Is God going to pour out an end-time revival as so many preachers and evangelists are predicting? NO! He is waiting for us!
I grew up in the 50’s at the Baptist Children’s Home in Bartlett, TN. Each spring and fall we had a one-week revival at the little Bartlett Baptist Church at the railroad crossing and Stage Road in Bartlett. The church looks like a little wedding chapel now, but it was big then to us kids. I used to know how many tile were on the ceiling, but my memory fails me now. The revival meetings would be from one Sunday morning until the next Sunday night which would be ten meetings per week each spring and fall. You could always count on the Sunday night or Monday night message being on 2 Chronicles 7:14 which states, “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.” Since then I have heard many, many messages on the above verse from ministers of most denominations and inter-faith groups. It is still as true today as it was each time I heard it before, and it is the only “formula” that I know of that will bring revival at any time. ONE thing that it points out is that God does not just decide to pour out revival at specific times! If He did He would have to violate our free will and make us turn to Him from our lazy, lukewarm, compromising to false doctrines and our failing to commit our lives to His service. God has been calling for revival every since Adam and Eve sinned. He has sent prophets, priests and good godly kings to turn people or draw people to Him. Israel was supposed to be His nation of priests on earth to reach out to the other nations and be His examples here on earth to draw all people to Him. In 1 Kings Chapter 8 at the dedication of the great temple that Solomon had build for God, a promise from God to all people on earth was included in the dedication service, 1 Kings 8:41-43, “Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name’s sake: (42) (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house; (43) Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.” And in Psalms 67:1-2, “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us; Selah. (2) That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.” The children of Israel, Jews, failed their calling, for they never became the example of God blessing His people on earth to draw the other nations to Him. God even sent His Son, Jesus, and changed the covenant with mankind to make the relationship between God and man even better because we now receive His Spirit in our hearts and become His children at salvation. In Jeremiah 22:29 God says, “O earth, earth, earth, hear the Word of the Lord.” God has always called out to mankind to come to Him. God wants our revival now as He always has in the past!
Most of us Christians, or those who call themselves Christians, would probably confess to humbling ourselves at least enough to become a Christian, but would probably not confess to being very humble most of the time so that we could still sound humble. If we confessed to being a very humble person then pride would probably erase it. To be humble means that we must humble, bow in our hearts, to God’s Word and receive His Word into our hearts for whatever He speaks to us. Jesus says in John 6:45, “…And they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” When God teaches us we are a sinner, we must choose to humble our hearts to His Word and accept that we are a sinner. That is an element of faith, for Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of the Lord---but only if we accept or heed God’s Word. So when God teaches us we are a sinner and we humble our heart to His Word and accept His Word in our heart that we are a sinner, we have a measure of faith. Then after God teaches us that Jesus is our only way to get forgiveness of our sin and cleansing from our sin, we must again choose to humble our hearts to His Word and accept that Jesus is the only answer for our sins that is acceptable and pleasing to God, and this becomes another measure of faith for us. When we come to this knowledge from God that we are a sinner and that Jesus is the answer for our sin, we must again choose to respond positively to God’s Word of salvation by choosing to humble our hearts, repent from our sin, ask God’s forgiveness of our sin and invite His Spirit, Christ the Living Word, to come into and cleanse our hearts as He adopts us into His family as one of His children. So, through faith in the Words God has taught us we have responded by inviting His Living Word, Christ, into our hearts to perform the work of Grace which forgives our sins, creates in us the new heard and adopts us into the family of God. We are saved by Grace through our accepting God’s Words to faith in our hearts, Ephesians 2:8. The Apostle Peter and James in 1 Peter 5:5 and James 4:6 state, “…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” Hebrews 4:2 tells of some who hear God’s Words and do not respond by accepting them by faith into their hearts, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
To be humble means to submit in our heart to God’s Word, and it is always pride that causes us to choose to do something our way and reject God’s Word. After we receive God’s Living Word in our hearts and become Christians, the Scripture states that “the just shall live by faith,” which means that we must continue to humble our hearts and receive God’s Word into our hearts as we walk and live with Him daily. If He asks us to preach, teach a class, lead a devotional, we must humble our hearts, receive His Word into our hearts and trust Him to help us do whatever it is that He is asking.
NOW, for REVIVAL, we must each humble our hearts and be willing to accept God’s Word to us that we have rejected since we received Christ into our hearts at salvation. When we reject any of His Word, whether in the Scriptures or His Word to us personally about our service, we are in unbelief as the children of Israel when they refused to cross over the Jordan River into the Promised Land because they did not trust God would protect them from the giants. They knew God’s Will but because they didn’t trust Him they rejected to unbelief, Psalms 95:9-11, “When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. (10) forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: (11) Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” And in Hebrews 3:19, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Unbelief is when we know God’s Will for us or His Word about some doctrine or belief and we reject it because of failing to trust God or because of what we think our friends will think of us. Maybe we know speaking in tongues is real but are afraid of what others in our church will say about us or that we might be asked to leave our church fellowship. When God calls us to preach, teach or whatever, we may be too embarrassed to tell others, or we may be too comfortable in our present life to want to make such a change. Unbelief is a problem of an evil heart, we know God’s Word or Will but do not love Him enough to accept and obey Him.
The first step in revival is for His people, us Christians, to prepare our hearts to seek Him, and it is sin if we continue needing revival and do not turn to seek Him as stated in 2 Chronicles 12:14, “And he (Rehoboam, Solomon’s son) did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.” That is the first step of revival! God is waiting for us to decide to turn and seek Him! When we honestly arrive in our hearts to the point that we just want all of what God has for us, or we just want to be whatever He wants us to be, or things of this life do not matter we just want His will, then He will be ready to talk to us as He states in Deuteronomy 4:29 and Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” No sense in even thinking about revival unless WE each personally are willing to go back and talk to God honestly and seek to become what He wanted us to be that we turned from, as given in 2 Timothy 1:9, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” We must each be open and honest with God and seek Him with all our hearts. We must be willing to even do things we have never done before; such as, teach a class, help the neighbor of a different race, visit in nursing homes, hospitals and prisons, and accept His pure Word whether our denomination teaches it or not. We must be willing to talk to God about our accepting things we knew He wanted us to do when we were younger, but we wouldn’t take the time. SEE, the first step of revival is to get our hearts humbled into the position or attitude that God we really want whatever you have for us now, and we want all you have for us regardless of what it might mean, even if it were to mean leaving a church or group we have been in for so long.
The second part of revival is for us to turn to God with our prepared humble heart only wanting His Word and pray which is just talking to God about our specific situation. As we seek Him with all our hearts, He will then reveal to each one of us our “wicked ways,” that we have committed to turning from, and He will show us where He wants us to turn or go as God states in Psalms 32:8, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Many people have put denominational beliefs above what they know to be true from reading God’s Word because they are afraid of the results of the changed they would have to make. We should still be seeing the mighty works of God that were demonstrated in the Book of Acts, for we are under the same covenant that the disciples and early Christians were and if things were changed for us God would have made a newer covenant with us to rule out the miracles of Acts.
After we have prepared our hearts by humbling them and getting our selfish pride out of the way, then talk to the Lord as we seek His face and turn from the wicked ways He reveals to us, THEN He will hear and respond to our prayers in a pleasing or favorable manner by then pouring out His blessings of health and prosperity in every area of our lives as He promises to His people in Deuteronomy 28. He will even heal our physical “Land” by providing the rains in proper amounts in due seasons, and will bless our crops again, and expose the evil persons in our government and provide honest decent people again to lead our land. God will be blessing us so much in ways that we didn't ask that it will appear to outsiders that God is pouring out revival. He certainly will be encouraging us on!
Join with me in helping to turn our people to the pure Word of God discussed in Proverbs 30:5-6 which states, “Every Word of God is pure: He (God in the form of His Word) is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him (His Word). (6) Add thou not unto His Words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” As God’s Ambassadors we are to speak God’s pure word without changing even a comma, -dash or even a letter. If we change anything, it is not His Word and we will be just speaking our words which He will not back up.
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Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” And later in Verses 11 – 13, “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
No group is presently trying to bring the different denominational and non-denominational Christians into one faith! Maybe through the internet we can start a move to bring the Christian community into a unity of the one faith, and then maybe God will intervene and make the changes we need and have been praying for in our nation.
God Bless You and have a blessed day.