Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. — Psalm 119:37 —
How many times have we as Christians ran to and fro, looking for revival, in hopes to touch the hem of His garment through mere man? A lot of us were taught this: “We’re having a revival! Come to the revival! Let God revive you!” As if man could decide when and where God would show up and honor what is sometimes — if not most — a self-centered watered down program to bring in the masses to listen to a lukewarm gospel in the hopes of saving many.
This is not true revival.
Many times Christians desire to see their church do a new thing, which actually is an old thing. They are living in the past of some movement of years ago, desiring to see the same thing. It must become very burdensome to the pastor to have someone who constantly is comparing the present with the past. The past is just that — the past. And a lot of times, what was done in the past was not a movement of God at all.
Then there is the Christian who say they desire revival so much, looking for it in others and yet there is absolutely nothing that is being revived in them, other than a type of self grandiosity. That is hypocrisy, my friends. I know. I used to be like that many years ago. I so much wanted revival that I thought just by carrying my Bible and Charles Finny books around about holiness, would surely start a revival. How stupid is that?! Oh, I could look good to the pastor, all right. After all, I had “passion and zeal” I was told. I also had a bunch of self-righteousness going on at the same time. Pointing my finger, thinking in my heart, if you people would just do this or that!
One Saturday, two other women and I went to church to pray. We had the sanctuary all to ourselves. We began praying for revival. I went off on some kind of tangent along the lines of this: “Dear God, hear our cry, bring revival! Bring revival! There’s a stench in the camp! There’s a stench in the camp!” Oh, I knew I was sounding good, looking all spiritual and holy. Such pride. As I was praying, I began to smell something that stunk to high heaven. Still praying, I opened one eye and began to look around me. The stench was so close. Then I saw it. It was on the bottom of my shoe! I had tracked dog doo in the church. I became so embarrassed and stopped ranting. The women said, “What is that smell?” I sheepishly said, “It is me.” I could have died right there on the spot.
What I’m saying is, if you want revival, let it start with you. Sometimes, God does not begin a work in those around us, because we ourselves are walking in sin. It could be anything. Unforgiveness, hatred, self-righteousness, bitterness are a few things that come to my mind. Sometimes we can have our hands all over something and God will not touch it as long as we are the one trying to bring the change.
There has to be a time of brokeness before true revival comes.
I could be wrong, but I believe, true revival comes in the stillness of our soul after we have allowed God to show us our fault, our sin, our wrong doings –brokenness for how one has grieved God. Brokeness for how we have hurt others.
If true revival could be found in going to a church meeting, singing choruses, hooping and hollering and rolling around on the floor, don’t you think this nation would not be where it is today? What about in your own family? What about where you work? What about in your own neighborhood? What about in your own church/building? What about you?
True revival must begin with breaking up the fallow/hardened ground in one’s heart. We must have our hearts convicted by a Holy righteous God. There must be an awareness of sin that has seperated us from God, sin that grieves His heart, sin that hinders the true work of God that He has called for us in the first place.
O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You?
You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
You shall increase my greatness,
And comfort me on every side. — Psalm 71:17-21 —
Has God shown you great and severe troubles, yet? The kind of troubles that only God can touch? The kind of troubles, so great and severe that it causes you to know you are but dust? That in and of yourself, you are nothing? That you are helpless in some events going on in your own personal life? That if it were not for the mercy of God, you would feel as if you are nothing more than a little grease spot?
If so, then you are a prime candidate for revival. More than likely, you have stopped running to and fro looking for that one thing to fix whatever it is that has caused you to be so low. You are in a good place. You are about to see the salvation of the Lord come to you in way you’ve not yet known.
Oh, I know, that does not go along with what we have been taught and with what most people seek. After all, revival is suppose to feel good. Would you believe me if I told you, true revival comes from within and not from without? True revival is something that can not be manipulated by man. True revival is always about the kingdom of God being built within you. Apart from man, apart from prying eyes, apart from outside influences that would manipulate you for fleeting feelings of what is called joy now days.
Do not look for revival to others to revive you. That is the Holy Spirit’s job. You will not find it if you are looking for others to begin it in you. You will only find it when you begin to pick up the Cross and die. LET the kingdom of God arise in you by allowing the Holy Spirit to convict you of all ungodliness — breaking up the hardened ground of your own heart. I can promise you when you begin to get to the other side, God will begin showing you great and mighty things. THEN, others will be revived. Why? Because they will see the darkness that once had you bound has been exposed by His marvelous light. Others will begin to see Jesus in you as you begin to move into His truth and life in a way that will cause others to think, “Where did this come from? It must be God.” They will then come to you and desire to know this God who has set you free.
That is the fruit of revival, precious Bride of Christ: one of causing others to desire to know our God. It is never about us or our works. But about Him who desires to see the lost being found, the blind being able to see.
How will they know unless we be first in being broken before the Lord? Let Him begin that wonderful work of breaking the fallow ground. It hurts but for a season, but the joy that follows is unspeakable!
If you truly want true revival, just make sure you deal with your own stench first.