Summary: A sermon preached prior to revival services, the outline was in the margins of my Bible and i’m not sure where i came up with it from so i built upon it.
Steps to Revival
2 Chronicles 14:1-6 (use NIV)
How can you tell when you need revival?
One person suggested that it becomes evident when it affects your hymn singing.
Here are some examples:
• We sing "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and are content with 5-10 minutes.
• We sing "Onward Christian Soldier" and then wait to be drafted into His service.
• We sing "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" and then use the one we have for gossiping.
• We sing "There Shall be Showers of Blessings" but do not come to church because it is raining.
• We sing "Blest Be The Tie That Binds" and let the least little offense sever it.
• We sing "Serve the Lord With Gladness" and then gripe about all we have to do.
• We sing "The Whole Wide World For Jesus" and never invite our next door neighbor.
• We sing "Cast Thy Burden on the Lord" and worry ourselves into nervous breakdowns.
• We sing "I Love to Tell the Story" but only mention Jesus’ name in exclamation of anger.
• We sing "O Day of Rest and Gladness" and wear ourselves out cutting grass or hunting on Sunday.
• We sing "Throw Out the Life Line" and content ourselves with throwing out a fishing line.
Hopefully none of us here this morning have reached this point…but only two people can be the judge of that: you directed by your conscience and God and His Holy Spirit should be the one directing your conscience.
But the fact is, we need revival…and I don’t think it is a coincidence that so many of our area churches are holding meetings over coming weeks.
Not just because we have a week of special services set aside in a couple of weeks…but because some of the song titles might have rung a little too true.
The question becomes, what is our role in this.
I believe that true revival is a sovereign act of God in the lives of His people that draws them out of the mediocrity of the status quo and into a rejuvenated and deeper walk with Him.
It is a work of God first and foremost.
Revival comes when God brings it.
Does that mean we just sit back and wait?
By no means!
God in His word has given us instructions, and in some cases step by step instructions on what we must do to prepare our hearts and our lives for His movement of revival.
What we fail to realize sometimes is that we are here because of a history of revivals and awakenings.
Beginning in Scripture…we find revival after revival taking place.
The entire Exodus event is a great example of God moving in the lives of His people to take them out of one place and move them into another…and it wasn’t just a physical move either.
The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem we read about in Ezra and Nehemiah…that was a revival.
Read through the history books in Scripture, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, as we will see in just a moment, and you find a series of revivals taking place in God’s people that prepared them for the coming of the Lord.
How about in our recent history.
Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox…all of these reformers who helped restore the Biblical theology that we adhere to today; this was nothing short of a revival.
And then there is the US…our own history is a history of revivals and awakenings.
The First Great Awakening under the leadership of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield and the Wesley Brothers…an entire generation of revival on US soil that under girded our own independence.
How about the 2nd Great Awakening under the leadership of men like Charles Finney and Francis Asbury…once again it was an entire generation of American History that is marked by a mighty movement of God beginning in His people and spreading like fire through out the United States.
And then there is the 20th Century that was marked by names like Billy Sunday and DL Moody that set the stage for people like Billy Graham to come later on.
Evangelists preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ who became nothing short of celebrities in their own right…products of our history of revivals and awakenings.
We are here today because God has brought revival, will bring revival and desires to bring revival today.
But what is our role in it?
Is it something God does and we just wait for?
Or is it something that we can instigate and bring about ourselves…maybe us awakening God to our needs.
Revival, once again is a sovereign act of God…it begins and ends with Him, and it is Him working in the lives of His people.
We are the conduit that God uses to bring revival, but we are not passive participants.