Sunday, March 28, 2010

Revive Us O'Lord

When most people hear the word revival they think of a move of God across the land and people getting saved. There are, most of the time, revival meetings planned months in advance, tents are rented or a brush arbor may even be erected. A designated time when a weeks worth of sermons will be delivered, often from a traveling evangelist. Church members will come and they will also bring friends, neighbors and relatives. There may even be potluck dinners each night to sweeten the call to come. Sadly to say, these meetings are getting fewer and farther between. Attendance has waned as the preaching of the True Gospel of Christ has been diminished across the globe. Man has tried to substitute so many man-centered things into God’s message, that the Power of God is not present at theses meetings, no matter what you call them.

But are these actually “revival” meetings? Do these fit what being revived actually means? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines revive as : 1 : to restore to consciousness or life 2 : to restore from a depressed, inactive, or unused state : bring back 3 : to renew in the mind or memory. So the way the word revival is used in “revival meeting” is not accurate. It is being used to mean, instead, an awakening. This is typical of what present day “revival meetings” are meant to be. A call to sinners to repent (hopefully and not the heretical Americanized “gospel” ever present from most pulpits) is not revival.

Biblical revival is a return to a normal state of Christianity. Where believers should be, they have to be revived, renewed or brought back to a former state of being, in essence – a return to where one should be anyway. Then what most people call “revival” happens, an awakening begins as Christians cry out in repentance, others notice. The power of God is seen in believers lives as they become much closer to God, they become more aware of their sins against a Holy God and they become more embolden to speak about the things of God to others. The Lord uses this to draw whom He wills to Himself and thereby an awakening begins. Upon true revival society is changed, God’s wrath is averted and people come to know Him. All things my country desperately need right now.

Lamentations 5:21 Turn us back to You, O LORD, and we will be restored; Renew our days as of old,

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Peter speaks of “days of refreshing or revival - Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord

Psalm 85:4-7 Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, LORD, and grant us Your salvation.

Habakkuk prays for revival - Habakkuk 3:2 O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.

The sad thing is, as humans we soon forget the power of God working in us. We return to our comfortable lives, our 9-5 grind and to our daily household chores. We then need revival again. What I pray for is a revival, a return to where I was when God first saved me. I want to be as close to Him as I was that day and I don’t want to move back away from Him again. I want to move closer and closer to Him daily. I need personal revival first, then I need sustained fellowship and God in turn will use that to His glory. I pray for this in each of my local church body family and the corporate body of Christ.

Oak Grove Baptist Church, my church family, is in prayer for just such a revival. I ask you take this to your congregation as well. Pray for revival first in yourself, then your family, then your church body and then a move of God. There is no formula for revival, but most have begun with the honest and repentant turning to God from our sinfulness. A true broken and contrite spirit of how we have sinned against our Father. Upon a broken nature before our Lord, we ask Him to pour out on us His grace and mercy to be in fellowship with Him. We plead for souls to be added to His Kingdom. If God is gracious and hears our cries, He will move across the land and He will be glorified. We simply want and need to be His vessels; in whatever way He sees fit to use us. “Nominal” Christianity is not acceptable to our Lord and we must seek Him to correct that. At least any true believer should desire that. If not, then you have a much larger problem before you, your souls danger of eternal damnation. True children of God should desire this and need this closeness with our Father.

Cry out to Him to expose the darkest recesses of your heart so you may cry out in repentance to Him. Get on your knees, dear Christian, and plea for revival in your own heart. Get on your face, brother and sister, and shed tears for your lost family members. Just cry out to God and know that He will hear His children.

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