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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : Revive Us Again

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JoeA
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Joined: 2004/11/29
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Decatur, Illinois

 Revive Us Again

[b]Revive Us Again[/b] (saw this posted on another forum)


[b]"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?"[/b] Psalm 85:6

So was the cry of the children of Israel, and so is the cry of many Christians today. It is a cry to the sovereign God that He might do a work in our hearts. As a dead person cannot revive themself, a lukewarm and lifeless Church cannot revive herself. That work belongs to God. We see througout much of Scripture that God is willing to do the work in our lives, but we must be willing to meet His requirements. We must be willing to humble ourselves to the point of realizing that we need awakened out of our slumber. We must confess and repent of our stagnation and sinfulness, while purposing to get back on the path of obedience, all the while realizing that it is God working in us to will and do of His good pleasure. A good example of this is found in the book of Nehemiah.

The word revive means to bring something back from the dead. It implies that what will be revived was once living and vibrant. There are two types of religious revivals, one being personal (that which is experienced by one Christian) and the other being corporate (that which is experienced by the body of believers). Much like fire, personal revivals may spread to others creating a corporate revival. I know what personal revival is, but i have not expericend true corporate revival. I know what it is not though.

True corporate revival is not a special weeklong effort by an evangelist. Revival is not a series of meetings that excite us for awhile, and leave us dry again when the excitement dissipates. Revival is not an evangelism crusade that brings many to the altar, but very few to Christ Himself. Revival is not a healing crusade that hightens emotions and glorifies the evangelist. While evangelism and God's healing power are wonderful things, they must not be confused with true God-sent revival.

True revival is a restoration of Biblical Christianity. Biblical Christianity is an awareness of God, and a desire to see Him glorified in everything. Biblical Christianity is a life filled and overflowing by God's Spirit. Biblical Christianity is a life of righteousness and true holiness precipitated by prayer and repentance. Biblical Christianity is Christ in you, the hope of glory. True Christians are those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and live in the Light of that wonderful sacrifice.

Revival is the act, by God, that restores true Christianity. Revival is not true Christianity, but the restoration thereof. Perhaps the reason why we don't see revival today is because we are seeking revival, but not the end result "That Thy people may rejoice in Thee". If revival does not set our faces God-ward, then it was not revival at all. If revival leaves us in the mode of revival, but does not move us outward into following Christ, then it was not revival. A man in a car accident who has been revived doesn't seek to remain in the immediate state that followed his revival, he wants to go on with his life. The disciples did not stay in the upper room, they went out into the streets and preached Jesus Christ. They didn't continually seek a daily Pentecost, but they sought the face of Jesus Christ. True revival gives us the desire to know Him, because that is true Christianity.

[b]"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."[/b] John 17:3

We read of revivals throughout history led by great men of God like Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, George Whitefield, and Charles Finney. All of these revivals turned men God-ward, and stirred up a generation to holiness and the pursuit of Jesus Christ. Such men were men of prayer, totally committed to serving God. It is said that the revival led by John Wesley is what kept England from the same kind of revolution that nearby France experienced. Doesn't that make us hungry for the same kind of stirring? Don't our hearts burn within us to see others turn to Jesus Christ and be like Him? Are we not grieved that the whole world lies in wickedness and God receives no glory? Are we willing to humble ourselves and pray that God would be vindicated in this last hour? May this be our prayer:

[b]"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?"[/b] Psalm 85:6

We see in the book of Nehemiah a situation that many Christians are in today. Nehemiah was a cupbearer for the king of Babylon, sitting comfortably in the palace. He hadn't much to worry of, as he held a prominent position as one of the king's most trusted aides. All was well for Nehemiah, until one day his brother, accompanied by men from Judah informed him of the terrible state Jerusalem was in.

[b]"And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire."[/b] Nehemiah 1:3

Isn't this a good picture of what passes as Christianity today? So many professing Christians are weak, powerless, and loveless, while neglecting the Gospel. Christ is not being glorified. While we sit quite satisfied with the status-quo, "the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire." We, like Nehemiah are feasting on abundance and lack of need. We suffer little persecution, and very often tear others down instead of building them up. We need a God-sent revelation that many Church members are only Church members. They have no relationship with Christ Himself, and they prove it by their fruits and lack of good works.

[b]"And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven."[/b] Neh. 1:4

Shall we respond in the same matter as Nehemiah? Notice how he humbled himself, having to sit down and weep. The Bible says "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." If we could realize that we are not living the abundant life that Jesus came to give, we might well humble ourselves as well. There is no shame in confessing that God is right, and we have been wrong all the time.

[b]"And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned."[/b] vss. 5, 6

Humility, confession, prayer and repentance come before any revival. This is historically attested to, and more important than that, Biblically attested to.

[b]"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."[/b] 2 Chronicles 7:14

See how the Lord beckons His people? Those called by His Name. There must be a purposing in the heart to turn to God from sin. There must be a desire to live in righteousness before Him. Nehemiah realized this, and he was broken before the Lord. May God break us in the same way. May we all realize the plight of living a life destitue of God's light and love. Maye we remember what God has done in the past, and that He surely can do it again if we seek His face.

[b]"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?"[/b] Psalm 85:6

In Nehemiah chapter 2, we see the broken man of God sad in the presence of the king. Brokenness is a necessity for revival as well. God can only fill an empty vessel, and the best way to empty a sealed vessel is to break it. Hardened by sin and pride, we cannot empty ourselves before God. But if broken by the loving hand of the potter, the vessel can be fashioned anew and filled again. Nehemiah's brokenness before God followed him in his daily routine. He wasn't humbled under God's hand only in the closet, but also before the world.

A true burden from God cannot be turned off like a light-switch. The fire burns in the presence of man as well as in the presence of God. Nehemiah's countenance was so sad that the king realized a need. When asked what this need was, in verse 4 it is recorded that Nehemiah "prayed to the God of heaven." You see, once we realize the need for revival, and once broken before God, we will do what we can to see that God restores what has been trodden down.

Nehemiah's request to the king was that he might return to Jerusalem and observe the destruction of the city for the purpose of rebuilding it. May we too return to the old paths of the faith, observing what decay has occured while Church was asleep. We won't know that we're destitute unless we can see what more God has for us. If we would read the Acts of the Apostles, we would see a vast difference between that Church, and what passes for Christianity these days. Again, the cry of our hearts should be:

[b]"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?"[/b] Psalm 85:6


_________________
Joe Auvil

 2006/9/12 21:15Profile





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