Category Archives: Revival

WILL YOU BE PART OF THE REMNANT?

   

Leading up to November 6, Christian leaders urged believers to fast and pray for the elections.  While we must be involved in the political process by voting with a biblical worldview and praying for our civil leaders, government is not the answer to our crumbling society. Never has been. Never will be.

If we want to see a transformed culture we must concentrate our energies on praying for a revived church. God is the answer, and as we can see throughout history, He uses His church as an instrument of change in society.

However, the church needs revival. Big time.  We’ve been too busy remaking the church into something Jesus never intended – shallow, compromised, spineless, and unholy.  A revived church is passionate, knowledgeable, bold, fearless, uncompromising, and loving.  A revived church is saturated with the Holy Spirit, sold out to Jesus, and empowered to build the Kingdom of God.

Will we finally wake up and start crying out to God in repentance for our own sins and the sins of our nation?  Church, God is calling us back. He desires to use us, and revival is our only hope.  We need a third Great Awakening.

In Ezekiel 22:30, as God is pronouncing judgment on the nation of Israel He said: “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land so I would not destroy it, but I found no one“. What a sad commentary on the people of Israel, but I wonder if God is searching for a remnant in His church today who are totally sold out to Him and are willing to stand in the gap and cry out fervently and passionately for revival.

Oh church, we desperately need a remnant, a group of passionate followers of Jesus who are tired of the status quo, whose hearts burn to see His glory fill this land, and who long to see Him high and lifted up.

But where is the remnant?

One of the saddest portions of Scripture is found in Ezekiel 10 where God’s glory (His presence) leaves the temple in Jerusalem. He goes from the Holy of Holies to the threshold, then from the threshold to the east gate, and finally it is implied that He left the east gate and returned to heaven. The saddest part is that the Israelites were so steeped in sin that they didn’t even know God’s presence left. And without His presence, they were doomed.

Is God’s glory (i.e. His presence) leaving His church in America right now?  Have we become so numb to our sin and so complacent in our Christian walk that we don’t notice his presence departing?

Another verse in Ezekiel is just as sobering as the ones mentioned above. In chapter 9, as God is dispatching an angel to execute judgment on Jerusalem, He gives the angel this command in verse 4: “...Begin at My sanctuary“. The Temple, where His presence was and where His people came to offer sacrifices in worship had become so sinful and cold that His judgment had to begin there. Do you see the parallel? If God brings judgment on America, He will need to start in His church. We have lost our first love and have compromised our holiness with the world.

My friends, our wonderful God loves us. We are His bride, but we have gone after other lovers. We need to present ourselves to our Groom as His chaste, holy, devoted bride. We often say that we are waiting on God to do a work in our midst. But is God waiting on us? Is He waiting for a remnant to fall in love with Him and to stand in the gap for revival?

Church, we are at a crossroads. Will we be the Nineveh in the book of Jonah that heeded God’s call to repent and were spared judgment, or will be the Nineveh 100 years later in the book of Nahum that did not repent and seek after God, and was destroyed?

Is it too late? Perhaps not. But we need a remnant who will stand in the gap and seek His face. A remnant who will cry out to Him for revival. Will you be part of the remnant who God stops His search at because He found the one who is willing to stand strong for truth, who will not compromise no matter what the cost, and who will stand in the gap?

Will you be part of the remnant? Which Nineveh will His church be?

…BUT NOT BAD ENOUGH


So many Christians say they want more of God in their lives. However, this is incorrect thinking. Why? Because when we repented of our sins and trusted in Jesus as Savior, we got all of Him – not half, not three quarters, not ninety-nine percent. The Holy Spirit indwelt us and now we walk this planet with God the Holy Spirit residing in us. No, we don’t need to get more of God, what we need is to give God more of us. That’s what is missing in the lives of most Christians, the surrender of ourselves to Him. You see, if we want to live in intimacy with Him and in the daily reality of His presence, we have to give Him more of ourselves, and more of ourselves, and more of ourselves, until we give Him ALL of ourselves.

Many say “Yes, this is what I want”. But, unfortunately, they don’t want it bad enough. They don’t discipline themselves to do what is necessary to live in this reality, and they fight surrendering themselves totally to Him.

For example, many believers want to know the Bible and grasp a firm understanding of God and His ways, but not bad enough. Their Bibles sit on their night stands, basically unread. Additionally, busyness and indifference keep them from Bible study, Sunday school, and the worship service.  The result? They go through life as shallow Christians, ignorant of God’s Word, which leads to a shallow, lukewarm relationship with Him.  

Also, most believers want to have a powerful prayer life, but not bad enough. Days go by with just a few, if any, quick “Facebook type” prayers rushed as we barrel like out of control freight trains through life. Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we exercise because it is the key that unlocks intimacy with God, and it is the determining factor for everything we do in life, from ministry to our personal lives. Sadly, prayer meetings are so sparsely attended one would think that Christians don’t believe in prayer. God isn’t impressed with our Facebook prayers – those that are rushed, mechanical, and passionless. God wants us to spend time with Him, and He waits for us to stop for a little while each day and talk to Him. He waits for us…and waits,,,and waits. And we don’t show up. How would you feel if the one you love didn’t make time to talk to you? That’s exactly how God feels. Again, we want to have a dynamic prayer life, but not bad enough to take the steps necessary to have one.

Finally, virtually all followers of Jesus would agree that our country is headed in the wrong direction morally and spiritually, and that we desperately want to see a powerful move of God in revival. But not bad enough. We look out “there”, and say that “they” need revival while being blind to the fact that each one of us needs revival too. We want the goodies of revival – full churches, powerful worship, anointed preaching, passionate prayer, many being saved, society transformed – but we don’t want to pay the price that is necessary for revival to come. Revival is painful, as we must search our own hearts and come to grips with our own sin, humbly fall on our faces before our Holy God, and repent. We must become transparent and real, and surrender our lives to Him. We must be willing to forsake anything, absolutely anything, that is not honoring to Him. Revival comes with much prayer, authentic humility, much discomfort as we wrestle with God over those thing in our lives that must go, and with deep repentance. Alas, how many Christians are really serious about revival? We want it, but not bad enough.

My friends, you and I must ask ourselves this question – a profound question that will reveal the true condition of our hearts – do I want intimacy with God and His manifest presence in my life so much that I will clear a certain time slot on my calendar every day to spend time with Him in prayer and in His Word? Do I want revival bad enough that I will fervently pray for it, and ask God to start the revival with me – that He will convict me of those things in my life that He disapproves of? Do I want revival bad enough to respond in deep repentance, absolute surrender, and do radical surgery to get rid of anything He asks me to?

What is missing in most Christian’s lives is a deep hunger for, and a passionate pursuit of intimacy with our incredible God. In this crazy, fast-paced, high tech world we live in we get too distracted by “other things”, even if these “other things” are not bad in and of themselves. We too often choose the lesser, even the good,  instead of the best. And we miss out on the reality for which we were created – to enjoy a deep intimate relationship with God and to be used by Him for His glory.

Do you and I want the best? Will we give more of ourselves to God until we give Him all of us? Are we willing to whatever it takes to have this become a reality in our lives? Do you and I want Him bad enough?

IT’S NOT ABOUT US

A few decades ago, Christianity found itself at a fork in the road that offered two optional paths – one option was down the path called DIscipleship Way and the other down the path called Self Avenue. Self Avenue was a broad road with an easy, flat grade, and it looked wonderful – health, wealth, fulfillment, good times, and being the center of attention. Discipleship Way, on the other hand was a narrow road with steep mountains to climb, and it didn’t look very appealing – dying to self, surrender, holiness, and brokenness.

So, because the majority of the church was marinated in secular culture, it chose Self Avenue. However, the years have proven that, even though this path looked fabulous to the eyes, it brought spiritual sickness and decay to the church. For those few, however, who refused to be duped by the empty promises of Self Avenue and instead chose Discipleship Way, they found that, even though the going was tough at times, this road led to everything they had ever dreamed of – deep intimacy with God, real purpose in life, and living in the holy, awesome presence of the King.

Unfortunately, the majority who chose Self Avenue were blinded to its harmful effects and kept on barreling down its path. The result? Self has replaced Jesus as the center of the Christian life, which is evidenced in many ways: sermons with “self” as the main theme; Christian book stores filled with books about “self”(how to be a good leader, how to fulfill your dreams, how to be successful, how to unleash your full potential, how to live your best life now, etc); worship services centered around “self” and our senses (major productions with the latest in multi media gadgets, music that entertain instead of bringing us with a sense of awe to the throne of God, etc); and shallow Christians who are literally clueless about the Bible and theology.

The result? We’ve become “self” centered, “self” reliant, “self” sufficient, “self” righteous, and “self” pleasing.

We’ve forgotten that life has never been, is not now, and will never be, about us. It is about Jesus. He is the center of all life. He is why we go to church. He is the one who deserves our worship. He is to be at the top of our priority list.

We’ve lost sight of the fact that it is in dying to  “self” that we truly find life. The apostle Paul said in Colossians 3:3: “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God”. And in Romans 6, Paul gives the very clear truth that, positionally, we died with Jesus to our old self and now we have to consider “self” dead.

Many people ask: “what is ‘self’ “?  Self is that part of me that wants to be God. It is that part of me that wants to be in charge of my life, that seeks fulfillment and meaning in life apart from God. It is the worldly part of me that desires pleasure, ease, and having everything go just the way I want it. It is me without God’s presence.

Far too many Christians have taken Self Avenue and replaced Jesus with “self”, and the results are frightening. The church has become powerless and insignificant in our culture.  The most powerful entity on the planet, the church of Jesus Christ, has lost its way because we have bowed the knee to “self”.

Is the church in a hopeless situation? No! There is hope. But our hope, our only hope, is in an authentic move of God in His church, a move of God in revival. Only when we fall on our faces before Him and repent of our idolatry of worshiping “self” and turn back to the One who really is to be Lord of our lives will the church again be filled with His presence and power, and be used by Him to transform our society. The church must exit Self Avenue and merge onto on Discipleship Way.

My friends, it’s not about us! It’s about Jesus. A life lived for “self” is, at best, shallow, empty, and void of meaning. A life lived for Jesus, however, is a life lived to the utmost, and the pinnacle of human experience because nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare to living in a deep intimacy with Him. Die to self, gives the reigns of your life to Him, and find real life!!

REPENTANCE: RENDING OUR HEARTS BEFORE GOD

Repentance is a key characteristic of a follower of Jesus. In salvation we repent of our sins and receive Jesus as Savior. However, our repentance isn’t over with salvation. Believers in Jesus must be life long repenters because, even though we are saved by the blood of Jesus, we are not perfect and still sin. In discipleship we repent because we are already saved, and it’s our heart’s desire to keep our close intimacy with God and to experience His manifest presence in our lives. Repentance for a believer is crucial as we journey on the road of holiness, and as we live our lives for His glory.

Repentance, which means to change one’s mind, goes deeper than confession. In confession, (which literally means “to say the same word”), we agree with God that our sins are contrary to His moral standard of holiness. But we must not stop there. After confessing our sins, we must turn away from them (i.e.: repent), resolving that, with God’s help, we will not fall into them again. Repentance, simply put, means that I hate my sins, not because I got caught or because of the consequences I might have to face because of them, but because they grieve the heart of my heavenly Father. And, very importantly, repentance is seen by changed behavior. A truly repentant heart is intentional in doing whatever is necessary not to repeat the sin. It is a change of mind and a change of heart.

Repentance is a key concept taught throughout Scripture. The message of the Old Testament prophets was a call to Israel and the surrounding nations to repent of their evil deeds or God’s judgment would surely come. John the Baptist’s message to the people was one of repentance in preparation of the coming Messiah. The first words Jesus spoke as He began His ministry was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). In response to Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, his audience asked what they needed to do to be saved, and his response was “repent…”. Indeed, repentance is the key to the heart of God because it reveals a humble, broken heart. In David’s great Psalm of repentance, Psalm 51, he said in verses 16 and 17:”For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise”. This is a powerful picture of.repentance.
 
And repentance is crucial in revival. If we are to see God rend the heaven and come down in revival (see my previous post), We, His church, must fall on our faces and repent – first of our own sins, and then of the sins of our nation. We must not just talk about how bad things are in our country and how much we need revival. We must act, and that action starts with repentance. The prophet Joel cried out to the Israelites: “And rend your hearts and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God…”. (Joel 2:12-13). What a timely message for today! We must rend our hearts (repent) and forget the lip service of shallow religion. We need to get serious and humble ourselves before our holy God in transparency, humility and desperation, and cry out to Him for mercy.

A repentant heart doesn’t look at others and think how much “they” need to repent and how much “they” need revival. The truly repentant person looks at his or her own heart and realizes how desperate they are in need of repentance and revival.  Rending our hearts in true repentance reveals a brokenness that God honors: “For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”  Isaiah 57:15.

Do you see, my friends, God responds to the brokenness of repentance. America needs revival desperately. And although revival is a sovereign work of God, history reveals that He responds to the urgent prayers of His people when they come to Him in brokenness, and rend their hearts in deep repentance. “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 will forgive their sin and will heal their land:  2 Chronicles 7:14.

If God is to rend the heavens and come down one more time, we must first rend our hearts in humble repentance. Will you join me in this?

LORD, REND THE HEAVENS AND COME DOWN, ONE MORE TIME

     America seems to be on the precipice of judgement. We are turning our backs on the biblical principles that we were founded on and have embraced a life style that is diametrically opposed to God’s standard of holiness..
     We have slaughtered over fifty million human beings in their mother’s wombs and justify it as a women’s right to choose. We are now doing the same heinous crime of fetal murder to frozen embryos under the guise of scientific advancement for medical cures. We are redefining God’s standard for marriage – a life long covenant between one man and one woman – and calling it progressive thinking and tolerance. The filth of pornography invades every avenue of media. Marriage and family structures are in shambles. We no longer hold honesty, humility, and integrity as attributes to be desired. And we’ve replaced God with “self”, and worship at our thrones of pleasure and self centeredness.
     And the church, which is the most powerful entity on the planet because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, is powerless to stop this onslaught. Why? Because we have forsaken our First Love and have lusted after the world and pursued its ways. Instead of falling on our faces in humility and crying out to God in repentance for our own sins and the sins of our nation, we, the church, are busy being “emergent”, thinking “outside the box”, and trying to be “cool” so the world will like us. Instead of deep, passionate followers of Jesus, we have become shallow, lukewarm, and passionless. .
     We need revival! And it must start in the church of Jesus Christ. Only a revived church can become the beacon of light that will lead people out of the darkness of evil that has engulfed our nation and into the light of truth that is only found in Jesus. He is our only hope. 
     There have been three such times of revival in America’s history – the First Great Awakening  from 1734 to 1760, the Second Great Awakening from 1790 to 1840, and the Great Prayer Revival from 1857 to 1858. God has done it before, not only in America but in many places around the world, and He can do it again. However, we must understand that while revival is a sovereign act of God, prayer is the key.  All the great revivals in the past have been birthed in prayer. 
     It’s time for the church, the bride of Christ, to awaken from its slumber and indifference, return to its First Love, and cry out to God in the words of Isaiah 64:1: “Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down…”. It will take humility, deep repentance, brokenness, transparency, and total surrender to Him, but it is the only way. A broken, humble heart is the heart God revives. And it must start with me. It’s so easy to see the need for revival in others, but it has to start in my heart, and yours. Our comparison is not with others, it is with the biblical holiness God has set as the standard for His people. And, my friends, we all fall short of that. Indeed, revival must start in each heart of God’s people, beginning with me.
     What would a revived church look like? A revived church would be filled with followers of Jesus who have a passion for Him, who are hungry and thirsty to know Him deeper through His word, who are fervent prayer warriors, who worship Him genuinely from the heart, who crave holiness, who are on the journey of absolute surrender to Him, who are sold out bond slaves to Him, whose love for Him compels them to share the gospel with others, and whose main goal in life is to see Him high and lifted up. A revived church, a church blazing with the power of the Holy Spirit, could be used by God to transform our culture from the inside out. As has been recorded in revivals of the past, when God visits the church in revival, the impact of the church on society is enormous – people get saved, crime goes down, fractured marriages are made whole, strained relationships are restored, social injustices are made right, and vices are stopped immediately. In short, the miraculous happens. When our focus is on the Person of revival (Jesus), then the results of revival will follow.  
     God has done it before, and He can do it again. Is there still hope for America? I believe there is, but only in a powerful move of God in revival. Will you join me in crying out to God “Lord, rend the heavens and come down, ONE MORE TIME!!!!

HAVING A CALEB SPIRIT

When God delivered the Israelites from captivity in Egypt, they were to make their home in the Promised Land – the land filled with “milk and honey”. This was to fulfill God’s promise to Abram (later to be known as Abraham) that this piece of land would belong to his descendants. When the Israelites arrived at the border of the Promised Land, God told Moses to send out twelve spies to scope it out. Upon their return, the twelve reported how bountiful the land was, but also reported that the land was filled with fortified cities and fierce warriors, even warriors from a race of giants. Ten of the spies said that the Israelites shouldn’t enter the Promised Land because of the opposition that they would encounter. However, the two other spies, Joshua and Caleb, disagreed with the ten and stood firm on God’s promise that He would give them the land. The Israelites agreed with the ten spies and were violently opposed to Joshua and Caleb, so much so that they wanted to stone them. However, Joshua and Caleb would not bend to the popular opinion of the people. God was angry with the Israelites because of their disobedience and lack of faith and, as punishment for their rebellion against Him, had them wander in the wilderness for forty years until all the adults who doubted Him died off. Of that generation, only Joshua and Caleb would enter the Promised Land. 

In Numbers 14:24, God said this about Caleb: “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and has followed me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it”.  The word “different” comes from the root word which means to loiter, or to be behind, which tells us that Caleb was totally devoted to God and followed Him with all his heart. He would not compromise what he knew to be true no matter what others said and no matter how unpopular it was. Caleb was sold out to God.

How we need Christians today who have a “Caleb spirit”!  Those who will stand for the Lord and not fold to popular opinion.  Those who refuse to be politically correct by compromising God’s holy standards. Those who aren’t concerned about man’s approval or about being popular with others, but are only concerned with bringing glory to God.

Those with a “Caleb Spirit” have a firm grasp of the Bible, which has led to an deep, intimate relationship with God. They have a tenacious faith and an unshakable trust in Him. Oh, they’re not perfect or super saints, but they are sold out to Jesus, surrendered to Him and have chosen to be His bond slaves.

As we look at our current culture, we need followers of Jesus who have a “Caleb Spirit’ now more than ever. We are sliding into the abyss of immorality at the speed of light. Biblical Christianity is mocked and is being ousted from the fabric of society. Churches have compromised holiness, solid theology, and, discipleship for what is easy, expedient, and popular. And the results are evident – a world in confusion, chaos, and turmoil.

Will you be a Caleb in our culture? A voice that is strong, clear, and fearless for Jesus? Will you draw a line in the sand and make a covenant with God that you refuse to compromise the truth? Caleb’s life challenges us all to be more concerned with God’s glory and His approval than with our popularity and the world’s approval.  Caleb stood up to the popular opinion of the day and would not back down, even if it meant being stoned to death. Will you be like him, being fearless for the truth no matter what?

IF JESUS WERE TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN AMERICA

In Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, Jesus wrote letters to seven churches in the province of Asia. Two of the churches received encouraging letters, but in each of the letters to the other five churches Jesus issued a severe reprimand for their spiritual condition and a pointed warning to either repent or reap the consequences for their actions. I wonder, if Jesus were to write a letter similar to those found in Revelation 2 and 3 to the church in America in 2011 what would He say? Would it be something like this… 

“To the angel of the church in America write. . .


The holy almighty sovereign One, the King of kings and Lord of lords says this: ‘I know your deeds. ‘You have built impressive buildings that include the latest technology. You have programs for every conceivable type of person, and you are culturally relevant in every way possible. But I have this against you — you have forgotten that church is really about Me.


You have replaced spirit-led worship with well-staged entertainment so the congregation simply sits back and watches the ‘show’ instead of actively worshiping Me.


You have replaced uncompromised, biblically-based sermons with non-threatening, theologically light, feel-good motivational speeches that are focused on yourselves rather than on Me.


You have traded deep, probing Bible studies for the latest fad on the best-seller list.

In order not to offend anyone, you have neglected to teach theology and doctrine, and have failed to teach that discipleship includes absolute surrender, spiritual brokenness, dying to self, holiness, and unquestioned allegiance to Me.


You have forgotten that prayer is the key to my heart, and instead of seeking My face for guidance and direction you have become self-reliant and self-sufficient.


‘You have allowed the culture to influence your way of thinking so that you look, think, and act no different than the world. Divorce, viewing pornography, and sex outside of marriage are as prevalent within the walls of the church as outside of it. 

You are My beloved bride, but you have gone after other lovers — popularity, numbers and ‘success’. In your quest to be culturally relevant, you have become spiritually irreverent. You have become so politically correct that you have the world’s approval but not Mine. You have played a harlot with the world and have broken your covenant of love and loyalty to me.


The results are disastrous. America is falling apart morally, and you, My church, are powerless to change its course. Instead of falling on your faces before Me in humble repentance and crying out for revival, you are too occupied with being ’emergent’, ‘seeker sensitive’, ‘relevant’, and ‘thinking outside the box’.


Repent! I say it again, repent!


Humble yourselves before Me, and return to Me. Make Me the object of your devotion. Seek My approval. Surrender totally to Me. Cleanse yourself of the sins of compromise, half-heartedness and self-sufficiency.


Die to self so that I may live in you and use you to turn your society away from destruction and toward the truth and the peace that is found only in Me. Oh, My bride, come back to Me. I love you.


He who has ears to hear, let him hear what I say to the church in America.'”

OUR MOST URGENT NEED IN 2010

In looking at the condition of our country as we enter 2010 we see lots of needs. The terrorist threat looms ominously over us which threatens our national security. The economy is still limping along on very weak legs. The health insurance reform bills that were passed in the Senate and the House have some very suspect provisions in them. The illegal immigration issue still needs to be addressed. And the “politically correct” philosophy that dominates our culture is threatening the religious freedom that is woven strongly into the fabric of our rights as Americans.

All of these are critical issues that must be addressed. However, there is another need that far outdistances these, and which is absolutely critical to the survival of our country.  What is it? The desperate need of a revival in our land. As we see the deteriorating morality that is so prevalent around us, it is clear that nothing short of a powerful move of God in our midst will save us.

We have asked God to leave almost every facet of society, and He has left. Make no mistake about it, God will leave where He is not wanted, and the results of not having His presence are devastating. All we have to do is look around . We desperately need God’s presence now more than ever.

As I wrote in a previous blog, this revival must start in the church. The church of Jesus Christ, which is the most powerful entity on planet earth, has become fat with the world’s ways. We have saturated ourselves in the “cult of self” and have become so “self” sufficient, so “self” reliant, so “self” righteous, and so “self” centered that we have become powerless to impact our culture for Jesus. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to blaze in our hearts again so that we live uncompromised, emboldened, fearless, and passionate lives for our awesome Savior. We need a return to authentic biblical holiness and unashamed loyalty to our King. We must desire above all things an intimate relationship with our Jesus. Revival, in short, is God’s people falling in love with him all over again.

Is it still possible for God to send revival our way, or have we gone too far and crossed the line of hopelessness? I believe that we can still see a powerful, transformational move of God in our midst. But what will it take? We, God’s church, the bride of Christ, must humbly fall on our faces in deep repentance for our own sins and the sins of our nation. We must be willing to forsake everything that goes against biblical holiness and seek His face in every aspect of life. We must be hungry for Him and His glory. We must earnestly and fervently pray for Him to move in our midst. We must come to the point in our lives where we see the condition of our hearts in the light of His holiness and be willing to do anything, and give up anything, in order to leave our superficial, mediocre spirituality for a deep, passionate intimacy with Him. In short, we must become serious about revival.

America needs revival, which must start in the church. But, and this is crucial in understanding and desiring revival, it must start with me. I need revival big time. As I pray for God to come down and move in our midst, I need to draw a circle around myself and ask God to start the revival within this circle. Are you willing to join me with a sense of urgency in fervently praying for God to send revival, beginning with you and me? Will you be willing to do whatever it takes to see God move in our midst? Will you humbly fall on your face before Him in deep repentance and die to self in total surrender to Him? Oh, that the Lord would sweep across this land in 2010.

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence”  Isaiah 64:1
“Will You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?”   Psalm 85:6

THE CHURCH NEEDS REVIVAL


Most Christians in America would agree that we need a revival in our country. We are free falling into the abyss of immorality at break neck speed. Abortion, homosexuality, premarital and extra martial sex, broken homes, cheating, lying, and a general lack of ethics are rampant. And, to top it off, we are ousting God from many facets of our society.  Nothing short of a powerful move of the Holy Spirit
across this nation can save us from seeming destruction.

Yes, most Christians would agree that we need a revival “out there” (i.e. outside the walls of the church).  However, if we are to experience an authentic move of God in revival it will, and must, start within the walls of the church.  To revive means to bring back to life, to bring back to a healthy, vital state, thus assuming that there was life to begin with. The church of Jesus Christ has life – the indwelling Holy Spirit – thus, revival must bring the church back to life. Revival starts within the walls of the church.

The church,which is the bride of Christ, has played the harlot with the world and gone after lovers – popularity, relevance, acceptance by the world, self gratification, and entertainment.  We have adopted the ways of the world, and the results are obvious: we have become powerless to impact our culture with the gospel, being basically ignored by our culture as insignificant, and appearing just like the world. When divorce, premarital sex, lying, addiction to pornography, and materialism are as prevalent within the church as outside of it, there is a problem!

How has this happened?  In our desire to be “culturally relevant” we have become spiritually irreverent.  We have replaced Spirit led worship with a well oiled “show” that the congregation sits back and watches instead of becoming engaged in worship of our incredible God. Instead of biblically based, theologically sound sermons we tickle the ears of the people with stories that are centered on “self”.  We have, in essence, entertained ourselves and storied ourselves to death.  One of the current buzz word today is for churches to think “outside the box”.  Instead of thinking “outside the box”, why don’t we go back to thinking “inside the Book“?  The Bible, when it is preached and taught with the anointing of the Holy Spirit still has, and will always have, the power to transform lives.

The result of this worldly influence that has crept into the church is an abundance of shallow Christians. Most Christians today have no idea what they believe or why they believe it. They are an inch deep and a mile wide.  The church doesn’t  need more educated scholars, talented singers and musicians, charismatic leaders, or entertaining authors. What the church needs today is deeper Christians – those who leave the shallows of superficiality and plunge deep into our marvelous God.  Those who are not satisfied with a mediocre relationship with Jesus, but who hunger and thirst for more. Those who desire holiness above all else, and live for God’s glory.

The cult of “self’ has invaded the church which has made our awesome God seem insignificant to the world.  People are looking for answers, and when they see the church they ignore it because it looks no different then themselves. We are called to be sanctified, set apart unto God.  We have never been called to blend in with the world. We are to be different, we are to be counter-culture, we are called to be holy. 

It’s time for the bride of Christ to repent and turn back to her first love. When revival comes to the church our society will be transformed. We often think revival means people getting saved. This is a byproduct of revival. Revival is God’s people turning from their sin and falling in love with Him all over again. When this happens, we will be bold and have the anointing to witness to others, and the Holy Spirit will harvest a wealth of souls. But it starts with you and me.

Will you fall on your face before our holy God and repent of your own sin, and then the sin of the church?  Most have a mental picture of revival as being good times, abundant blessings, and exhilarating joy.  Again, these are byproducts of revival. Revival is painful…we must come to grips with our own sin and humbly repent. Painful, yes. But we must. It is our only hope.

WHAT IF…

As we see the moral decay of our country worsen, it’s easy to just shake our heads , point our fingers at the “world”, complain how evil “they” are, and then retreat into our smug little “Christian hamlets” . However, we, the church, must look at ourselves to see if we are part of the problem.

The church, in the power of the Holy Spirit, must impact our culture with the truth of Jesus. Yet, the church has become powerless and has become like a chameleon, taking on the ways of the world. The world has impacted the church instead of vice versa, and the results are disastrous.


But, what if the church caught fire for Jesus. What if …



  • Every born again believer in Jesus desired holiness instead of happiness?
  • The Bible was held as the true Word of God, and was read and obeyed daily?
  • Attendance at prayer meetings was larger than the attendance at performances by Christian music artists and comedians?
  • Sin was still called by its biblical name:  sin?
  • Christians would weep over their sin because it grieves their holy loving God, not because they got caught or because of the consequences they will have to live with?
  • The uncompromised Word of God was passionately preached from the pulpits across America instead of the wishy-washy feel good stories that are whimpered from so many pulpits today?
  • Preachers spent most of their sermon preparation time down on their knees before the Lord instead of downloading information before their computer?
  • Sermons were preached for God’s approval instead of man’s?
  • Instead of watching the clock during the sermon, people in the congregation would be earnestly listening to see what the Lord was telling them through it?
  • Bible studies were filled with people who were hungry for the Word of God?
  • The purpose of our worship services was  to focus all are attention on God rather then ourselves?
  • Christians came to church to worship instead of to be entertained?
  • We were led in worship by the Holy Spirit instead of modern technology?
  • Christians couldn’t wait to go  to church?
  • Instead of going on retreats to “get away” from the busyness of our worldly pursuits, Christians would go on advances for the kingdom of God?
  • Christians actually fell in love with Jesus?       
  • Christians were as passionate about Jesus as they were about sports, hobbies, and the stock market?
  • Christians would surrender their lives in brokenness to Jesus Christ?
What would happen? Revival in our land? Mind boggling isn’t it?  What if?