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By the mercy of God I have been a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ since my early youth. Over the years of my earthly pilgrimage I have known what it is like to climb great spiritual mountains and how it feels to fall into chasms of blackness. I have had long seasons of great Christian joy and intense moments of utter despair. For protracted periods I have enjoyed the knowledge of sins forgiven, yet on occasion have wondered if even the gracious Lord of heaven could or would pardon me.
Over the years I have learned something of the urgent necessity of a steady walk with Christ and of the frightening power of Satan in drawing me away from my deepest commitments. The years have proven how carefully the concerns of the soul must be cultivated and how easily backsliding sets in. One small disagreement with God is sufficient to halt forward spiritual progress and to enable backsliding to gain its toehold.
My observations of the spiritual struggles of the believer have not been restricted to my own experience. Having taught and preached in a great variety of places over the last four decades, I have come to realize disagreement with God is at the root of mans spiritual problems. It is with great sorrow that I recall some who once seemed to walk with Christ with both joy and enthusiasm who are now much less zealous than earlier. Can any man number the vast multitudes of persons who know all the right words, who even seem to have a form of godliness, and yet denying the power thereof? Where did all their power go? Is not disagreement with God their fundamental difficulty?
The consequence of this large scale disagreement with God is that a watching world is doubtful indeed of the validity of Christianity, for they observe that the impact of the negative witness of millions who profess to be born-again Christians, and obviously are either not Christians at all or are not practicing Christianity, is vastly greater than the impact of the positive witness of that minority of professed Christians who have been truly converted to Jesus Christ.
Only a revival of genuine Christianity can turn this tragic situation around and make the Christian Church once more a powerful force for good and for God in todays world. While the revival which is needed must be a very popular revival, sweeping millions from the kingdom of words into the kingdom of power and other millions from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, it must have its beginning in small ways and in individual lives.
And where are you in these matters? Perhaps you are a new believer just starting your Christian experience. Possibly you know but little of the wicked devices of Satan exercised against the children of God. Let me assure you, this lack of experience will not last long! The Devil has every intention of robbing you of joy and power. If he can get you to disagree with God in any matter, he has lined you up for a great fall.
Possibly you are an aged Christian who has maintained a steady walk with Christ for a long time. If so, you already know much of the mandatory nature of explicit agreement with the covenant keeping God. But are you as fully in agreement with Him as you ought to be? Is it possible that your lack of spiritual power exists because you disagree with God in some seemingly unimportant area of your life?
Maybe you are one of those Christians whose experience has always been up and down, in and out, round about, never really satisfying for any length of time, but all you have ever known. Do you realize that unbelief is at the very heart of your difficulty, for disagreement with God and unbelief are synonymous?
Full and explicit agreement with the Lord Jesus Christ is the reviving believers only choice. Agreement with the Lord in all things is the only possible guarantee of spiritual prosperity. To agree fully with Him in all things and at all times is to experience continuing reviving. To disagree with God in anything is to assure spiritual declension and the loss of those reviving graces of Jesus Christ so greatly needed in your life at this time.
According to the Bible, it is impossible to please God without faith. The faith required is both an acknowledgment of Gods existence and a heartfelt response to the realization that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Diligence in seeking God requires continual submission to the truths He reveals concerning Himself and the demands He lays upon the seeker. A rejection of either Gods revelation of Himself or of His plan for your life constitutes unbelief. This unbelief robs men and women of forgiveness of sins and leads to eternal condemnation.
We are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This faith that saves is not passive acquiescence in facts concerning Jesus but active submission to His Lordship.
To say, I believe in Jesus Christ and yet not to believe Him is tragic foolishness. If I believe in Him, I must believe in what He says. If I really believe what He says, I will do whatever He commands. If I do not do what He says, I must face His searching question Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46). What possible explanations can any person offer for such contradiction?
Jesus Christ was very dogmatic in insisting, Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I confess unto them, I never knew you, depart from Me, ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:21-23).
One of Satans greatest triumphs has been his magnificent success in getting people to believe they can be saved from hell without being saved from their sins and themselves. Multitudes are depending upon Jesus as a fire escape from eternal torment who have no conscious intention of yielding themselves to His Lordship or of walking in daily obedience to Him. They strangely suppose they can have Jesus as their Saviour while rejecting Him as their Lord. They desire to be citizens of His kingdom while rejecting His kingship.
They seek to grasp the kingdom of heaven with one hand while the other hand is hanging on to the kingdom of this world. Forgetful of Matthew 6:24 (No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye cannot serve God and mammon) they make Gospel out of nonsense and substitute the deception of Satan for the truth of God. Sadly, such persons belong to the kingdom of words rather than the kingdom of power.
Reviving believer, Jesus Christ is Lord! This must be believed! This must be yielded to! This must be acted upon! Failure here is failure everywhere!
Learning to enter into complete and explicit agreement with God in all things is the most important task the believer faces. Praising God is robbed of meaning if you disagree with Him. True worship only exists where there is harmony between the worshipped and the worshipper. Witness is only Spirit empowered and God glorifying when harmony exists between life and lip. All religious acts are deprived of spiritual significance when unbelief manifests itself in disagreement with God.
The new believer may not agree with God in all things for he may not yet know very much. He must, however, agree with all he knows. As he grows in the Christian faith, his submission to all that God is teaching him must advance with his knowledge of God and his understanding of Gods claims upon his life. It is precisely here that so many go astray. Recollections of former submission is no substitute for present submission. It is not enough that I once agreed with God, I must agree with Him now. What possible value is there in having believed when I understood little if I do not believe when I understand much? Full and explicit agreement with God in everything is the only key to the joy and power you have been craving in your Christian experience.
I have selected twelve essential realms where agreement with God must be maintained at all times. Failure here is a tragedy your soul does not need.
With the earnest hope that you will know more fully than you ever expected the power of personal revival, I invite your prayerful consideration of these twelve articles of explicit agreement between the covenant-keeping God and yourself. Read them with great care! Ponder each one carefully! Meditate upon the Scriptures suggested! Ask continually, Do I really agree with God in each line of this article?
Repent of every disagreement! Enter into total agreement with Him on everything He says! Commit yourself to diligent maintenance of these explicit articles, and the covenant keeping God will do a work of reviving in your soul so gracious and wonderful you will never cease to praise Him.
1. LORD, I agree with You concerning Your view of my life.
1. Lord, I agree that You love me and that I am the very person for whom Christ died, being the whosoever of John 3:16, and that this means I am of tremendous importance to You. I acknowledge that You have loved me with an everlasting love and that with lovingkindness You are continually drawing me (Jer. 31:3; Romans 8:35; 1 John 3:1;4:10).
2. Lord, I agree that You have a plan for my life and that in living according to that plan I will attain the greatest degree of happiness and usefulness possible (Prov. 3:5-6; Matt. 5:3-12; Phil. 2:12,13; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 13:20,21).
3. Lord, I agree that too much of my life has already passed without sufficient spiritual growth and that I must not waste any more time or opportunity (Eph. 5:14-17).
4. Lord, I agree that I may be living my very last day today and that I must wisely regard each day as it if were my last and live it solely to the praise of Your glory (Psa. 39:5; 90:10; 1 Cor. 7:29; James 4:14-17).
5. Lord, I agree that You have the right of Lordship over all my life by virtue of the fact that in the sacrificial death of Christ You purchased me and therefore all of my time, my money, my property, my business, my family, my goals, my desires, my conduct, my words and my thoughts must be under Your control (Rom. 14:8; 1 Cor. 6:19,20).
2. LORD, I agree with You concerning all my sins.
1. Lord, I agree that sin in my life has always been and is now a very real problem and that I deserve to go to hell for it (Rom. 3:9-12; 7:24; Eph. 2:1,2; Heb. 12:1).
2. Lord, I agree with You that the great wickedness of all my sin has been and is that it is against You. Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight (Psa. 51:4). How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (Gen. 39:9).
3. Lord, I agree with You that repentance from all my sin is demanded, that I must cease taking advantage of Your goodness by failing to repent (Rom. 2:4) and that I cannot know the refreshing that revival brings until this is accomplished (Acts 3:19).
a. I acknowledge that repentance is as much an attitude as it is an act.
b. I realize all known sins must be turned from in repentance.
c. I confess there are no little sins in my life that do not matter.
d. I know I must repent of even secret sins.
e. I am convinced all the roots of sin in my life must be kept grubbed out daily so that they cannot grow and produce their fruits.
4. Lord, I agree that public confession of public sin is mandatory (James 5:16) and that private confession of private sin must be regularly practiced. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift (Matt. 5:23,24).
5. Lord, I agree that restitution to any I have wronged is a necessary qualification for personal revival (2 Sam. 12:6; Jer. 35:15; Ezek. 33:15; Luke 19:8), for knowing that I have defrauded another and not made it right will prevent me from having a conscience void of offence toward all men (Acts 24:16) and will leave me with a heart that condemns me and hinders my prayers (1 John 3:20).
3. LORD, I agree with You concerning holiness of life.
1. Lord, I agree with You that without holiness no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).
2. Lord, I agree that holiness is Your will for my life, For this is the will of God, even your sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3).
3. Lord, I agree that You do not require anything of me which is impossible and that I must cease to excuse my lack of holiness by saying God understands, I am just human, and presuming on Your goodness by taking advantage of the fact that where sin abounds, grace much more abounds (Rom. 6:1,2).
4. Lord, I agree that holiness was purchased by Christ on His cross (1 Cor. 1:30) and is received by faith just as is justification (2 Thess. 2:13).
5. Lord, I agree that You elected me to holiness (Eph. 1:4) and this election has removed forever my right to choose to be sinful. I accept as my duty the daily reckoning of myself to be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God (Rom. 6:11).
4. LORD, I agree with You concerning the absolute necessity of scrupulously guarding my intake.
1. Lord, I agree to guard what I read and what I see: books, magazines, television, movies, women on the street, (I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? Job 31:1), advertisements, etc. and that I would be better off without eyes rather than to have eyes that bring me down to hell (Matt. 18:9,10).
2. Lord, I agree to guard what I listen to: jokes, gossip, criticism of others, flattery, religious views, suggestive stories, etc. and will regularly heed the words of Jesus, Take heed how you hear (Luke 8:18). Take heed what you hear (Mark 4:24).
3. Lord, I agree to guard what I touch and how I touch it--money, goods, sex, etc. knowing the grievous error of sins of greed and lust (Ex. 20:17; Prov. 15:27; Matt. 6:27-30).
4. Lord, I agree to guard what I taste and smell and the reasons related thereto for I acknowledge that gluttony and drunkenness are evil in Your sight (Psa. 34:8; 119:103; Prov. 23:2,3; 20,21; Luke 21:34; Rom. 16:18; 1 Cor. 10:31; Gal. 5:19-21; Phil. 3:19; James 1:13-15; 1 Peter 2:2,3; 4:3).
5. Lord, I agree to place a guard over my entire body, knowing that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 10:28; Rom. 6:12; 8:13; 1 Cor. 6:19; 9:27).
5. LORD, I agree with You concerning Your view of double-mindedness and the single eye.
1. Lord, I agree with You that the pure in heart are blessed and I will follow Your self-emptying process (Matt. 5:3-5) so that I may be and remain full of righteousness (Matt. 5:6) and thus pure in heart (Matt. 5:8).
2. Lord, I agree that it is impossible to love both God and mammon and I will therefore put to death my fleshly desires, refusing to lay up for myself treasures upon earth, but shall focus on treasures in heaven so that where my treasure is, my heart may be also (Matt. 6:19-24).
3. Lord, I agree that the double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and must not think he will receive anything from You for he is an offence to You, for being like the waves of the sea, he is driven of the wind and tossed (James 1:5-12).
4. Lord, I agree that if I love the world, Your love as the Father is not in me for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, are not of You but of the world which is passing away. I agree that only those that do Your will abide forever (1 John 2:15-17).
5. Lord, I agree to regularly join the Psalmist in earnestly praying, Unite my heart to fear Thy name (Psa. 86:11).
Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
Oh, to be lost in Thee.
Oh, that it may be no more I,
But Christ who lives in me.
6. LORD, I agree with You concerning the mandatory nature of a daily walk.
1. Lord, I agree that the real reason for my failure here in the past has been a lack of love toward You, and when I claim the lack of time, I am actually lying for I have the same exact amount of time each day as every other human now alive, and there is an appointed time for everything (Ecc. 3:1-9).
2. Lord, I agree with the necessity of daily praise and adoration of You for in You I live and move and have my being (Psa. 5:3; 92:1,2; 145:2; Dan. 6:10; Acts 17:28; Heb. 13:15).
3. Lord, I agree to protracted seasons of private prayers as well as to discovering how to pray without ceasing (1 Chron. 16:11; Luke 6:12; 18:1; Acts 6:4; Rom. 12:12; Col. 4:2).
4. Lord, I agree to regular Bible study and devotional reading of Your Word in order that I may be pleasing in Your sight and equipped for godly living in this godless world (Psa. 119; Jer. 15:16; John 5:39; 20:31; Acts 17:11; Rom. 15:4; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16).
5. Lord, I agree that good habits are hard to develop and easily broken and thus require Your constant help in establishing and maintaining this daily walk with You (Rom. 6:4; 8:1,4; Gal. 5:25; Eph. 2:10; 5:8,15).
7. LORD, I agree with You concerning my need to be a part of a praying, caring group.
1. Lord, I agree that regularly hearing Your Word preached and taught is essential, and I pledge myself to observe the Lords day faithfully (Psa. 55:14; Isa. 56:2; Luke 24:52,53; 1 Cor. 1:18; Heb. 10:25; Ex. 20:8-11).
2. Lord, I agree that I need the help of brethren in maintaining my own fires of devotion and purity and commit myself to be a vital part of a distinctly Christian fellowship (Acts 2:41,42; Gal. 6:2; 2 Cor. 8:4; Eph. 2:19; Heb. 3:13,14).
3. Lord, I agree to join a prayer group that meets consistently to pray for one another and for revival throughout the Church and if I cannot find such a group now in existence I will do every thing in my power to get one started (2 Chron. 7:14; Psa. 80; Matt. 18:20; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:8).
4. Lord, I agree to transparent honesty with my brothers and sisters in the Lord so that they can best encourage, comfort, rebuke and assist me in the things pertaining to Your kingdom (Psa. 32:2; Rom. 12:9; 2 Cor. 4:2; Gal. 6:2; Eph. 4:25; Heb. 3:13; James 5:16).
5. Lord, I agree to make earnest prayer for personal and corporate revival a major theme of intercession in both my private and corporate prayer life (Psa. 51:10,12; Psa. 85:6; Hab. 3:2).
8. LORD, I agree with You concerning letting my light shine before men and being the salt of the earth.
1. Lord, I agree that this means being totally open in my confession of You before others and in my Christian walk (Luke 12:8; Acts 4:20; 22:15; Rom. 10:9; 1 John 4:15).
2. Lord, I agree that this requires moral earnestness in all I say and do and the total elimination of all hypocrisy in my life. I wish to be like Nathanael, who You said was an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile (John 1:47; Col. 3:23).
3. Lord, I agree that this demands a courageous confrontation of those outside of Christ with His claims upon their lives and that I must be ready to reprove, rebuke, exhort in season and out of season (Isa. 41:10; Acts 4:31; Phil. 1:28; 2 Tim. 4:1,2).
4. Lord, I agree that this means consistency and that I must not back down when the going gets rough or waver even when my job or security are threatened or my income or number of friends decreases (Acts 4:13-21; 20:23,24; Gal. 6:9; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thess. 5:21).
5. Lord, I agree this makes me vulnerable and requires me, just as Christ did (John 10:14-18), to lay down my life for others (Luke 9:23; 14:26; John 3:30; 12:25; Rom. 15:1; 1 John 3:16) but by Your grace I will retard corruption in this world by being salt and will spread truth by being light (Matt. 5:13-16).
9. LORD, I agree with You concerning the place of love in my life.
1. Lord, I agree with Your first great commandment requiring me to love You with all my heart, soul, strength and mind (Matt. 22:37,38) and that my love for You is proven by my obedience to Your commandments (John 14:23; 15:9-14; 1 John 2:3-5).
2. Lord, I agree with Your second great commandment requiring me to love my neighbor as myself (Matt. 22:39) and that my love of others is a test of my love for You (1 John 4:20,21).
3. Lord, I agree that these are commandments and that love is not merely an emotion beyond my control but something I can and must do (1 Cor. 13).
4. Lord, I agree that You are the source of love (1 John 4:7,19); and that all manifestations of a lack of love on my part are manifestations of a breakdown in my relationship with You (1 John 2:9-11; 3:14; 4:7-12).
5. Lord, I agree that vital unity among all true brothers in Christ is both Your will and a mark of my love toward You and toward others (John 17). I therefore commit myself to be an agent of peace and reconciliation and to refuse to be divisive over issues of personality, methodology and non-essential doctrinal matters. So much as is possible, I promise to be at peace with all men (Acts 4:32; Rom. 12:18; 1 Cor. 1:13; 12:26; Eph. 4:3).
10. LORD, I agree with You concerning Your strength and ability.
1. Lord, I agree that I have lived too long in the realm of the weak, ordinary and mundane and that, even like unbelievers, I have known too much the form of godliness while denying the power thereof (2 Tim. 3:5).
2. Lord, I agree that You are able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that I have ever asked or thought (Eph. 3:20).
3. Lord, I agree that You are able to use me mightily as an instrument of righteousness and as a vessel of mercy (Rom. 6:13; 2 Cor. 4:7).
4. Lord, I agree to make myself continuously available to You for Your use and by faith to live in regular expectation of bearing fruit in season (Psa. 1:1-3; John 15:1-8,16).
5. Lord, I agree not to quench the Holy Spirit in and through me by negative thinking or self-depreciation knowing that You are able to make even such a person as I a vessel of honor (Rom. 9:21; 2 Tim. 2:21).
11. LORD, I agree with You concerning the honor and the glory.
1. Lord, I agree that You alone are God and that to exalt myself as if I were God or to exalt any other created being or thing is indeed a most serious violation of the commandments given to Moses (Ex. 20:2-5).
2. Lord, I agree that You alone are worthy of praise, honor and glory, and I refuse to glory in myself or to seek or accept that praise and honor which are Yours alone. Giving You the glory for all that transpires in and through my life from this time forward will be not only my duty but also my glorious privilege (Psa. 18:3; Rev. 4:11; 5:12).
3. Lord, I agree that I have never had any reason to take glory to myself or to receive praise and honor for anything whatsoever I have done, for in Christ I live and move and have my being (Acts 17:28) and without Him I can do nothing (John 15:5b).
4. Lord, I agree that pride is a root sin in my heart, that it is foolishness (Mark 7:21,22) for I have nothing in which to boast except Your gracious mercy. Therefore I will steadfastly resist all tendencies toward self-exaltation or vain glory. I acknowledge that You have ordered me to humble myself (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:5,6) and I will no longer insult You either by asking You to do what You have already commanded of me or by allowing pride to reign in my life (Prov. 8:13; James 4:6,7).
5. Lord, I agree that You despise corporate pride as much as individual pride and in consequence I commit myself to do everything in my power to eliminate the pride that exists in both the church and in society at large (2 Chron. 7:14).
12. LORD, I agree with You concerning who is going to bear the guilt of all my past, present, and future sins and failures.
1. Lord, I agree to stop engaging in destructive self-criticism. I accept the fact that I am a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17) and that I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).
2. Lord, I agree that Christ paid the penalty of all my sins and that I have no right to punish myself for sins for which Christ already paid. I acknowledge that I am weary of bearing about the weight of guilt of these sins and therefore here and now will depend on You to bear them away forever (Isa. 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 1:7).
3. Lord, I agree to speedy confession of any sins that occur hereafter and I will immediately upon confession accept Your forgiveness and cleansing and will never again burden myself down with the weight of what You have already forgiven (1 John 1:9).
4. Lord, I agree that, in the light of all that You have done for me, I am to live in victory (Rom. 8:35-39; 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14) and power (Acts 1:8; 2 Tim. 1:7) through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who loved me and bought me with His own blood (1 Peter 1:18,19).
5. Lord, I even agree to let You bear the guilt of any and all my failures to live up to these articles of agreement and not to be discouraged by these failures or to abandon these agreements no matter how frequently or terribly I fail to keep them. By Thy grace, if I fall, I will immediately repent of the failure and arise and move onward again in explicit agreement with You in all these articles.
In Testimony of my heartfelt accord with these Articles of Agreement with the Lord God Almighty, I here inscribe my name: