I am going to deviate from our Psalms this week. In my church we are preparing for Revival services in a few weeks by walking through a 30-day prayer vigil. This week in one of our reading, Isaiah 64 was used, I was overwhelmed by the reading of this chapter in Isiah, I felt it was better to write on it for anyone who has forgotten how great is our God.
Actually the Psalm 85:4-6; came to my mind – the psalmist cries out for God to revive the people – to Do It Again! Something is wrong with the Church and people in the pulpits and pews; we have lost the Awe for our God. Revival is for the believer not for the unbelieving. Revive is to restore or bring back to life. This can be seen in restoring an old car or piece of furniture – but as it applies to the believer – it indicates a condition of the soul that has grown cold or indifferent. I know when restoration is needed, there has been some build-up or deterioration to the object. As this relates to the believer, church and even humanity as a whole, it shows an apathy for moral and ethical restraint – this happens as the depraved minds of mankind no longer fear reprisal for their actions. Ultimately this means, no fear of God. The story in Exodus when God comes down Mount Sinai, He displays great thunder and lightning [Exodus 20:18-19], so much so that the people asked Moses to speak to God for them; and whatever He said they would do. They were terrified of the Holy God of Israel. The problem with this is not 12 chapters later in the absence of Moses, the rose up to play harlotry with the Golden Calf! If revival is to come again to the Church and believers, we will have to return to the fear and awe of the Lord. God is righteous and holy – as His children He expects no less from us. The Church today I believe is anemic; I know there are pockets of great activity, and many mega-churches that run thousands; but if they Churches were empathic about the things of God – a great revival would be happening. I believe that are a lot of kingdom builders in Christianity – but they are building their own kingdoms. In Isiah 64, the plea is that God would come down again; that there would be great evidence of His presence. The chapter is obviously post-exilic in that it was written after the return from Babylon exile. No one sought God, no one revere His power or right to be sovereign over them. It speaks of the great devastation to Jerusalem and the Temple. While there were warning from numerous prophets – Jeremiah specifically; the people didn’t heed the warning but believed they were exempt from the discipline of God.
In revival, the people of God return to God on His terms – He “gives” revival, we do not pray it down or manufacture it by formulas. The people MUST be broken over their corporate and personal sin. The Church is guilty of “coasting” through the years. In America we have let opulence ruin us. When I think of the barbaric behavior being displayed today from “so-called Christians” it nauseates me, I can’t imagine what it does to the Father!
I want revival, I have tasted of revival before , I want it again – I am praying for it daily, for me, my church, Christianity and the world. God has sent revival numerous times – but conditions had gotten so “gross” with sin and rebellion, people – some [usually a small band] began to pray, really pray, their cries were heard and the Lord God moved in miraculous ways.
We are trying to fix the declining and dying church situation by discipleship and planting more churches. Both absolutely need to be done. But if Revival doesn’t come, if “the Lord doesn’t build the house, the laborers work in vain.” We are the clay, Jesus Christ is the Potter, sometimes the potter has to “break” the clay and rework it to a vessel He can use. It is time for believers, pastors, and churches to wake up! If we want our world to change, then the change must start with us by quit being “nominal, cultural” Christians! So often all the commentary is our world is so bad; but I recall reading in the Book of Acts how a band of believers turned the world upside down – Oh, Lord Do it Again!