us.
It can happen in many different levels. For example, Revival can happen at the group level, at the community level, and even the national level, but it always seems to start at the at the individual level.
With 1 or just a few people that God uses to start the fire.
One of the most famous revivals in the last century was the Wales revival where 100,000 people came to Christ in five months.