Summary: God's plan for revival will work. Always has...always will.
The Formula That Works
The Bible contains the Wisdom of the Ages applied to the most fundamental problems of humanity. The great and all encompassing mind of God has been poured through holy men to provide us with answers to life’s greatest questions. The gathering of Heaven’s knowledge applied to human circumstances is found in the Holy Book. It provides the answers, it provides the knowledge, it provides the formula. And if the Book declares it, than it will work.
The answer for the question of salvation is found here…and the formula will work. “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” This will work! Since the Day of Pentecost this has been guaranteed, and until Jesus comes it will continue to be guaranteed…
The answer for healthy family relationships is found here…and the formula will work. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And the formula will work.
The Bible has the answer for human relations…how to show honour and respect…how to be a good citizen…how to treat others…how to serve and be kind. It’s all in here…and it all works.
The Bible has the plan for financial soundness. It talks about faithful stewardship, provides rules for borrowing and repayment, and even sound business practices for the godly business person. And the formula will work.
The plans are there. They’ve been laid down by the greatest of all minds. They’ve been practiced in other places and other times. And they’ve always worked. Wherever the wisdom of God has been met with human faith, the results have been astounding. God provides His best. All we must add is faith to act on the formula.
But the formula I’m most concerned about tonight is the formula for revival. I want to know the wisdom of the ages for the church in our time and place. I want to know what God tells us is sound instruction to take us into everything He has for us. I’m tired of methods that produce more frustration and apathy than they do power and glory. If there is wisdom for salvation…if there is wisdom for families…if there is wisdom for human relations…if there is wisdom for financial blessing…then surely, surely, surely as God is in His heaven, there must be wisdom for revival. There must be some way that we can be transformed completely into everything we have been born to be.
There is. It’s so familiar, so old, that we can quote it without thought. It’s been written, sung, studied, preached, bumper stickered, overlapped with flags, yet truly unappreciated….because to be appreciated, it must be applied.
It’s found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. This is the wisdom of eternity for revival in the here and now. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Solomon and the people of Israel have just experienced the most phenomenal move of God that Israel had ever seen. So gladdened was God by His house, so moved was He by the prayers and praises, that He filled the house like a smoke. So thick was the glory of God that the priests could not stand up to complete their tasks in the worship service. So Solomon prayed; ‘God if we ever lose this, how do we get it back again?’ Solomon asked the question, and God provided the answer.
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people; if My people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
And the formula still works. Even in our day, thousands of years from the time that God spoke to Solomon, 2 Chronicles 7:14 still provides the Bible answer to the question of how to experience revival. The instructions are simple; anyone can understand them and apply them. All we must bring to the mix is the faith to act on the formula.
1. “If My People” -A Sense of Identity
A prerequisite for any revival among the people of God is the sense that they are the people of God. Revival does not begin among those who are unsure of what they are part of or where they want to be. Revival people are those who are possessed of a strong sense of identity. You know who you are…you are identified with the people of God. You have chosen it, and are glad of your choice. There is no revival for those who are ashamed of what they are. Revival begins among those who are confident in their choice; “I am a child of God, and I have no desire to be anything else.”