Summary: To experience revival, God’s people must repent.
We’ve looked to God promise concerning revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (READ TEXT). In this promise about revival, we learn about four requirements for revival. We have thought about what it means to humble ourselves before God, pray for revival, and seek God’s face. Now, let’s consider requirement four - turning from our wicked ways.
If we are going to experience revival, we must turn from those things, those experiences, those associations, those ways which have drawn us away from God. Since revival is a returning of God’s people back to Him; it makes sense that we must turn from all that has been allowed to come between us and our Lord.
What is described here is repentance. In his book, “No Shining Splendor,” John Hunter seeks to identify the things missing from the church today whose absence has caused the church’s testimony to be diminished. In the chapter, “The Missing word,” he argues that the word “repentance” is missing from the vocabulary of modern Christians.
Christians today desperately need to understand that one cannot walk away from God and walk with God at the same time! To walk with God necessitates a willingness to turn around and turn away from some things for the sake of walking with the One who has redeemed us.
A boy who got his hand caught inside an expensive vase. His upset parents applied soap suds and cooking oil, without success. When they seemed ready to break the vase as the only way to release the hand, the frightened boy cried, “Would it help if I let go of the penny I’m holding?”
Too many Christians today are insisting on holding on to insignificant things at the expense of that which is of eternal value - our love relationship with God. When that happens, we are walking in wicked ways rather than walking in God’s ways, and we are in need of revival! The only solution is repentance - a turning away from that which has drawn us away from God and a turning around to walk with God. Let’s think today about repentance and revival.
1. God gives us the chance to repent.
“It hurts when God has to PRY things out of our hand!” - Corrie Ten Boom
When God’s people go astray, God, in His love for His people, will discipline them - He will seek to pray out of our hands whatever has come between us and Him.
A boy’s toy boat went out of reach on a pond one day and started floating away. A man started throwing rocks at the boat and the boy became horrified at what might happen. But then he realized that the rocks were going over the boat and making ripples that finally pushed the boat back to shore and into the boy’s hands.
Many times, when we stray away from God, it appears that he is throwing rocks at us. But He is really using the ripples to bring us back to Him.
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” - Hebrews 12:11 (NLT)
We make a mistake when we always attribute difficulty to the devil - as though we are never in need of correction and always in the right.