Summary: From the life of Jonah, this message offers what happens when Spiritual Awakening comes.
The Results of a Spiritual Awakening
* I begin with a question tonight, “What happens when revival comes?” Last Sunday I talked about the need for a spiritual revival and many today have never born witness to a moving of the manifest presence of God. Thus, these have little idea about what to expect. So tonight from Jonah, let’s spend a few minutes looking at what actually happens when revival comes.
* Turn with me to Jonah 3. Do you remember how we got to this point? It was a divine call, a determined run, a disaster at sea, a destitute man, a distressed prayer, a directed preacher, and a decisive action. Now, the common people of Nineveh have repented, turned to God, and a spiritual awakening is breaking out all through the city. (READ)
* Let me offer 3 results of God getting loose.
1. Lives are changed. Think about this, God has sent Jonah to Nineveh to preach His word. If God sent Jonah, God is giving power to the words and the message of Jonah. It seems that everywhere the message went out, God honored His message and people’s lives were affected. God is clear in Isaiah when He says, “My word will not return void.” Think about this, the man of God and the word of God empowered by the Spirit of God will lead to lives changed by the power of God. Here is what many miss today; this change affects all of life. It affects desires, schedules, attitudes and actions. It doesn’t simply affect “a part of life” or a “compartment in life”, it affects ALL of a person’s life.
2. Word Spreads. When spiritual awakening happens, there is no need for a public relations person to promote it. Flyers, handbills, signs, nor mail outs are required to let people know. Candidly, if you ever find yourself in the middle of a spiritual awakening, just “TRY” to keep it from being known and you may wind up one of the most frustrated people around. Truth is, word will get out. Why? Because just as surely as you can’t stop bad news and lies from traveling, good news which is consistent, will make the gossips columns in the same. The scripture said, “When the word “reached” the King. When God gets loose, both lives and lips are loosed and the word gets out. Lives are loosed to live in a way they have never known or even imagined. Today, we think freedom is doing what “I” want to do, but real freedom comes in completely doing what you are designed to do. When we do this, another thing happens to us.
* Our lips are loosed. Let’s consider this thought just for a second. Why is it seemingly so difficult to speak a word in behalf of what we say we believe so dearly? Could it be that we are afraid someone will discover or point out a “chink” in our armor? When our lives are loosed the obvious outcome is that our LIPS are also loosed. It is a natural outgrowth.
3. No one is exempt. When God begins to move, He knows no boundaries. In Nineveh, His powerful word reached all the way to the throng room. There are two words in this sentence to which I will draw your attention; the first is ‘word’ and the second is ‘reached.’ The text says, “When the “word reached” the King.” “Word” is also translated as tidings, message, and news. The Hebrew words would convey something like a matter, an issue, or a cause. Certainly the changing lives within the city of Nineveh rose to every level. It was being talked about in the stores, on the streets, in the houses, and had now made it to the Whitehouse. It had “reached”, “had touched”, or “arrived” in the throng room. Scripture makes no indication that Jonah was in the throng room, so it must have been the power of the message, the power to change lives, and the power of God giving supernatural support to the message of “repentance.” Did you realize that repentance is the first message Jesus gave? There is no substitute for repentance.
* In my message last Sunday I offered the observation that we are in desperate need of Revival, better said, a spiritual awakening. Although I think of the 1860’s as the last awakening in America, it actually began in September of 1857. It began with one person and an announced prayer meeting. The culture was ripe for a spiritual awakening. For almost 20 years there had been a lull in spiritual life because Christianity was under the eyeglass of criticism in the aftermath of William Miller, the Adventist founder, fixing the date of 1843 for Christ’s return. Then the financial boom collapsed and recession followed. Everything was ripe. What began as a simple prayer meeting grew into a movement which crossed denominational boundaries and saw 1 million church members renewed in their faith. The outgrowth of that renewal was 1 million non-believers coming to Christ. History records that in the midst of this renewal, the lay person was the one on point with witnessing, reaching, touching, caring, and the like. Guess what, these converts were not did not disappear.