by Don Huffaker
A few days ago, I had to go to the doctor for a checkup. While there, our conversation turned to the subject of revival and the need for a revival among God's people. I know this was God speaking to me through this conversation. Since then, my mind has been busy on this subject; and I have determined I need revived.
While thinking I was led to 2 Chronicles 7:14, which describes what is necessary for a true revival.
"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 heal their land."
Last year I preached a series of sermons on this verse, but I guess I didn't get the message.
The people this is addressed to are God's people-born again believers in Jesus. That includes me, so I read on.
The next thing it says is to humble themselves. I am so proud of what I do for God. That is one of my problems. I am proud. I remember the talk with my doctor and the subject of religious pride. How often I rely on all I have done and on my religious heritage? Remember God saved me unto good works. I can't rely on on the fact that my Dad was a deacon in a Baptist church or that my Mother taught Sunday school. Where am I in God's plan? Am I doing what God has for me to do today?
Then I am to pray. This isn't just daily providing God with a want list; He already knows all of my needs. Paul says we are to pray without ceasing. No, I don't have to walk around with my head bowed and my eyes closed, but I do have to be in a constant spirit of prayer, in constant communication with God. It is a scary thoughtto think of being in this world without being able to talk with Him.
The third thing I need in my life is to seek God's face. Moses had this desire. I don't need to know about God. I need to know God. I need to develop like-mindedness with Him. I need the mind of Christ in me. God. I need to know God. I need to develop like-mindedness with Him. I need the mind of Christ in me. How do I get this? One step is to study His word. Not just read it, which is important but really take it apart and study each word, phrase, and verse. God will show me more of Himself each time I do this. The Bible says I am to study to show myself approved.
Now for the hard one. I have to turn from my wicked ways. 'But God, I enjoy of the things I do. I don't want to give up those habits. I know you are speaking to me, convicting me, but do I really have to give them up?' Yes, I have to repent of those sins in my life and turn from them. I would say I am not that bad and my sins are acceptable ones; but then, I go back to the pride issue.
Do I want to be all God has for me to be? Do I want the second part of this verse in my life? Yes! But am I willing to do the first four steps? If I will humble myself, pray, seek God's face and repent, then He promises to hear me, forgive me, and heal me. I know it says land, but am I not made from the land?
I read a quote the other day that was oneof those "light bulb" experiences. The quote was, "The curse of the local church today is lack of commitment." I am part of the church. Am I committed? I don't think so. What am I willing to give up to serve God and produce good works? Only those things that are not very important to me. The really important things I want to hang on to, even a few comfortable sins.
'No, this isn't true, I just thought of what I said last week about John3:16 and what you gave for me. You first loved me and gave your Son to die for me. I have nothing as valuable to give but I can give me'.
Maybe that is all He wants. Maybe, all He wants is for us to put Him first. He put us first even above the well being of His Son.
'Yes God, I want to put you first in my life. I want to be so infected with Jesus I become very contagious. I want to be known as a carrier of Jesus.'
I know I have been talking to me, but maybe I am not alone. Do you have religious pride? Be honest! I know it's hard to deal with ourselves. Do you communicate with God or just mumble one of those cute little prayers like, "Now I lay me down to sleep..."? Do you seek God? Is your entire spiritual diet the meal served on Sunday morning? Are you hanging on to pet sins? I know they feel so good and comfortable. God Wants us to turn from them.
Revival, this is what I need.
I heard the story of a preacher who desired a revival, to illustrate his desire he took a piece of chalk from his pocket and drew a circle on the floor. He then stood in that circle and earnestly prayed that God send a revival and start it in that circle.
All wide spread revivals began with one or a few people following these guidelines. They got revived and it was like a forest fire that spread or a disease that spreads. Maybe God wants me to be that spark. Not for any glory to me, but to bring glory to God.
Do you want to stay as you are, or is there room for improvement? Do you need to go through these steps? All we have to do is say,
"Yes, Lord. Here am I, send me!"