Summary: Message 13 in our exposition of Nehemiah observing the revivals and restoration of worship after the walls were rebuilt.
Chico Alliance Church
Revival Part One
Gathering to Hear the Word & Rejoice
Phase one of Nehemiah's two phase project has now been completed. We have tracked Nehemiah, a man of prayer, purpose, performance from a prominent position in the Persian Empire to the despairing people of Jerusalem a city whose walls were destroyed. We have observed this great administrator rally those same despairing people and give them a vision for what God could do through them if they obeyed Him and worked together. As a result, the seemingly impossible was accomplished. The six and one half mile stretch of wall surrounding Jerusalem was rebuilt and its gates restored in just fifty-two days. Nehemiah then appoints people into positions of leadership to bring about phase two of operation restoration. Nehemiah progresses from repairing the walls of Jerusalem to restoring the worship in Jerusalem. He appointed gatekeepers for security, singers to lead worship, Levites to prepare for worship celebrations, and governors to continue to give leadership.
Then Nehemiah registered the people. He focused on their mutual heritage and pilgrimage as those who had gone through captivity and were now together, home in their promised land.
Now Nehemiah is ready for Phase Two -- Restore the worship. Revival.
What is revival?
To return to consciousness or life?
To recover life
To bring into action after a suspension
To recover from a state of neglect or disuse
To reestablish an interest in something
We have read a great deal about revivals both in the Bible and in subsequent history. None of us has really been a part of a genuine full scale revival. Revival is for the believer. Revival is not to get people saved. Revival is to revive those who had life but have not learned to live it. We all long for revival.
It is my desire in the coming weeks to explore the elements of Nehemiah and Ezra's revival and spark renewed fervor for God at Chico Alliance.
To return to spiritual consciousness
To Recover life from a state of mediocrity
To Reawaken to the glories of life in the Spirit
To Bring into action for the kingdom after a suspension
To Recover from a state of neglect or disuse
To reestablish an interest in spiritual things
To renew our pursuit and seeking after God and His righteousness.
Here in Nehemiah we find five elements leading toward revival. I call these elements because they are not sequential steps. These are things that are continually developed and implemented.
I. REBUILDING THE WALL
II. RESTORING THE WORSHIP
A. Rally together
When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate.
The first element involves getting together. God has always orchestrated revivals through a group of people. It may have begun through His touch on one person but has always spread through a group of people.
Two by two
The 120 at Pentecost
The prayer cells by the river
We need others to keep us going and inspire creativity. No man is an island. Without others, we shrivel and die and fall prey to false ideas and doctrine of demons. Many passages in Scripture point out this important need.
1Co 1:10 Phi 1:27 Col 2:3 Psa 133:1 Eph 4:3
The early church
"all together in one place"
"continuing day by day with one mind"
"lifted up their voice to God with one accord"
"set apart Barnabus and Paul--it seemed good to us having become one mind."
A vital part of revival has to do with the unity of the body and coming together, generating enthusiasm and inspiring one another in the things of God. Manifestation of the Spirit's filling results in unity and inspiring one another and teaching one another with Psalms, and Hymns and spiritual songs.
It is not just getting together. It is not just the external formality of coming to church that brings revival. It must be the intended function of encouraging and stimulating one another in the walk with the Lord.
Those who gather most often for this purpose, grow the fastest. If we would see revival, we must rally together at the Water Gate for the purpose of hearing and giving and encouraging. Who knows what your presence will do in the life of another member of the body? Rally together with common purpose and pursuit
B. Read the Word together Nehemiah 8:1-8
Without the word of God, there can be no genuine revival! Jesus refuted satan with the Word.
Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' " Mat 4:4
Psalm 119 Revive us O Lord according to your Word. The Word is a part of growth. The Word brings a greater awareness of the Holiness of God. The Word arouses a greater acknowledgement of my sinfulness. The early church was built around teaching of the Word of God.