Summary: This message basically peels away the layers of 2 Chronicles 7:14 to show God’s requirements for revival.
Revival Is For The Redeemed
Text: 2 Chron.7: 14
Intro: Our text is perhaps one of the most recognized verses of Scripture within the Christian community. Yet, it speaks of a topic that is also among the least understood and most misunderstood truths of God’s Word. “How so,” you may ask.
When the word “revival” is mentioned, any numbers of ideas are conjured up in people’s minds. Some may think of a brush arbor meeting of years past. Others may call to mind the renewed enthusiasm among the members of the church, dynamic and inspiring Christian music, and energetic, soul-searching preaching by a well-known preacher, who came from another city and state, to conduct the proceedings for a week. Still others may simply view revival as a time when more than the usual amounts of professions of faith are made in the church services. And while these things are not bad in themselves, even desirable, they are not necessarily revival. These occurrences may in fact be the results of revival. However, we must understand that true revival is not as much about what happens, as about Who is the focus.
If the goal of our revival meetings is nothing more than renewed religious enthusiasm, exciting Christian music, or even more souls reached for Christ, revival will not be the result. You see, folks, revival has little to do with reigniting the dulled emotions of Christians, but rather, it is the intense realization of one’s great need to renew their relationship with God. Though the saints reap the benefits of revival, the personal benefits are not the goal; God Himself is the goal.
The late Dr. James A. Stewart was originally from Scotland. He was mightily used of God in revival meetings in countries around the world. He was a revivalist par excellence, and one that, in younger days, I had the privilege of hearing preach in person. He knew revival firsthand, as is evident from the following excerpt:
Suffice it to say that no revival is of sudden origin. When the revival manifests itself in a mighty way it comes suddenly as in the days of Hezekiah, but even so, its origins begin with the Holy Spirit of God moving effectively in individual lives in private. Let no one pray for revival—let no one pray for a mighty baptism of power who is not prepared for deep heart-searchings and confession of sin in his personal life. Revival, in its beginnings, is a most humiliating experience. When one, like Isaiah, sees himself in the light of God’s holiness he must inevitably cry, “Woe is me!”
Deep spiritual awakenings, whether in local churches or in whole countries, begin with desperate people like Hannah. God only answers prayers of desperate Christians—Christians who are tired and weary of cold, mechanical “services” before God; Christians who are heartbroken over the deadness of the professing churches and over sinners going to an endless hell; Christians who are desperate about their own spiritual condition. While it is true that when the awakening does come there is “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” this is not the case of the preparatory days. Then, there is no song, but rather groans; there is no laughter, but only tears.(1)