Monthly Archives: August 2020

THE VITAL CONNECTION BETWEEN BROKENNESS AND REVIVAL

Many Christians today have realized that we desperately need revival. Whether it’s an end times revival (as I wrote about in my last post) or a revival to get the country back to God so we can glorify Him as we proceed into the future, it is our only hope. I’ve written quite extensively on revival in the last twenty years, as God has placed a heavy burden for this deep in my heart. I’ve also written extensively on the crucial importance of spiritual brokenness (which includes surrender and dying to self) in every follower of Jesus.

And there is a vital link between brokenness and revival. In fact, without spiritual brokenness there cannot be revival. Let me explain.

Brokenness is our deep understanding that we, in and of ourselves, are helpless without God. When left to ourselves, we are a mess and are far from glorifying Him. Brokenness is when we realize this, hate our sin and our mediocre walk with God, surrender control of our lives to His Lordship, and die to self (the old nature that is worldly and not glorifying to God). Brokenness is when we, in an act of our will and in total desperation, abandon all rights to ourselves to God and let Him be in control. Simply put, without spiritual brokenness, we cannot truly glorify God the way He deserves. To be sure, brokenness is a life time journey that needs to be cultivated on an ongoing basis, but the initial decision to make this a permanent part of our lives is one that we all need to make. (author’s note: see detailed discussions on brokenness in the posts “The Wholeness of Brokenness” and “Lord Break Me – A Bold and Daring Prayer”; on surrender in the posts “Its All About Surrender” and “Signing the Blank Contract”; and on dying to self in the posts “Dying to Self – the Key to Life” and “The Three Words that Change Everything”).

How, then, does brokenness tie into revival? Revival, which brings complacent, lukewarm, and/or backslidden Christians back to life, comes only when God’s people see their sin, take responsibility for it, repent from the depths of their souls, and cry out to God for forgiveness and mercy. It is humbling ourselves before our holy God and doing whatever is necessary to regain a deep, intimate relationship with Him. It is performing radical surgery in our lives – getting rid of anything and everything that doesn’t bring Him glory. It is realizing just how much we need Him and just how much we want Him. It is a dying to self because you know your old self will never glorify Him and never grow into deep intimacy with Him. It is surrendering to Him because you know that only He can give you the strength and power to live in His will for His glory.

Brokenness is understanding with our minds that we need Him above everything else in life, and desiring with our heart that we want Him above everything else in life. It is a deep rooted humility that knows that you have nothing to offer Him but your brokenness, and coming to Him in total dependency in everything in your life.

A broken spirit is the one God will revive.

And when God revives a broken Christian, the results are incredible – a renewed love for and devotion to Him; a God empowered life that hungers and thirsts for holiness because he/she understands that without holiness it is impossible to glorify him; a life that is a shining light that bears much fruit for the Kingdom of God in this dark world; and a life that exhibits peace, joy, hope, and purpose because he/she abides in the glorious presence of God.

But, it all starts with brokenness. Allow me to say it again – without spiritual brokenness there can be no revival.

Many today quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 when discussing revival: “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”. If you look closely, this verse is all about brokenness – “humble themselves” (in deep acknowledge of their sin), “seek my face” (surrender totally to His Lordship), “turn from their wicked ways” (die to self by repenting of their sin and doing radical surgery to cut out anything that is not pleasing to God). Yes, many people quote this verse, but I wonder how many are really willing to be broken by actually doing what it says.

My friends, our nation needs revival. The church in America needs revival. I need revival. Do you? Are you willing to come to Him in total brokenness so that He can bring a glorious revival in your life?

There can be no revival without spiritual brokenness… in me…and in you.

ARE THESE THE LAST DAYS FOR AMERICA?

Our country, and the world, is in turmoil – a global pandemic, governments exerting almost dictatorial powers in the name of protecting its citizens from the pandemic, economic disaster, hard working people losing their businesses and jobs in record numbers, racial unrest, anarchists roaming city streets burning and looting at will as they attempt to overthrow the very foundations on which our country was founded upon, and a corrupt, dysfunctional government more concerned about their political power than the country or their constituents. People look around with a sense of fear, dread, and anxiousness, and wonder what the future holds.

Are we living in the last days? Is Jesus coming back soon ?

It is very important to keep in mind that the Bible very clearly states that no one knows the day or the hour when Jesus will rapture His church, which will usher in the events of the end times. In what is referred to as the the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25) Jesus taught about the end times and the signs that would accompany them. In Matthew 24:36 Jesus said:  “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”, and He said this in Matthew 25:13: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”. Thus, all of those who set dates for the second coming of Jesus are dangerously overstepping Jesus’ words. Jesus did, however, in the same Olivet Discourse, tell His disciples, and, by extension all of those who would be His followers throughout the ages, to be watching for the signs that would precede His second coming and to be ready (Matthew 24:33, 42-44, 25:13).

The signs that will precede the end times are are found in many places in the Bible (the books of Daniel, Matthew, Revelation, etc). To be sure, every generation since Jesus’ ascension thought that He was coming back in their days. But, obviously, He didn’t. However, at no other time in human history have events and circumstances that the Bible says characterize the end times lined up so remarkably as they do today.

Are we living in the last days? Only God knows, but, to bring it a little closer to home, are these the last days of the United States? As I study what the Bible teaches about the end times, there is never a mention of any nation from the west. Nations from the east, north, and south are mentioned in the passages about the end times (Ezekiel 38:1-6, Daniel 11:40-42, Revelation 16:22) but never one from the west. Why is this? I believe it is because the western world deteriorates into irrelevance and self destructs before the events of the last days start to unfold.

Look at western Europe, it is virtually irrelevant in the world as it has crumbled spiritually and morally. Canada has never been considered a world power, but they, too, have crumbled spiritually and morally just like western Europe. And the United States? We are doing our best to follow their path into oblivion. Yes, the U.S. is still the most powerful country on earth, but our brazen rebellion against God is sucking the very life out of our nation. I believe that America has tested God’s patience for too long and has crossed the line in its wickedness against God. And there’s no going back.

Just take a look at the state of our country. Abortion has taken the lives of over 61 million human beings, homosexuality is now accepted as mainstream, the sacredness of the marriage covenant as God designed it has been disgraced to include the legalization of gay marriage, casual sex (the “hook up” generation) has replaced God’s design for sex as being between one man and one woman in the context of the marriage covenant, gender is now based on the feelings of individuals and can be “changed” at will, prayer and any mention of Jesus has been banned from schools, right has become wrong and wrong has become right as political correctness has replaced God’s moral absolute laws, and the church has played the harlot with the world and become just like it. Do you think we have crossed the line?

Is there hope for America? I’m reminded of the Biblical account of King Manasseh’s reign over Judah, which, at 55 years, was the longest reign of any of the kings of Israel. He was so wicked and he led the nation into such deep apostacy that all hope was gone. Even though he repented at the end of his life (2 Chronicles 33:10-20) it was too late. His wickedness was so great that God was going to bring judgment on Judah through the nation of Babylon, which destroyed Jerusalem, slaughtered myriads of Jews, and took the rest captive back to Babylon. Even though his grandson, Josiah brought about a remarkable revival in Judah before Babylon conquered it (2 Chronicles 34-35), it was too late. Four times the Bible says that God was bringing judgment on the nation because of the sins of Manasseh (2 Kings 21:11-13, 23:26, 24:3-4; Jeremiah 15:4) in spite of his repentance and Josiah’s revival. The wickedness of Manasseh had been that vile, and God’s incredible patience ran out. America, are you paying attention?

Has the United States, like Judah under Manasseh, crossed the line of wickedness to the point of no return? Has God’s patience with us ran out? I am definitely not a prophet, but I believe so. And if so, we shouldn’t be surprised at the chaos that we are seeing in our nation, which is the result of our thumbing our nose at God for too long. And thus, just as the Bible prophecies, there will be no longer a power from the west in the end times events. Just how God will bring judgment on our nation is unknown, but it will be perfectly justified.

If indeed we are living in our nations waning days, what, then, do we do? Just curl up in the fetal position in fear and just hope that the rapture happens soon? Absolutely not! We need to be praying fervently for an end time revival. As God used King Josiah to bring about a revival in Judah before His certain judgment came, He can use us to bring one more revival to America before His judgment falls on our nation. This is our prayer, that God would hear our cries of repentance for the sins of our nation, the sins of the church, and our own sins, and send revival to His church in America. A revived church will glorify our awesome God and can be powerfully used by Him to bring many lost people to salvation before Jesus comes back for His church. In the midst of the growing darkness, an end time revival, a Third Great Awakening would be awesome!

As I said, my friends, I’m definitely not a prophet, and I dare not say “Thus says the Lord”, but these are the things I see as I read Scripture and observe the condition of our nation. I challenge you to study the biblical teachings about the end times and build a biblical theology of eschatology (the theology of the end times).

Finally, will you pray with me that God would send a powerful revival in our days?