If God’s People, Who are Called By His Name, Want Revival

Revival

Yesterday we learned that we all live in a land that is in desperate need of healing, and that healing comes about through a revival in God’s people.  Then we learned who God’s people actually are.  Today our focus is going to be on the general process for there to be a revival among God’s people.

Before God says that he will hear, forgive and heal, he first says that we must follow a very specific process.  He says that we must: humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways.  Seems like such an easy process, with only four steps.  We can all follow a four step process.  But do we really understand the process.  No we don’t.  So what we are going to do now is look at the process first in general terms and then later we will break each step down into greater detail.

Steps for Revival

  1. Humble Yourself-We must recognize our failures and inabilities, show true sorrow for our sin and renew their commitment to follow God’s desire, plans and purposes.  Which means recognizing one’s spiritual poverty and desperate need for God’s mercy.

Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their ancestors.-2 Chronicles 11:16 NIV

They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman…All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.-2 Chronicles 15:12-13,15 NIV

Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.” He gave it to Shaphan.  Then Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: “Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them. They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the LORD and have entrusted it to the supervisors and workers.” Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.  When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes.-2 Chronicles 34:15-19 NIV

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart

you, God, will not despise.-Psalm 51:17 NIV

Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.-Matthew 5:3 NIV

  1. Pray-God’s people must desperately call on him for mercy and must completely trust and depend on him for help.  Our prayer’s must come from a faithful heart, and we must continue to call out to God until he answers. 

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

“‘Father,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And lead us not into temptation.’”

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”-Luke 11:1-13 NIV

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”  And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”-Luke 18:1-8 NIV

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.-James 5:17-18 NIV

  1. Seek God’s Face-God’s people must turn toward God and seek God’s presence with passion.  We must not do this for selfish reasons or simply to avoid difficulty or disaster, but so that we can fulfill his purposes and advance his kingdom. 

Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their ancestors.-2 Chronicles 11:16 NIV

There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.-2 Chronicles 19:3 NIV

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.-1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV
Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD.-1 Chronicles 22:19 NIV

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.  Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.-Isaiah 55:6-7 NIV

Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their ancestors.-2 Chronicles 11:16 NIV

There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.-2 Chronicles 19:3 NIV

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.-1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV
Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD.-1 Chronicles 22:19 NIV

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.  Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.-Isaiah 55:6-7 NIV

  1. Turn form our wicked ways-We must genuinely repent (turn back, make a complete change) for going our own way and resisting the will of God.  This involves confessing and forsaking specific sins and anything that has take priority over God.  It, also, means depending on God for mercy, forgiveness and spiritual cleansing.

Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the LORD our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the LORD’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. Therefore, the anger of the LORD has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. Now I intend to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.-2 Chronicles 29:6-11 NIV

The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”-2 Kings 17:13 NIV

They said, “Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the LORD gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever.”-Jeremiah 25:5 NIV

Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the LORD.-Zechariah 1:4 NIV

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.-Hebrews 4:16 NIV

It is only by going through this four step process that God will bring about a revival in your land.  And God’s revival involves 3 parts.  He will hear, he will forgive, and he will heal.  But what does each part actually look like.

  1. Hear-God will not be angry with his people, but instead God will listen to our desperate prayers.  The first evidence of revival is when God begins to answer prayers and respond with compassion towards his followers.

Restore us again, God our Savior,

and put away your displeasure toward us.

Will you be angry with us forever?

Will you prolong your anger through all generations?

Will you not revive us again,

that your people may rejoice in you?

Show us your unfailing love, LORD,

and grant us your salvation.-Psalm 85:4-7 NIV

Hear my prayer, LORD;

let my cry for help come to you.

Do not hide your face from me

when I am in distress.

Turn your ear to me;

when I call, answer me quickly.-Psalm 102:1-2 NIV

You will arise and have compassion on Zion,

for it is time to show favor to her;

the appointed time has come.-Psalm 102:13 NIV

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.-Jeremiah 33:3 NIV

“Even now,” declares the LORD,

“return to me with all your heart,

with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Rend your heart

and not your garments.

Return to the LORD your God,

for he is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and abounding in love,

and he relents from sending calamity.-Joel 2:12-13 NIV

Then the LORD was jealous for his land

and took pity on his people.

The LORD replied to them:

“I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,

enough to satisfy you fully;

never again will I make you

an object of scorn to the nations.-Joel 2:18-19 NIV

  1. Forgive-God will forgive his people and cleanse them spiritually.  God will restore his favor, presence, peace, truth and power among us.

Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,

that his glory may dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness meet together;

righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,

and righteousness looks down from heaven.

The LORD will indeed give what is good,

and our land will yield its harvest.

Righteousness goes before him

and prepares the way for his steps.-Psalm 85:9-13 NIV

I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.-Jeremiah 33:7-8 NIV

Sow righteousness for yourselves,

reap the fruit of unfailing love,

and break up your unplowed ground;

for it is time to seek the LORD,

until he comes

and showers his righteousness on you.-Hosea 10:12 NIV

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten —

the great locust and the young locust,

the other locusts and the locust swarm—

my great army that I sent among you.-Joel 2:25 NIV

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live with them

and walk among them,

and I will be their God,

and they will be my people.”

Therefore,

“Come out from them

and be separate,

says the Lord.

Touch no unclean thing,

and I will receive you.”

And,

“I will be a Father to you,

and you will be my sons and daughters,

says the Lord Almighty.”-2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NIV

  1. Heal-God will heal and refresh his people spiritually.  He will pour out the Holy Spirit in order to bring a spiritual awaking among his people and spiritual salvation among those who do not yet know him.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

so that sinners will turn back to you.-Psalm 51:12-13 NIV

For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,

like a great lion to Judah.

I will tear them to pieces and go away;

I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.

Then I will return to my lair

until they have borne their guilt

and seek my face —

in their misery

they will earnestly seek me. ”

“Come, let us return to the LORD.

He has torn us to pieces

but he will heal us;

he has injured us

but he will bind up our wounds.

After two days he will revive us;

on the third day he will restore us,

that we may live in his presence.

Let us acknowledge the LORD;

let us press on to acknowledge him.

As surely as the sun rises,

he will appear;

he will come to us like the winter rains,

like the spring rains that water the earth. ”-Hosea 5:14-6:3 NIV

“Also for you, Judah,

a harvest is appointed.

“Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,”-Hosea 6:11 NIV

“And afterward,

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your old men will dream dreams,

your young men will see visions.

Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

I will show wonders in the heavens

and on the earth,

blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

And everyone who calls

on the name of the LORD will be saved;

for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem

there will be deliverance,

as the LORD has said,

even among the survivors

whom the LORD calls.-Joel 2:28-32 NIV

If you are one those who do not yet know God, spiritually, then I strongly urge you to read part 1, about who the people of God are, because clearly if you are reading this then you are you are ready for change and ready for revival.  I strongly urge you to pray this prayer:

Dear God, I know that my sin has separated me from you.  Thank you that Jesus Christ died in my place.  I ask Jesus to forgive my sin and to come into my life.  Please begin to direct my life.  Thank you for giving me eternal life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayer that prayer and sincerely meant it in your heart, then you have started the process of revival in your life.  And I urge you to find a local church that can help you along the incredible journey you have just begun as a follower of Jesus.

If you are already a follower of Christ, then this is my question to you.  Where are you in the process of revival?  Or have you even started the process?  Wherever you are along the process to beginning spiritual revival, I ask that you make a renewed commitment to staying with it today.

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