Summary: We all need reviving at different seasons of our lives. God has given us a picture of what this means through His people Israel.
This morning I want us to look at what true revival is.
Revival – It comes from the root word revive which means to recover that which was lost, to repair that which was broken and to restore that which was taken.
There are many pictures in the Word of God of times of revival. In the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lost eternal life but God revived it by giving a promise that the seed of a woman would bruise the serpents head. Also in the book of Genesis, because of mankind’s wickedness their relationship with God was broken. But God found a man by the name of Noah who would survive the judgment of God and revive that relationship. In the book of Judges there are seven different stories of times of revival as God’s people would loose their freedom and He would revive it. My question for us this morning is… What does it take to experience a true revival? Now I’m not talking about a series of services when a visiting minister, such as we just had comes and preaches God’s Word. I’m not talking about an emotional feeling that comes and goes like the wind. What I’m talking about is a move of God in a person that transitions them from death to life. I’m talking about something that could happen in a moment’s notice where God comes in and recovers that which has been lost and repairs that which has been broken and restores that which has been taken. The revival that I’m talking about is the kind that the Psalmist understood when he sang…
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.
I’m speaking about a life-changing encounter with God that causes me to refocus my vision and regain my spiritual composure. An encounter that causes me to see myself as God sees me… fearfully and wonderfully made. A vessel created to bear His image and to carry His Spirit. An encounter that awakens the sleeping call of God in my life. An encounter that jars my memory and takes me back to the moment that God bought me with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, filled me with His Holy Spirit, stamped me with His stamp of approval and anointed me with His holy oil. I’m talking about the kind of revival that causes me to get my priorities strait. A revival that reminds me that I am not my own but I belong to Him and I need to be about the Father’s business. An encounter that revives His Word within me and reminds me of His grace, mercy, love and power. A revival that breathes new life into a dying soul and revives the song of the heart.
Now, how do I receive that kind of a revival? If you would, turn with me please to Ezra 9:8-9 (quickview) . Israel had been living in captivity for seventy years, exiled to the land of Babylon. The King of Persia has released the Jews to go back and rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the House of God. Ezra is a scribe, an expert in the Law of God, who comes to Jerusalem several years after they begin rebuilding. He has come to teach them and remind them of the ways of God. In verse 8 of this chapter he is praying to the Lord, asking for forgiveness and thanking God for what He has done for Israel. Listen to what he says…