Let me deposit this in your minds first, “God is no respecter of persons, anything He has done for anyone before, He will do for you”
So, having said that, I want to continue the theme from last week and look at some ingredients of heaven sent, Spirit lead, God breathed revival…A little bit of history…. In the 1740s, we had what is called the Great Awakening. How many have heard about the Great Awakening? That happened in the early days of this nation. There was a Dutchman whose name was Theodore Frilingheusan. And he began to preach the message of repentance and salvation. He saw people coming and getting saved. And the message started to spread, and revival broke out which became the great awakening in America. Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield and many others picked up the revival banner both here and in great Britain and revival fires were fanned….
As a result of the great awakening revival, Many of our theological training colleges, Princeton, and Rutgers, and Dartmouth, and Brown University, were founded to train missionaries and preachers to carry the gospel message.
In the 1800’s God was moving once again in a dark period of our history… Church attendance had dropped from 50% down to 5%...it was so bad that only 2 students at Princeton claimed to be Christian. Some students at Williams College hid in a haystack to avoid a thunderstorm. And they began to pray and committed themselves to go anywhere God might lead them. That was the beginning of the second great awakening. It's the famous haystack revival.
In 1858, another revival broke out that transformed our nation. Jeremiah Lanphier, a Christian business man, announced a prayer meeting at Fulton Street in New York City. It grew until in a few months, more than 50,000 people a day were gathering for prayer all over New York City. Two million people are estimated to have found Christ as their Savior as it swept across the U.S.
And through Evan Roberts it landed in Wales, becoming the Welsh revival. There was the Jesus Movement of the 70’s which reached the hippy culture with Chuck Smith and others. And We know of the African phenomenon which was called the “Laughing Revival” of 1990, which brought Rodney Howard Brown to Florida and it spread to the Brownsville revival in Pensecola, with John Kilpatric….and reached the world….
And God is doing it again! Throughout the country there is a common cry. These all have a common theme… It only takes a spark to get a fire going. You and I can be another spark God uses along with many others to do it again! Amen! (turn to someone and greet them with “Hey Sparky” I know that my life was forever changed after experiencing the Brownsville revival which occurred in Pensacola, Florida in 1994 That revival was the result of many years of prayer, fasting and turning to the Lord with renewed intensity by that local church. They had intercession for revival for 10 years before the great revival came down in their midst.
In every case, the theme which ushered in those great moves of God, which spread throughout the world, was about waiting on God and touching His heart with an intense cry for His will to be done in earth as it is in heaven. They received an open heaven which is still spreading and touching lives today through churches and ministries that were raised up in a revival atmosphere.
I want to give you 3 scriptures about waiting on the Lord as we begin this message today….
Psalms 27:14 - Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.
Habakkuk 2:3 - For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie, though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not delay.
Listen, There is waiting, and then there is waiting. This scriptural version of waiting is not inactivity, it isn’t idleness, and it is not a lack of preparation like the ten foolish virgins….
The word wait in the Hebrew, is “Qav-ah” to wait with great expectancy… A woman who is pregnant, waits as the period of gestation is accomplished. She knows that what she’s waiting for is already within her, growing, developing and bringing her to the time of birthing. She spends the time, learning, preparing, and getting everything ready, so that when the time comes, she will be able to care for, nurture, and assure that the baby can be strong and healthy. She anticipates what will be needed… and well in advance, begins to put things in place for the long haul.
Scripture describes this word Qavah in Genesis creation account, Genesis 1:2, as "the Spirit of God hovering/brooding or incubating over the face of the deep”… We are incubating revival!
Habakkuk says that what is being brooded over and waited for, will come, and it will not be delayed….
It is one thing to pray and believe for revival, it is another to believe that it is already within us, incubating and coming to the time of birthing.
Like a woman who is pregnant, we begin to prepare, and we make ready for the appointed time of revival…. Adoniram Judson, the great pioneer missionary to Burma, was
suffering from fever in a stinking, rat-infested prison. He had seen little fruit for his years of hard work and sacrifice to see revival come to Burma. He had gone through many setbacks and hardships. A letter from a friend arrived which asked, “Judson, how’s the outlook?” He replied, “The outlook is as bright as the promises and character of God.” The waiting time is important, because it is a time of sifting through our values and priorities, and honestly making room in our lives for God at a new level.
When I was born, I was discarded, because my mom, wasn’t willing to allow her lifestyle to be changed by a new arrival. The thing she was expecting, became an inconvenience. If we have not prepared ourselves, and if we approach revival with the same old, same old, attitude, understand that it will be seen as an inconvenience. Oh, I’m sure, when I was born, she was over joyed, and thrilled to have a son. But the new wore off quickly, with diaper changes, feedings, sleepless nights and no longer being in charge of her life. She made a choice, to give up, long term fulfillment for temporary inconvenience. Revival means that whatever ran in your family linage before you will no longer run in your family after you… A new stream is opened up, the healing waters that flow from throne of God sweep all of that debris from the curse, away from your family tree. You now drink from new cleansing, healing, restoring streems of redemption….
For those who will count the cost, the long term results are well worth it. To see souls saved, lives changed, and families restored and serving the Lord together.
Luke 14:28-30 For which of you, intending to build, does not sit down first, and make preparations, to assure that you have sufficient to finish it? Lest sadly, after you have laid the foundation, you realize you are not able to complete it.
Let’s be honest, revival has a cost, Ahhhh, but it is well worth it!
Revival is not just a thing, it is about a person. He is none
other than God the Spirit. Revival is God the Spirit showing us who He is! When Habakkuk talks about the vision …. What he’s talking about is a living entity… Notice it…. He says “For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time, but at the end He shall speak, though He tarry, wait for Him, because He will surely come, He will not tarry.
Listen to what Jesus said….
John 16:7 “I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I do not go away, the Comforter (Holy Spirit) will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send Him to you. v8 And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. v9 Of sin, because they believe not on me. v10 Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you will not see me for a while.
v11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. v12 I have manythings to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. v13 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, (Holy Spirit) is come, He will guide you into all truth, for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak,and He will show you things to come.
v14 He shall glorify Me (Jesus) for He shall receive of what is Mine, and shall show (demonstrate) it to you. v15 All things that the Father has are Mine,therefore I tell you, that He shall take of what is Mine, and shall show it to you.
v16 A little while, and you shall not see Me, and again, a little while, and you shall see Me again, because I go to the Father”.
Revival is about the person of the Holy Spirit, demonstrating the things of Jesus, unto believers. Revival is not about the manifestations that happen, it is about a person. It is about “The Lord of lords and the King of Kings The Great I Am, Life more abundantly, The fullness of the Godhead dwelling bodily. It’s Holy Spirit taking what’s His and imparting it unto us. And Jesus is telling us here in John, that this is Holy Spirit’s time of administration concerning the things of the kingdom in the earth. He has been put in charge, through the name of Jesus.
Notice that Jesus tells us that He will convict of sin, (the weight of their sin will come on sinners)… He will convince of righteousness (that’s believers being convinced to live righteous lives)…. And He will judge the prince of darkness through the mouth of believers….He will guide you into all truth since He is our inside guiding light…He will show you things to come because He knows what Jesus knows….He will glorify Jesus since that is the name we have been given to operate His power in the earth… He will take the things of Jesus and demonstrate them to us since He has already given it unto us…
Now, friend, that is what Revival is…. Revival is a person, being allowed to rule in our midst, and reveal the things of the Father, in the name and person of Jesus. It is totally “God” centered!
That’s exactly what Jesus is saying in John 16….
When all these things begin to come to pass, the church rises in power, the community is brought to faith in Christ, and God’s kingdom is established in the earth….
When revival is centered correctly, then Gifts of the Spirit are manifested, gift of wisdom, gift of knowledge, gift of faith, gift of healing, gift of miracles, gift prophecy, gift of discerning of spirits, gift of speaking in tongues, and the gift of interpretation of tongues….. The Fruit of the Spirit are demonstrated… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
And the five-fold ministry gifts which are to strengthen and guide the church are raised up and find their place… apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, & teachers.
Revival releases the Spirit’s power in the church, the Spirit’s personality in the church, and the Spirit’s government in the church….
Jesus said… John 12:32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
When revival comes people talk different….Here is an example of the way folks begin to talk…
1. “Hey! It's my turn to sit in the front pew”. # Or, “I was so captivated, I never noticed your sermon went 25 minutes over”. # How about, “I want to volunteer to work in children’s church”. # And, “Since we're all here early, let's start the service”.
# I like, “Pastor, we'd like to send you to a Bible conference in Hawaii. # How about, “Nothing inspires me more than the opportunity to give to the Lord”! # And then I like, “I had to circle 3 times to find space to park”.
There is a site on the internet, that you can log into, and it has a fireplace with a beautiful glowing fire. You can open it up and WALLA, WALLA, BING BANG, you have an instant fireplace on your big screen TV….you can even hear the logs crackling, but it has no heat, and it has no substance. It’s superficial and it’s an illusion….
We can get inspired and not be transformed… We can be involved and not be committed…. We can be religious without God’s Spirit…. And we can do good things and still be lost….
A cheap shirt is usually a cheap shirt.. a cheap car is usually a cheap car… a cheap relationship is usually a cheap relationship. We don’t want cheap revival that doesn’t cost anything…. Most Christians are interested in a revival they can go to and attend, but most Christians aren’t interested in paying the price to personally bring revival into their church and community…. We cannot settle for anything less than the Scriptural requirement for revival…. To accept less is to deny the Holy Spirit His rightful place in the church and in our lives. It’s like a virtual fire place….. The wordREVIVAL means to "LIVE AGAIN", TO HAVE NEW LIFE!
WHEN THE BIBLE KIND OF REVIVAL COMES , AND FOLKS CATCH ON FIRE, IT DOESN’T STOP AT THE CHURCH. IT GOES HOME WITH FOLKS…We are the carriers of the fire… We carry it TO THE SCHOOLS, THE BUSINESSES, CITY HALL, AND THE COMMUNITY…
In 1905, William J. Seymour was invited to preach at a church in Los Angeles. He preached on the coming revival and the next night he showed up and the church door was locked. He and a few folks began meeting for prayer in the home of one of the members. The Spirit fell 3 days later and crowds began to gather as Seymour preached from the front porch. The crowds grew so large that there was no way of getting near the house. As people came in they would fall under God's power, and the whole city was stirred. They sang and shouted until the front porch collapsed. They found an abandoned building that had been used as a stable, on Azusa Street and rented it for $8.00 a month. Revival, spread out as people came from other states and at times there were 1,500 people meeting together and the meetings went 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…. The world was touched by the Holy Spirit lead, Azusa Street revival….
God does not send revival to fill up churches with people, but to fill people with His Spirit…. He is concerned about filling empty hearts and empty lives, and empty eyes that have no vision…
He wants to fill empty hearts that have no passion, and empty wills that have no purpose.
When someone hitting a baseball is more exciting than the preaching of eternal truth…. When someone catching a pigskin on the football field is more exciting that praising God in song… When someone fighting with a hocky stick, is more thrilling than the prayer of agreement…. And when a soccer goal is more important than seeing people receive Christ as their savior… We need to believe for revival!
People come to church and leave mumbling, “I didn’t get anything out of it. But the real issue is, did God get something out of you so He could get something into you?
John Wesley said, “Give me some men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world.”
So, I want you to know, on the basis and the authority of the Bible, and the history of revival, we are at a place where we should not despair, but where we should be filled with great anticipation. We're right at the place where God has intervened in every other time in history. This is a period when God wants to move among us. Let it begin in me, Let it begin in you. Because God is our only option. Lord, We are confessing our sin before you today as a nation, and we're asking you in the words of the psalmist, Lord, revive us again. (Draw a circle around you and declare, “Revival begins here in my circle”…..
Let’s all pray this Prayer together…
Father, today we petition heaven for a revival of souls in our day. Lord, we desire for our friends, families, and neighbors to be open to seek and find the truth of the only source of life. We invite Your Holy Spirit to pour out upon us a fresh visitation of the latter rain. We invite You to perform miracles, signs and wonders, as you speak personally to people through dreams and visions. We pray that truth will be brought to Light in each and every one.
Lord you said that you would give a new heart and a new spirit in them andwill remove from them the heart of stone. It is only by Your Spirit that truth can be fully revealed, so we cry out this day, for a revival in this city, this nation, and all of our hearts. We declare that even as you spoke to Ezekiel to release life back into the dry bones of his day, we too can pray and believe for Your reviving life back into the dry bones of our world. Lord Jesus, we make ourselves available for Holy Spirit sent revival….Amen