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How to Receive the Revival We Need

 

Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.


By Michael Carl

Rev. Michael Carl

Rev. Michael Carl

Concern over this nation’s drift into economic chaos has been a frequent discussion topic in the blogosphere.  I admit to spending a great deal of time over the past two to three weeks emailing everyone I know about the crises over gasoline prices and illegal immigration.  Yet, even though I know we are all quite rightly concerned over these and other issues, they are tragically only symptoms of a deeper problem.

They are symptoms of a nation that has lost its way; those issues and social ills are symptoms of a nation that has been at war with itself and at war against its Christian heritage.  They are also symptoms of a deeper problem that lies embedded in the country’s churches.

Leonard Ravenhill said well when he said, “The key to revival starts in the pulpit (Joel 1:13), then the pew (2 Chronicles 7:14).”  Then he says again, “We’ll have no broken hearted pews until we have broken hearted pulpits.”[1]

He’s tragically correct.  There will be no revival in this land until those of us (and I am one of them) in the pulpits truly begin to weep over the tragic state of our sin-stained, lethargic, worldly-wise, churches.  In a recent sermon series, John MacArthur rightly declares that many of America’s so-called evangelical churches are now preaching the Gospel of Personal Fulfillment.  In this series, MacArthur went on to say that there is deep reason to believe that many sitting in our pews may not even be saved if they haven’t gone to the cross and forsaken their worldly ways and repented of their sins.[2]

We’ve become a nation in which our churches are filled with wealth-chasing, inwardly-looking narcissists who believe the whole point of the Gospel is to make us feel better about ourselves and to make us prosperous.  My friends, I fear that this idea is getting ready to be challenged at its very core.

The Lord truly wants to send us revival, a reality that is evident based on this wonderful statement made by Christian writer David Manuel, a man who might even be considered a contemporary prophet:

A holy wind is coming.  Already it is rattling windows, awakening the fast asleep.  Soon it will be shaking our buildings to their very foundations.  God is in the wind.  He is answering the prayers of those who have long pleaded with Him to pour out His Spirit one more time, on everyone with the wind come new wine.  Already He has raised up multitudes of young wineskins with hearts pure and undefiled.  There will be more wine that they alone can bear, so He is restoring some old wineskins to their former suppleness.  A few draw back; the process is painful.  It requires brokenness  –  of hearts perhaps unbroken for years.  And it requires contrition, a God-given sorrow for what we have become.  If we will repent, if we will turn from our wicked ways-any way that is not His way  –  He will forgive us.  He will revive us, and then will He bring the Revival that will heal our land.[3]

Mr. Manuel tells us of God’s great desire, but something else will have to happen first.  God will purify the Church.  In 1 Peter 4.17-18…

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  18 And "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?"

This is the truth that is reflected by Cindy Jacobs in a message she shared in November, 2006…

“This is a time that judgment must begin at the house of God.  I am shaking everything that can be shaken, but unholiness cannot overthrow unholiness.
 
“Do not think that your prayers are not availing in the heavens because you do not get the answers in the way you think they should be given.  Your prayers are pressing out the wickedness in My people first. There is more that is going to be exposed of leaders in homosexuality and sexual wickedness.  The court of heaven has been convened through your intercession, and I am shaking the church…”[4]

It comes down to this:  We need to bow down before the Lord in earnest repentance and ask Him to break our hearts.  We have to fall down on our knees and weep.  As mentioned earlier in this article, the pastors and priests must lead the way.

Call To Action

This is the reason I believe that God is leading me to call on our churches to move into a time of extraordinary prayer.  If need be, let us begin with a small step, such as the call for unified prayer every Tuesday evening at 8:50 p.m. Eastern Time.

Share the information about this prayer time with your friends, fellow church members and all of your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Invite them to join in.  It’s simple — ten minutes of passionate prayer for the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit upon this harried and bothered land.  Anyone can pray from wherever they may be and be a part of this chorus of prayers rising to the throne.  If you want to gather together and pray longer than ten minutes, by all means do so.  If you would like to get together and have your own revival prayer meetings, that’s even better.  It would be awesome time-wise if they would be from 8-9 p.m. Eastern Time to be a part of the mighty wave of prayer rising to the Throne of Grace.

The issue here is prayer for revival — prayer that is motivated by a heart broken over the things that break God’s heart.  We need to sense the depth of God’s soul in Isaiah chapter 59.14-16…

14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter. 15 Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.  The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
 
16 He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene…

The Lord’s heart was broken because there was no one to intervene — there was no intercessors.  Then His heart was still broken in Joel 2.15-17 when He cried out for His own people to mourn over the condition of their nation.

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; 16 gather the people.  Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast.  Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy.  17 Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep.  Let them say, "Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations.  Why should it be said among the peoples, "Where is their God?' "

How do we get to this place, the place where we are concerned over the things that break the Lord’s heart?  There will be no revival unless the people in the pulpits and the people in the pews repent.  We have to repent of our sin.  We have to go to the cross and repent of the fact that we’ve been more worried about our summer vacation, our second house, our third and fourth cars and whether we have the same toys that our neighbours have.

We have to weep over the condition of our nation and confess that we just haven’t been that concerned about the sin and spiritual darkness that is running rampant across our land.

Let us join together on Tuesday nights and let the Lord touch our hearts.  If enough of us pray in concert and let the Lord have His way, we will sense the revival about which David Manuel writes:  “A few draw back; the process is painful.  It requires brokenness  –  of hearts perhaps unbroken for years.  And it requires contrition, a God-given sorrow for what we have become.  If we will repent, if we will turn from our wicked ways-any way that is not His way  –  He will forgive us.  He will revive us, and then will He bring the Revival that will heal our land.”[5]

 


[1] Leonard Ravenhill. Sermon Index.
[2] John MacArthur. “The Starting Principle of Discipleship,” Grace to You. (20080304) Downloaded 22 March 2008.
[3] David Manuel. Quote from the website of the Weeping Willows Prayer Ministry, April, 2006.
[4] Cindy Jacobs. God is Cleansing the Church. November, 2006.
[5] Manuel quote "New Wind New Wine" from Weeping Willows Newsletter, 3-31-2006.

 

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