Tag Archives: revival

Psalms 79-83; He Gave Them Over

The psalmists often cry out to God for deliverance. Restore us! Save us! Hear us! Return to us! And always, their despair comes as a result of their disobedience. God would never turn His back on His obedient children.

Not in your life. Not in a nation. Not in the world.

I, along with millions of Jesus-followers, plead with God on a regular basis to heal our land. We pray for mercy, for revival, for the defeat of the enemy. And I believe God wants to answer our prayers.

But if we are praying for a nation that continues to deny Him, we’ve got a problem. If we are praying as a Church more interested in being “cool” than obedient, we’ve got a problem. If the Church wants God to answer our prayers while we twist Scripture and accept sin, while we claim to be His yet live like the world, we’ve got a bigger problem.

I think what scares me more than nuclear war is what God says in 81:11-12:

But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own desires.

God is not talking about non-believers. He’s talking about His people. That’s me. That’s you if you know Jesus as your Savior. And what He is talking about is a slow, almost unrecognizable death.

Dear God, I pray for your Church. God, defeat Satan in our pulpits and pews, convict hearts that are comfortable living with sin. Strengthen your obedient children to stand firm for the truth revealed in Scripture. Root out those in our midst who are Your enemies disguised as Christians. Then, God, make Your church the avenue through which You can change our world. For Jesus’ sake.

 

 

2 Samuel 13-15; Don’t Run

Absalom was a rat. You know he murdered his brother, don’t you? Then, for forty years he weasled his way into the hearts of the Israelites. He would sit at the gate of the city, and corner the people coming in to have an audience with the king (that would be Absalom’s dad, King David). He’d pretend to be sympathetic to their needs and suggest he, Absalom, would help them if he could:

“Oh, that someone would appoint me judge. I’d take care of you,” he’d say.

Slowly, calculatingly, intentionally, he eventually won the hearts of the people. He was patient. He played the part of a good guy for forty years. Then, when he had everyone exactly where he wanted them, he pronounced himself king.

Where was David while all this was happening? Scripture doesn’t say. We can assume he went about life as usual, ignoring what was happening right in his own back yard. I have to believe someone in those forty years told him what Absalom was up to. Certainly someone close to David warned him about his son. But it seems as though David ignored it all. Maybe he thought if he didn’t say anything, nothing bad would come of it.

But when Absalom had enough followers to make himself king, what did David do then? He ran. He picked up and fled, allowing Absalom to steal his kingdom right from under him.

Christian friend, let this be a warning. Satan has been sitting at the city gate for quite some time, drawing people to himself with the same lies Absalom told. He’s wearing a coat that looks like truth, love, tolerance, spirituality. And slowly, he’s winning the hearts of people. He’s winning the hearts of good, sincere people. What are we who know the Truth doing while Satan is stealing those hearts right from under us?

I think we, like David, are too often ignoring it, too often running from it. Recently, a very popular Bible teacher said there will never be a revival, or a turning to God in this country; that God is done with the USA, and judgment is inevitable. She said instead of praying for a revival in the nation, we should be praying that Christians have the strength to endure what is up ahead.

In other words, the ship is sinking. Save yourselves. Or, Absalom wants to be king, run for your lives.

Shame on us if that is our attitude. Or don’t you believe the Bible?

2 Chronicles 7:14 says:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I WILL HEAR from heaven, and I WILL FORGIVE their sin and WILL HEAL THEIR LAND. (Emphasis mine)

Satan has made cowards of Christians. And, if what this Bible teacher has said, many are throwing in the towel. But if there is no revival in this country, it won’t be because Satan won. It will be because Christians gave up.

“Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world,” is not just something that used to be true. God is still on the throne. He still wants to save souls, to reveal Himself to a lost world. I don’t believe He’s going to give up until we do, until we are no longer willing to be used by Him to share the Gospel with people who need Him.

If you are tempted to throw up your hands in defeat, that isn’t from God. You are a pawn of Satan. If you are tempted to throw up your hands, instead fall on your knees, repent of sin in your life. Do not run!

Allow God to strengthen you to confront Satan in this world while there is still time. I believe there can be a revival in this country because I believe God means what He says.

Period.

Genesis 35-36 Revival

One commentary I read called 35:1-7 the first recorded revival. I remember going to many revival meetings in the church where I grew up. In fact, I went forward during one of those services and cemented my faith in God, repented of sins, and determined to live for Him from that day on.

Jacob sinned. His family worshiped idols. But in chapter 35 they all chose to leave those idols behind and follow the Lord. They buried the idols, and the people moved on. Their worship of God was revived.

I will admit that since that Thursday evening in 1967 when I knelt at the altar during that revival meeting, there have been other times of revival in my life, other sins I had to confess, other idols I had to bury in order to obey God. My walk with the Lord hasn’t been one and done, but rather a series of times of fellowship with my Savior, followed by a drift, then sin, then conviction, repentance, and revival.

I kind of sound like the nation of Israel in the Old Testament.

I don’t know where your walk with the Lord is right now. But I would encourage us all to consider a time of revival. Can we ever walk too close to the Savior, be too free of sin, or too cleansed?

We are the Church. I wonder if it’s time for the Church to allow God to revive us one soul at a time, until the Church is exactly where God would like us to be.

 

September 16 – A Prayer For Our World

Daniel 7-9

Reading Daniel’s vision reminds me that there are forces of evil out there. There has been since Satan and his followers fell from heaven. ISIS, murderers, liars, thieves, adulterers, bullies, and the like are tools of our enemy against a Holy God.

We act like it’s about us.

But evil is Satan’s tool in his war against God. I think if we want Satan defeated in this country and in our world, if we want to put a stop to the evil around us, our prayer should be like Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9:

Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, we have sinned. We haven’t listened to You. We are ashamed of ourselves in light of Your righteousness. We are rebellious and disobedient, so You have allowed us the consequences for our sin. Even in that, we’ve not turned to You. Now, O Lord, Your Name is a reproach to those around us. The name “Christian” is hated and scorned, and meaningless. So God, not because we have any merit on our own, not because we deserve Your mercy, but for the sake of Your Name… forgive us. Bless us in the sight of nations. Let unbelievers recognize Your compassion to those who humble themselves before You, who turn from their wicked ways, and who follow You alone. Not because we deserve it. But because by doing so, people may come to You. And You deserve that.

July 21 – Blast Off!

2 Kings 18:1-8; 2 Chronicles 29-31; Psalm 48

Hezekiah was a busy man. He was 25 when he became king of Judah and it seems like he hit the ground running. He did some repairs on the temple, removed the evidence of idol worship (including the bronze serpant Moses had made to help the Israelites on their journey out of Egypt years earlier). Hezekiah directed the priests and Levites to consecrate themselves, and he organized a Passover feast like the Jews hadn’t seen in a very long time.

What I noticed today was that his enthusiasm for doing God’s work was contagious. In fact, after inviting Jews from near and far to the Passover celebration, the turnout was much more than the number of consecrated priests could handle. And the shear enthusiasm of the masses was an embarrassment to the priests and Levites who’d been caught unprepared. So they cleaned up their act and got onboard.

I’m thinking God might be saying we who sit in pews every Sunday need not wait for our pastors to start a revival. Maybe we shouldn’t be waiting for some preachers out there to start preaching the Truth of Scripture. Maybe it’s us everyday people who need to get right with God, and take the bull by the horns.

Let the preachers follow our lead for a change, when we our lead by God.

Is your commitment to God contagious? Is mine? How exciting would it be for us to see that fire ignite. It could be as powerful as watching a launch from Cape Canaveral.

Ignition! Blast Off! Souls won. Lives changed. Eternity won!

April 11 – One + God = Victory

I Samuel 13&14

Most of us have probably felt a time or two: What can one person do?

What difference does it make if I speak the Truth at work when I’m the only believer there? What can my measly little offering do when I drop my few dollars in the plate each week? Does my one vote really matter? Does my opinion count for anything? I’m just one person. How effective can I be?

Jonathon and his armor bearer were getting ready to take on the Philistine army. Just the two of them. Hear what Jonathon said: “… perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.” (14:6)

We can all probably agree that we need a revival in our churches. And it could start with

YOU!

God can use one yielded heart, one voice to do amazing things in His children. He is not restrained by numbers.

One + God = Victory

You + God = Anything He’s calling you to!

April 3- Do What Seems Best

Judges 10-12

The children of Israel once again worshiped idols, the false gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, Ammon, and the Philistines. It seemed like the right thing to do. After all, their neighbors were doing it.

So God let them be enslaved by the Philistines. For eighteen years the Israelites were mistreated at the hands of their captors. Then, when they finally cried out to God for help, God told them to cry to the gods they had chosen. Maybe those wooden images would deliver them.

But then the Jews said something that hit home here in the 21st Century. “We have sinned. Do to us whatever seems good to You; only please deliver us this day.” (10:15)

The other day I told you what Kay Arthur had to say about God’s judgment on the US. God cannot NOT punish our disobedience. And it will come because God’s people have rejected Him in favor of wealth, health, tolerance, and acceptance of sin. God is going to judge this nation because too many pastors are not preaching the Truth according to Scripture. He’s going to judge this nation because the rest of us have accepted it.

We’ve been living according to what we think is best, what makes people comfortable and feel good about themselves. We go to church for a worship experience, and come away unchanged and unrepentant. How is that working out?

I would like to rally Christians to revival. To say to God what Israel did so long ago:

We have sinned, God. Do to this nation what you deem right and good. Deliver us as you seem best. Forgive us. And may Your children be found faithful through it all.