Summary: I believe there are four reasons that we need revival as a church and individually – our eyes have been distracted, our hearts have become discouraged, our joy has been diminished, and our work has been disrupted
Why We Need Revival
Revival is the giving of a new breath of life to that which is either waning or has ceased to breathe. Revival is a visitation of God which brings renewed life to Christians who have been sleeping, restoring them, producing a deep sense of God's near presence and holiness, real joy, purpose and a reenergized zeal. I believe there are four reasons that we need revival as a church and individually – our eyes have been distracted, our hearts have become discouraged, our joy has been diminished, and our work has been disrupted.
I. We need revival because our eyes have been distracted.
A. Life has so many distractions that catch our eyes, our attention, our minds, and our hearts causing us to lose sight of what is important and what ought to be our priority.
B. Psalm 119:37 “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.”
C. In her book A Practical Guide to Prayer, Dorothy Haskins tells about a noted concert violinist who was asked the secret of her mastery of the instrument. The woman answered the question with two words: "Planned neglect." Then she explained. "There were many things that used to demand my time. When I went to my room after breakfast, I made my bed, straightened the room, dusted, and did whatever seemed necessary. When I finished my work, I turned to my violin practice. That system prevented me from accomplishing what I should on the violin. So I reversed things. I deliberately planned to neglect everything else until my practice period was complete. And that program of planned neglect is the secret of my success." Daily Bread.
D. Psalms 101:3 “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.”
E. There is an old legend of a swan and a crane. A beautiful swan was perched by the banks of the water in which a crane was wading about seeking snails. For a few moments the crane viewed the swan in mindless wonder and then inquired: "Where do you come from?"
"I come from heaven!" replied the swan.
"And where is heaven?" asked the crane.
"Heaven!" said the swan, "Heaven! Have you never heard of heaven?" And the beautiful bird went on to describe the grandeur of the Eternal City. She told of streets of gold, and the gates and walls made of precious stones; of the river of life, pure as crystal, upon whose banks is the tree whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations. In eloquent terms the swan sought to describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing the slightest interest on the part of the crane.
Finally the crane asked: "Are there any snails there?"
"Snails!" repeated the swan; "no! Of course there are not."
"Then," said the crane, as it continued its search along the slimy banks of the pool, "you can have your heaven. I want snails!"
This fable has a deep truth underlying it. How many a young person to whom God has granted the advantages of a Christian home, has turned his back upon it and searched for snails! How many a man will sacrifice his wife, his family, his all, for the snails of sin! How many a girl has deliberately turned from the love of parents and home to learn too late that heaven has been forfeited for snails! - Moody's Anecdotes, pp. 125-126.
F. Isaiah 45:22 "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.”
G. We need to get our eyes off the world and reset them on the Savior.
H. Hebrews 12:1-2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I. In Berlin art gallery is a painting by German painter Adolf Menzel (1815-1905). Only partially finished. Intended to show Fredrick the Great speaking with some of his generals. Menzel painted generals and background, left king until last. Put outline of Fredrick in charcoal, but died prior to finishing. Many Christians come to end of life without ever having put Christ into his proper place, center stage. Karl Laney, Marching Orders, p. 45.
J. We need a revival because we have become distracted from living for and serving Christ.