Summary: In 2 Chronicles 7:14 it states, "if my people who are called by my name will humble themsleves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways". There are wicked ways the church needs to turn from to experience revival.
PRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE
God will not bring revival to those who harbor sin in their lives.
There was a cartoon several years ago in the Saturday Review of Literature which showed little George Washington standing with an axe in his hand and lying next to him on the ground is the famous cherry tree. He has already made his admission that he did it -- after all, he "cannot tell a lie." But his father is standing there exasperated saying, "All right, so you admit it! You always admit it! The question is, when are you going to stop doing it?!"
2 Chron. 7:14 states “if my people … will turn from their wicked ways”
We are studying about Revival.
Hebrew Words translated "Repent"
Shoob - "To Return, to turn back, to turn away." This word carries with it the thought of turning, both to and away from something. So to repent of something is both turning from sin and turning to God.
It is the word most commonly used by OT writers to describe Repentance.
This word represents the "Volitional Aspect" of Repentance or the exercise of the will.
Nacham - "To be sorry, to regret, to suffer grief."
This word describes the "Emotional Aspect" of Repentance.
Sorrow over sin… not worldly sorrow because you got caught, but Godly sorrow because you recognize that it offends a holy God!
True Repentance is best defined as a combination of the two: "A sorrow over sin because of how it grieves God and affects others. Broken over his sin, the individual chooses to turn from his sin and turn in his heart to God."
The first is the word "turn." It means to turn back, to with draw, to lead away. It is the Hebrew equivalent to the Greek word "metanoeo" which means repent. Probably the best way to define it is with the word "abandon." That is what God calls upon His people to do when He says "turn from you wicked ways." He means for them to drop their sinful habits and walk away, to abandon them and never to return.
What wicked ways do we need to turn from:
I. PERFORMANCE v. 21
A. Why do we obey the commands of the Lord?
Are we obedient to the commands of the Lord?
In either case, do we justify our behavior for having a wrong motive?
B. The verse says: “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.”
C. This would be a hard time to rest with all that needs to be done. Isn’t that what God would want? The weather could have been bad, and now it is nice.
D. Isn’t it easy to justify our behavior? We have a way of making what we want to do right.
E. Is God tired of our excuses and justifications to our actions?
Is it more important what God thinks or:
1. What others think.
2. Compromise to modern times.
3. What others are doing.
F. One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it.
Illus: John Kenneth Galbraith, in his autobiography, A Life in Our Times, illustrates the devotion of Emily Gloria Wilson, his family’s housekeeper:
It had been a wearying day, and I asked Emily to hold all telephone calls while I had a nap. Shortly thereafter the phone rang. Lyndon Johnson was calling from the White House.
"Get me Ken Galbraith. This is Lyndon Johnson."
"He is sleeping, Mr. President. He said not to disturb him."
"Well, wake him up. I want to talk to him."
"No, Mr. President. I work for him, not you. When I called the President back, he could scarcely control his pleasure. "Tell that woman I want her here in the White House."
John Kenneth Galbraith, A Life in Our Times, Houghton Mifflin, Reader’s Digest, December, 1981.
II. PRESERVATION v. 22-24
A. Do we really trust God to take care of your life?
B. In verses 22-24 God wants the men of Israel to come before Him three times. This leaves the woman and children behind. Who will take care of them should the enemy want to attack.
C. God says He will:
1. Drive out the nations
2. Enlarge their territory: give them more than their needs
3. Take away their desire to attack and want your lands.
D. A great sin of our time is our lack of trust in God.
We either believe we can do it ourselves or that God will not intervene for us.
E. Heb 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God.
F. Do we think:
If I pay tithe there will not be enough money.
If I don’t do something my boss wants but is against my faith, I won’t get the promotion I deserve.