Summary: Revival will never come by the will of man but by a desire for God.
November 1, 2009
Text: Isaiah 64:1-7
Subject: God’s Power
Title: Putting God in the Mix
You know, I’m not extremely political. Not that I don’t have political convictions; I do. But I am not actively participating in politics. I consider myself to be a conservative and I vote conservatively and encourage others to do the same, but I’m not actively political. I know what our nation needs in order for it to regain its position of favor in the world – it needs a restored relationship with the King of Kings, but I’m not political.
On the other hand, there are many who are political; conservatives and liberals alike – who think they have the answer to all the worlds problems. They aren’t religious. Their answer is always that mankind will fix itself if given enough time. They have all the answers, but God isn’t in their equation. They have no timetable for fixing the world’s problems – they just know that somehow, someday they’ll get it right and all will be well. They are political and they are secular.
The difference between secularists and Christians is that we have a goal that includes a hope, a Savior and a promise. They have a goal too. Their goal is to attain a hope with no foundation, to find a savior with no authority, and to make promises that they can’t keep. That’s understandable to us. It’s what they do!
Christians without goals are a little like Alice in the fairy tale Alice in Wonderland. In a conversation between her and the Cheshire Cat, Alice asked, "Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the cat. "I don’t much care where," said Alice. "Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the cat.
That’s how the world thinks and that’s where the world is headed.
But today I want to look with you about what we can expect to happen when we look at all the problems of the world and then insert God into the mix. That is revival that is waiting to happen.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.
Read Isaiah 64:1-7
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
I. WHAT HAPPEN’S IN GOD’S PRESENCE 1 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! 2 As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! Isaiah is opening the door for revival by crying out to God to split the heavens open and come down to be with His creation. 700 years later Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. 33 years later the Holy Spirit would be poured out. Sometime in the not to distant future Jesus will return on the clouds to gather the elect to Himself and then in another 7 years He returns to earth in dramatic fashion to claim His earthly kingdom. When He does things happen… that the mountains would tremble before you! Look at those three events in the light of other scripture. 1) The first coming of Christ – Matthew 27:51, At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. (The mountains trembled) 2) The work of the Holy Spirit, Acts 4:31, 31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (The mountains trembled) 3) the judgment of God, Revelation 16:18-20, 18Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. Isaiah longed for God to be in their midst so that in His presence all creation would recognize who He is. 2As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! What happens in God’s presence? 1) A fire is lit. God initiates action. The word translated “fire” means a literal or figurative fire. A physical or spiritual fire. In His presence the church should be set on fire for Him, the fire of revival. In God’s presence you will either be set on fire for Him or judged by Him. It is interesting to note that the word translated “twigs” is the Hebrew hamas. We know that in the world today “Hamas” is an Islamic terrorist group that operates under the disguise of a socio-political organization. I have no doubt that Hamas will be a twig that burns in God’s presence. 2) There is a reaction; God’s action will always cause a reaction. Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. It is true in the spiritual realm as well. In God’s presence His presence itself will cause something to happen. That is why we see that when He is moving by His Spirit in church people are stirred. They either respond to that stirring by obedience to what the Spirit is doing or, they resist what the Spirit is doing and their hearts are hardened. You can tell that some are quite miserable when the Holy Spirit takes over a service. 3) God is revealed … come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! We know that is what happens when God is present. That is why the world is being transformed by the gospel and at the same time rebellion is rising up because of the gospel. God has drawn a line in the sand and is saying the same thing that Joshua challenged Israel with in Joshua 24:15, But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Revival can only come in God’s presence.