Summary: Just as many of the people today in the Middle East and Central Asia, currently in the grip of one of the worst droughts in recent history, are desperate for rain, so the church needs to see its desperate need for a fresh rainfall from God.
WE NEED RAIN
DEUTERONOMY 28:1-15, 23-24
Introduction: A few years ago much of the United States went through a severe dry spell. It was so dry that it had become an Internet joke. During that drought someone published this request online: “Please pray for rain: "It’s so dry in Tennessee that the Baptists are starting to baptize by sprinkling; the Methodists are using wet-wipes; the Presbyterians are giving out rain-checks; and the Catholics are praying for the wine to turn back into water.” In the 1930’s severe drought brought what was known as the Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, called the worst natural disaster in recorded history. It lasted a tortuous decade, from 1930 to 1939 and destroyed farms and lives throughout Canada, the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, and parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. Some of the severest dust storms reached the eastern coast and blanketed eastern cities such as Chicago and New York in “black snow”. The drought began in 1930 and progressed throughout the decade. During 1932 there were an estimated 14 severe dust storms. A year later there were 38 major storms and 100 million acres had been lost. As millions of acres of farmland became useless, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes. It was truly one of our nation’s greatest tragedies. The Bible speaks of spiritual drought that can cause far greater devastation than “Black Sunday”; a drought of the outpouring of God’s power and blessing. Just as many of the people today in the Middle East and Central Asia, currently in the grip of one of the worst droughts in recent history, are desperate for rain, so the church needs to see its desperate need for a fresh rainfall from God.
I. The Need for a Fresh Downpour of Rain from God.
A. Haggai 1:6, 9-11 “"You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes... You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?" says the Lord of hosts. "Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands."
B. Often the condition of our hearts is such that we are not aware of our need at the very time it is the greatest! For to have a fresh outpouring of God’s power and blessing we must see and admit that we have a need.
C. We need rain when we have become spiritual deserts, when worship becomes form without substance, when our secular lives have precedence over our spiritual lives, when we find ourselves losing battles against temptations, we doubt that we will see the outpouring of His Spirit again, and when we have lost the joy we once had in our Christian lives.