Revival Is. 57:15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
I am thoroughly convinced as I live, as I preach, as I pray, as I read and as I think on what the Lord has been doing in this church and in my life, this work is his. If he wants more souls saved, he will accomplish it through his word in our sowing, personal work and preaching. If he wants more done for missions, he will provide us with more funds to give and he will raise up more missionaries to send. We will become content with such things as we have and more of what we receive will go to him. If he wants more prayer, more singing, more apparent righteousness in our lives, more holiness and less sin, he will revive us. He has to do these things or they won’t get done. We cannot manufacture these things. Men have tried to manufacture all of these things and time always reveals that the work was of men; not of God. Jesus said, “Without me ye can do nothing.”
Now, in a typical church there are people that come to church who are absolutely clueless of the work that God is doing. They just show up when it starts and leave when it’s over. By coming to church, they fulfill their weekly church obligation. Others come because they are expected to be in church and they might as well be dead; they wouldn’t miss anything, and they wouldn’t be missed, if they quit coming. Others show up and their minds, spirits and hearts are occupied with all the visible things around them and they have no spiritual connection to or affection for the things above. Then there are those who are walking with God. They show up looking for God to speak to them, to help them, to grow them, to use them and to be pleased with their worship of him. They come to serve, to give, to pray, to sing, to be a blessing and to fellowship with the saints. They wouldn’t be shocked if God “showed up” in a meeting; they anticipate him being there.
We’re not much different than the typical church. But I pray that God doesn’t want us to just be typical. If he does, so be it. But if he doesn’t, bless the Lord, I am looking for him to do something that only God can do. I pray that he will revive us so that we are all walking with God and spiritually as alive as he can make us to be… and that he will do whatever he wants with us with perfect liberty and without restraint. We’re not there yet. Many of us are as hard as a rock. Some are more controlled by sin than they are by the Spirit of God. We need to be revived!!
When you look up “revive” in the Bible, you find that God revives people that are in need, in bondage, in captivity and in trouble. He revives the spiritually discouraged and the physically dead. In other words, he revives those who are in need of reviving. The trouble with most people who are not revived is that they don’t want to be revived. They’re happy being dead, they’re content in captivity, they’re good with being in bondage, and like the Laodiceans they don’t see their need.
Whether we are revived or not is up to the Lord. But if we want to be revived there are some things in this text that we could do to prepare us for revival, if God were so minded to revive us. Preparing for revival involves:
A low estate – he is the high and lofty One; he dwells in the high place – the Jews received mercy in their low estate [Ps 136:23]; Mary was chosen in her low estate [Lk 1:48] – we must remember that we are nothing – the trouble today is that everybody wants to be something – in the perilous times people are heady and high-minded – the one who is lifted up is Jesus – the one who is exalted above all is Jesus – lift him up as high as he is and take your place as low as you are – you can tell whether you are in a low estate by how you fear of the Lord, how you lift him up in song, how important his will is versus your will, how much his presence in your life dominates your thinking, and so forth.
An honest sinner – his name is Holy; he dwells in the holy place – we are sinners ; he is holy – Job plead his case before God by professing his righteousness – once he saw just how holy God is he immediately repented [Job 40:4-5; 42:2-6] – two things are wrong these days – men don’t recognize the holiness of God and they don’t recognize the sinfulness of men – every sin that men can commit has been renamed – you can tell whether you are an honest sinner by how you view sin in your life and how you respond to sin in your life – people today are so inundated with sin in their lives sin is on them like maggots on a dead cow and they think nothing of it – they lie to cover their sins – there’s no way God will revive men in that case – we must be honest about the sin in our lives.
A humble spirit – he dwells with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit; he revives the spirit of the humble – the underlying spirit of our age is pride – men are boasters and proud in these perilous times – pride permeates our society just like it did in Sodom and Gomorrah [Ezek 16:49] – you can put on the look of humility when you are around other Christians but that won’t help you – the trouble is in your spirit – we need to humble ourselves from our touchy, judgmental, sensitive, critical, defensive, apathetic, proud, etc spirits – the Holy Spirit revives a humble spirit; not a proud spirit.
A contrite heart – he revives the heart of the contrite ones – a contrite heart is one marked by godly sorrow [2 Cor 7:10] – God is looking for a broken an a contrite heart [Ps 51:17] – we are quick to notice when others fail and slow to recognize our own failures – we are like the news media – we feed on others faults and fail to deal sorrowfully with our own – we need to forget about others and get with God about the condition of our own hearts – if our hearts are truly contrite, God can revive them.
Conclusion: Do you understand? God revives people that need reviving not those who are already okay. Exalt the Saviour, exalt his holiness and turn from your sinfulness, humble your spirit and repent in your heart. Then wait on God and let him do what he wants to do with your surrendered, available, broken vessel.