Summary: If we want to see revival in our area, we must, recognise our need for a touch from God, be willing to fight for Gods blessing, and receive His touch however it comes.
The Touch of the Master
Just like the word trinity, you won’t find the word revival in the Bible. Yet in both cases we know what they mean, and the Bible describes them over and over again. A revival is a great awakening of people to the very presence of God. Throughout history God has done this very thing over and over again, in all different parts of the world.
In 1949 in the Hebrides, revival hit. At the time devotion to God had been replaced with devotion to whisky. The churches were nearly empty and many were about to close. But at at time like this there were people willing to intercede. Two elderly ladies in eighties had been praying for some years. Then a small group of men had gathered in a barn. They prayed for six hours a day, three days a week for several months, determined to keep seeking God until He sent revival.
In one meeting they read the following verse.
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.
They cried out to God for cleansing from personal sin and that night they faced the glory of God. The two elderly ladies were told that same night by God, that he would send his reviving Spirit within two weeks, and that He would use a man by the name of Duncan Campbell. The promise came true, and these small Scottish Islands experienced one of the most powerful outpourings of Gods Spirit in history. In one village, within two days, every young person had been converted. Eye witness accounts describe people suddenly coming under the conviction of there sin, even while they were out working on their boats, or down the mines. Conversions were numbered not by a one time decisions but by their commitment to prayer meetings.
What God did in the Hebrides, God can do in this town, and this area. He can cause the same sort of reaction in our work places and in the schools. The need for such a touch of the master is probably even greater now than it was in the Hebrides in 1949. With an experience of the very presence of God comes great blessing, but also great warning. I want to look this morning at how we can seek and prepare ourselves for such a touch of the master.
To understand how we can do this, I want to look at what happened at the time when people met with God in the most tangible way possible. This is when people met with God in the flesh, our Lord, Jesus Christ. When Jesus walked the earth, as with every revival, everybody is affected, and yet often only a few fully receive all that God has for them. I want to look at how we can make sure that we do not miss out. Those who encountered Gods power in the time of Jesus were those who, recognised the need for a touch of God, were willing to fight for Gods blessing, and then received the touch of God however it came.
Recognising the need for the touch of God.
Jesus walked the earth for 33 years and for the last three years of His life his ministry was at full flow. Everybody on Earth at that time, who lived within the travelling distance of Galilee or Jerusalem, had the opportunity to walk with God in the flesh. They had the opportunity to physically encounter and be touched by God. This one man was performing more miracles in three years as had happened in the whole history of the earth up to this point. What a great honour it would have been to live in these times.
One of the great mysteries of the new testament gospels is not how many people were miraculously touched by the hand of God at this time. Instead it is how many people missed out. God the Son was walking on the Earth, waiting and willing to touch the lives of men, and yet so many missed out on what God had got for them.
Everybody had a need for that touch. The Jewish people were under foreign rule and were following a system of trying to please God themselves, only to find themselves constantly failing. The gentiles were following there own gods with no real hope of anything other than an empty meaningless life. Everybody had a need of God and so why did only a relative few receive the touch of the master? Who was it who actually received the touch of God.
We find that those who received the touch of God were those who recognised their needs and failings, and were willing to expose those needs to God.