Prerequisite To Revival - Week of October 18th
By Judy NicholsOctober 18, 2015
Many people today are praying for revival and rightly so. Our culture is in desperate need of what only God can do. But I believe there is something else that needs to happen before revival can happen and we need to redirect our prayers.
People generally do not turn to the Lord without first becoming aware that they are sinners in need of a Savior. True, some come to Him because of some distress or trauma in their lives, but, having reached out to Him, they find the salvation He offers goes far beyond alleviation of the present problem. If that were all they wanted and that were all He gave, Jesus would be no more than a genie in a bottle.
So I believe we need to be praying for the Holy Spirit to sweep over our land with a conviction of sin, that eyes will be opened to the reality of sin, our responsibility for it, awareness of its consequences, and the certainty of judgment.
But guess what? 1 Peter 4:17 says that judgment begins with the household of God. Therefore, the sin we need to become aware of is the sin within the church, that is, our own sin. Before we can ask or expect God to deal with the sin thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s "out there," we need for Him to deal with the sin thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s "in here," in our midst and in our hearts.
Psalm 32 begins with these words. "How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit." It is altogether too easy to condemn the sins of others while ignoring our own. That was the point of JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" (Matt. 7:3).
There is no greater deceit than self-deception. Receiving Christ and the forgiveness His shed blood provided does not automatically rid us of our sinful human nature. Our need for revelation of our sin, repentance, forgiveness, and sanctification is ongoing. It will never stop this side of heaven.
Are you praying for revival? Good! So am I. But recognize this: The conviction needed for revival to begin will be your own. What will you do with it? Will you compare yourself favorably with those worse than you or will you confess and repent before God for whatever He shows you?
2 Chronicles 7:14, so often quoted when talking about revival, does not begin with the words, "If those dirty scumbags out there will humble themselves, pray, seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways..." No, He says, "If My people, who are called by My name." ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s us, folks. Revival is up to us. Do we have the guts to ask God to show us our sin? Do we have the courage to face up to them, name them, and repent?
Judgment is coming. GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s people are the key players in determining whether His hand of judgment is stayed or not
Ã‚Â© Judy Nichols 2015