Revival?

Have you ever heard of the term Revival?  What is it? Do I personally need revival?
 
What is Revival? Revival refers to a spiritual reawakening from a state of dormancy or stagnation in the life of a believer. It encompasses the resurfacing of a love for God, an appreciation of God's holiness, a passion for His Word and His church, a convicting awareness of personal and corporate sin, a spirit of humility, and a desire for repentance and growth in righteousness.  
 
In simplest terms it is the renewal of ones love for God.  From time to time God’s people need polishing we can so easily lose our passion and love for God, His Word, our devotion to Him.  The world captivates us and we have need to turn back to God with a repentant heart longing to experience His glory.
 
There was a time when just about all churches would at least once a year host a week long revival meeting in hopes that God would send revival to His people.  Very few churches today host revival meetings.  The question is why?  The answer is probably as long as is our excuses when it comes to not wanting to do something.  The truth about revival is you don’t have to have a series of meetings within the church in order for God’s glory to come down and fill this place.  
 
Revival comes when God’s people truly and whole heartily seek His face, and turning for their own selfish ways by sincere heart felt repentance crying out to God in a prayer of desperation.  How desperate are we to experience God’s presence in our day to day life.
 
You hear it all the time today—believers want to see revival, deeply concerned about our nation and the world, saying that only God can save us now. You may be among them. But we see no signs of the revival the Church and our nation needs.

Why do we not see revival? What holds it back? Many are asking that. So lets just take an in-depth look at the prayer that brings revival. (Remember, prayers are meant to be from the heart, not just quoted, you have to truly mean the words behind the plea)

Turn in your Bible to Isaiah chapter 64:1-9. 
 
The “you” refers to God. Isaiah is addressing Almighty God.
1 Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down!
How the mountains would quake in your presence!
As fire causes wood to burn
and water to boil,
your coming would make the nations tremble.
Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame!
When you came down long ago,
you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations.
And oh, how the mountains quaked!
For since the world began,
no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like you,
who works for those who wait for him!
You welcome those who gladly do good,
who follow godly ways.
But you have been very angry with us,
for we are not godly.
We are constant sinners;
how can people like us be saved?
We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
Yet no one calls on your name
or pleads with you for mercy.
Therefore, you have turned away from us
and turned us over to our sins.
And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We all are formed by your hand.
Don’t be so angry with us, Lord.
Please don’t remember our sins forever.
Look at us, we pray,
and see that we are all your people.

In verse 1, what does Isaiah—like many of us—long for God to do? “Come down” burst from heaven, come down and fill this place with your glory.

If God were to descend in His power, Isaiah compares the effect to an earthquake. How widespread (v. 2) does Isaiah want God’s holy name to be known?

In verse 4, “the beginning of the world,” mankind has not heard or seen any God (other than Jehovah, the God of Israel) who acts for the one who waits for Him. There is no one like our God, yet since before the Tower of Babel, wherever man has lived, he set up idols to worship other gods. Idols dominate our lives, even to this day.  Idolatry causes God’s people to drift away from God’s presence.  It causes churches to lose its purpose and passion for God, it causes a nation to stumble and fall.  

What do we need? (v. 5) 

WE NEED REVIVAL

What kind of prayer will bring revival?

Prayer That Recognizes God’s Sovereignty

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
    We are the clay, and you are the potter.
    We all are formed by your hand.

We have to believe that God is God. Isaiah is declaring, “Lord, You are King, You are sovereign. I am clay. You are the potter. Mold me and make me after Thy will. You are King!” 

God doesn’t just want apart of your heart and life. God wants ALL of you? We tend to give God what is left, we call what is left, "leftovers" don't give God left overs.

Are you willing to say, “God, mold me and make me after Thy will”?  What if God told you to sell your house and give it to missions?  What if God said, “I want you as a missionary in Iraq?” Are you willing?  Only prayer that acknowledges God’s sovereignty will be instrumental in revival.

Prayer That Remembers God’s Mercy

Don’t be so angry with us, Lord.
    Please don’t remember our sins forever.
Look at us, we pray,
    and see that we are all your people.

Oh Israel! After all your many deliverances in both Egypt and the wilderness, and God’s protection from your enemies in your new homeland, you willfully and wickedly go after gods carved from stone, wood and formed from gold.  When you think of the ALL the sins of our nation—and of God’s people, the church—the word “fury” is appropriate. God has every right to furious with us.  As His people we have turned away to the IDOLS which could easily be discribed as the IDEALS of our nation.  We need to have a heart that seeks after God.

Isaiah  pleads, “O God, O God, have mercy.  Don’t keep your anger forever.  Lord, we need You. We want You. We must have You.” God wants to extend mercy. He doesn’t hold a grudge. God had much rather forgive sin than punish sin. But God cannot put away our sin by forgiving it unless we put it away by forsaking it. That is what repentance is. The problem with so many of our prayers is we’re not willing to repent. We want God’s mercy, but we seek no repentance. And prayer without repentance is a religious joke, a mockery toward a holy and righteous God.

Prayer That Respects God’s Glory

10 Your holy cities are destroyed.

    Zion is a wilderness;
    yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin.
11 The holy and beautiful Temple
    where our ancestors praised you
has been burned down,
    and all the things of beauty are destroyed.
12 After all this, Lord, must you still refuse to help us?
           Will you continue to be silent and punish us?
 
One of the saddest sights to see is a church that is laid to waste. Think for a moment of a church you may know that has been laid to waste because of some discourse within its walls.  Our enemy "Satan" has launched a full frontal attack against God's people in order to distract them and cause them to focus their attention on themselves and each other.  Satan knows if he can rob you of the joy God has given you then he can destroy the purpose of church and the people that make up the body of Christ.  Be aware of the enemy and his schemes.  For he truly is a roaming lion seeking whom he may devour. 
As God's people we must refocus our attention, passion, love and ambishion towards  God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.  We need God to revive us once again. The church needs revival, our nation needs to see and experience revival.  And it starts by admitting to yourself that you need revival.
 
In this prayer that Isaiah prayed is simply saying...
“O God, we remember the glory. We remember when You spoke to us from Your sacred temple. Our fathers have told us about it. What a glorious time it was!  O God, we want Your glory again! O God, do it again! O God, show thy face, show thy glory!”  

That’s what revival is. It is when God comes down. Don’t you want to see that?  
Listen, open your ears and your heart my brothers and sisters in Christ, if you will seek God, I’m telling you that God wants to come down.  He is waiting, leaning over the battlements of heaven.  We don’t have to persuade God to send revival—only ask Him to do so. 

Do you respect God’s sovereignty?  
Do you want God’s glory?  
Ask yourself, “What does God want me to do?”

Get right with God. Band together and pray. Put yourself at God’s disposal. This is the message of Isaiah 64. Cry out to God with a repentant heart seeking nothing but His will for your life.  Let His will become your will.  Truly God wants to send us revival but it takes the repentant heart of God's people before God will COME DOWN in ALL HIS GLORY!

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