Revival Part 14 – Revival

 tounge-of-fire-32if 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. 

2 Chronicles 7:14

So those who turn in repentance will receive this threefold promise of God. He will hear, He will forgive and He will heal! What a promise.

God will hear, do you really believe that God listens to your prayers? If you don’t then God’s word is a lie.

God is listening to every prayer, He hears from Heaven, and it is from this same heaven that true revival comes. Revival is never engineered by man, it is beyond the scope and power of mankind, true revival is only by the grace of God from Heaven.

God then promises to forgive our sin. Even though we have hindered him and quenched the Holy Spirit for years, the moment we turn to Him in true repentance, He forgives totally. As we read in the promise of 1 John 1:9; “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

God then promises to heal our land. In the context of 2 Chronicles, this was clearly a promise for restoration of a physical land. And it is not inappropriate for us to pray for the healing of our land. But, the land that many of us struggle with is our own spiritual lives. Because of neglect, we are far from God and our spiritual lives are rotting from the core. Only God can restore this land.

So as we come to the end of this study, we see why revival waits.

  • We struggle with pride – we don’t know how to humble ourselves.
  • We don’t pray enough, passionately enough and sincerely enough – we don’t know the power of prayer.
  • We are reluctant to turn from our wicked ways, our comfortable sin and to genuinely repent.

This is not a light burden, to pray for revival, but we must put our every effort into it. We must humble ourselves, repent and turn away from everything that displeases God.

Revival is possible, although it is dependent on the sovereignty of God, God would not call us to pray for revival if our situation was beyond hope.

Are you called to pray for revival? Will you pay the price for what it takes to see God move in power in revival in our land?

Revival Part 13 – Repentance


Last time we looked at the phrase, “turn from their wicked ways” and we saw that we all are confronted daily by evil desires and wicked ways.

God says we must turn from these ways. The Biblical word for turn is repent. Some Christians feel that it is good enough to decide to stop doing the wrong sinful activity.

But the reality is that this is not enough. There needs to be a time of deep repentance. We have three “R’s” in correcting sinful behavior. We firstly need to remember what we have done, the Holy Spirit helps us by convicting us of our sin. Secondly, we have to repent of that sin, and finally we need to return to God with humility of heart.

There are many portions of the Bible that speak to this process, for example;

Jeremiah 15:19a; “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me….”

Mark 6:12; “They went out and preached that people should repent.”

Acts 2:38; “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Repentance is one of the most misunderstood words in the Christian terminology. Most people think it is a feeling of sorry for the wrong things we have done. But the Greek word for repentance is “metanoia”, which means a complete change of mind. It is good to feel regret and sorry for our sins, but that is the result and outcome of repentance and not the source of it.

Repentance is best described as turning in the opposite direction, a complete change in behavior and speech.

We must not wait to feel sorry for our wrong actions in order to repent. Sometimes we are simply sorry we got caught!

Rather, repentance must come first and then our emotions and feelings are impacted.

Our emotions are not to be our guide. There are many things that affect our emotions and we need to be careful to not let our emotions and feelings drive our decisions.

Revival Part 12


2 Chronicles 7:14; “ 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.

We have seen that revival is God’s sovereignty on display in response to our prayers. He decides when and provides for revival. But, there is a part we have to play, we need to humble ourselves and pray, but we also need to turn from our wicked ways.

We don’t like that word, it seems very harsh in our 21st century politically correct world. Wicked means sinful and ways refers to a behavior that we have settled into and become comfortable with.

So what are these wicked ways? The Bible gives us some clear guidelines.

  • In Revelation 3:15-16 we see that the Laodicean church was wicked because of their spiritual luke-warmness. Are we neither hot nor cold for the things of God?
  • In Matthew 6:14, Jesus makes it clear that we are not to hold unforgiveness against anyone. After all we have been forgiven, it is wicked not to do the same for others.
  • In John 17, Jesus prays for unity. We fall into sin, when we create division and disunity in the church through gossip and slander.
  • By not reading the Word of God and applying it to our lives, that is a wicked way. We are neglecting the Holy Word of God to us.
  • In Malachi 3:8, we see that withholding our tithes and offerings is a wicked way, we are literally guilty of robbing from God, by not giving back to him what he has first given to us.
  • Then we have the list of moral failures, lying, indifference to evangelism, losing our tempers and idolatry (putting something before God).

Looking at this list, it makes us wonder if we will ever see revival.

We need to strive for purity and holiness, not so set anything unholy before our eyes and not to speak any unwholesome words.

The verse says that we are to turn from these wicked ways, and we will look at this in more detail in the next posting. But the key is repentance. We need to repent and ask God to forgive us of all our sin. True revival always starts with repentance.

Revival Part 11


Continuing to look at 2 Chronicles 7:14, ; “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray… and seek my face…”

If we were truly honest with ourselves, we are more interested in seeing the hand of God than seeking His face. We want to see miracles, we want people healed, we want God to provide money and we want families reconciled. All these things are not bad if our motives are pure, but when we pray for revival, our priority must change, we need to pray for a new vision of God, a fresh understanding of who He is.

Praying for revival, is really praying for intimacy with God. When last did you get on your knees and agonize before God. Not praying for new people to come into the church or for our finances to be provided, but rather to pray to know God more deeply and to see His face. This is the prayer that brings revival.

Listen to what David writes in Psalm 27; “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4.

Oh that we would learn to pray like that.

Revival Part 10 – Prayer

tounge-of-fire-32 2 Chronicles 7:14; “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray…

If you have been reading this blog each week, you may feel relieved that we have stopped looking at pride and humility, and focus our attention on prayer. But the question today is, how much do you pray? How earnestly do you pray? When last did you stay up late to pray? Or like Jesus, do you rise before sunrise to pray?

Prayer unlocks the immeasurable power of God. A little prayer does some good, but earnest, fervent prayer causes the power of God to be released like a flood.

If we are honest, most of our prayers are selfish. We pray for our own family, or close circle of friends. But we seldom passionately pray for those who are outside of our circle.

One of the excuses we use for not praying is that we simply did not feel like it. Wouldn’t it seem better to pray when we really felt like it and then be able to put in all our effort? However the exact opposite is true. Prayer is a discipline and warfare, it goes against all the natural inclination of man. It seems to the unbeliever a complete waste of time, yet it is one of the hardest things you can do. We must determine to go to God in prayer, schedule our time and keep the appointment you have made with the creator of the universe. After all, you would not miss an appointment with a friend or your boss?

The kind of prayer that leads to revival is earnest, intense, passionate and prolonged. Much like Jacob when he prayed; “I will not let you go until you bless me.” Genesis 32:26

Revival praying is unhurried, it is a passionate crying out to God. Revival praying is hard work.

My wife frequently loses her cell phone, and when she does it is a problem, we all stop and have to look for her phone. There is intense searching, nothing else matters. Revival praying is like that, nothing else matters.

Someone has said: “we will not see revival until we cannot live without it.

Revival Part 9 – Pride hinders revival


Continuing this week on the topic of humility as we are encouraged in 2 Chronicles 7:14; “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves……..”

God commands us to humble ourselves by judging our thoughts and motives by the standards of the Bible. We acknowledge that as Christians we need to submit ourselves to the authority of the Word of God.

One of the most alarming problems in the church today is the lack of Biblical literacy. Not just having access to the Bible, but studying it and bringing our lives under the authority of the Bible. The Bible is the infallible word of God, we need to acknowledge the standards of the Bible for our lives, even when the Supreme Court and others lower the standards.

Isaiah 66:2b states; ““These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”

But what does it mean to tremble at God’s word? It does not mean to physically tremble when we read the Bible. It means that when we read the Bible we allow the Holy Spirit to let the words penetrate into our lives, so that we feel the vibrations of conviction when the Word of God reveals to us an area of our lives that falls short of God’s standard.

Pride is the primary reason why we wait for revival. The 4th Century theologians came up with a list of 7 deadly sins, pride is the first. So if pride is the biggest hindrance to revival, what do we do about it? 2 Chronicles 7:14 says we have to humble ourselves. We have to do our part and let God do his part. We submit ourselves to the sharp sword of the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin (see Hebrews 4:12).

As we read God’s Word we are forced to take an honest look at ourselves and determine how much pride we have. Pride in our self-sufficiency, is quickly melted away when we realize that we have nothing without the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

The Welsh revivalists used to sing a song that goes; “Bend me lower, bend me lower, bend me lower, lower down at Jesus’ feet” They understood the need for humility and recognizing our dependence on the Gospel message.

Psalm 139:23 reminds us;

“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Revival Part 8 – Humility


Looking once more at 2 Chronicles 7:14; “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves……..”

 “Shall humble themselves”, how do we humble ourselves? As we think about that, what is humility?

Some people think that humility is putting yourself down, but sometimes that is a subtle way of getting people to notice you.

Humility is first and foremost having a right estimation of ourselves. We are not God, but then again we are not worms either. God created mankind in his own image and we need to live up to that image. Humble people see themselves as they really are in light of God’s created order.

Humility also has a certain amount of self-forgetfulness and people who are humble do not spend a lot of time thinking about themselves.

Humility recognizes that without God we can do nothing, those who are not humble somehow believe that without them God can do nothing.

People often put themselves down to give the impression that they are humble, but deep down inside they are hoping that someone will contradict them and tell them that they are great.

Humility is better understood if we look at the converse of humility – Pride.

CS Lewis wrote; “If you want to know how much pride you have ask yourself how much you dislike it in others. If you think you’re not conceited, it means that you are very conceited indeed; first step toward acquiring humility is to realize that one is proud. We are full of pride but we can’t see it. It blinds us to our own condition. So it is wise to admit it even though you do not see it or feel it. There can be no surer proof of a confirmed pride than a belief that one if sufficiently humble.”

Pride is the original sin. Daniel Rowlands, a famous welsh revivalist said; “we most resemble the devil when we are proud and we most resemble Christ when we are humble.”

Ps 138 verse 6 says; “though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.”

Unfortunately there is plenty of pride among Christians. We are proud that we are saved and not like the poor sinners! (See what Jesus said about that in Luke 18 verses 9-14). We are proud that we know the Bible, we can be proud about our ability to pray or we can even be proud of our humanitarian service.

Revival Part 7 – A People called by His Name


Continuing to look at 2 Chronicles 7:14, we look at the next phrase words: “Who are called by My Name”.

We have looked at the conditional preposition “if”, and the responsibility we have in revival. But the “if” applies to “my people”. Revival is not for everyone in the world, it is specifically aimed at the people of God.

The People of God are those who are called by His name. In order to be called by His name, we need to first call on his name, the name of Jesus for our salvation. Acts 2:21 states; “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

If you have not personally called on the name of Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you cannot claim to be one of his people. You may go to church, read the Bible, sing Christian songs, even take communion, but if you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, you are not a part of the family of God.

Along with being a member of the family of God we have a tremendous responsibility. It is our responsibility to represent and honor the name of Jesus in the world. Whether we like it or not, people judge the church by the behavior of those who belong to the church. If a Christian sins and it becomes public knowledge, people don’t say that he/ is an exception to the rule, no, the church is judged by the faults of those who have failed. It does not mean that as Christians we live perfect lives, but we need to understand the greater implications of when we are tempted to sin and bring the Lord’s name down by our lifestyle.

As Selwyn Hughes writes; “It is one thing to be ostracized because of Christ, it is another thing when Christ is ostracized because of us.”

It is indeed a tremendous responsibility to be called the people of God, let us take that responsibility seriously every day for the glory of God and for the name of Jesus.

Revival Part 7 – Called by His Name


Last week we looked at the phrase; “my people”, and we saw that revival begins in the church, with the people of God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 starts with: “If my people….”.

Previously we touched on the question; who are the people of God? And the next phrase in the verse clarifies that further: “who are called by my name”.

To be someone who is called by His name, we need to have first called on the name of Jesus for salvation. Acts 2:21 states: “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The Bible is clear that only those who have called on the name of Jesus, in a personal way, making Jesus Lord of their lives, are the children of God. We can go to church, sing the songs, give an offering even take communion, but none of these things makes one a Christian. As Jesus said to the Pharisee named Nicodemus in John chapter 3: “Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

So when it comes to revival and a fresh move of God, God chooses to begin with His church, the people who are called by His name. As a result of this we carry a tremendous responsibility, we need to ensure that we are truly following Jesus, and then realize that we are here to reflect and honor the name of God in our daily lives.

The world does not judge Christians the way we do, when one Christian falls in sin, the world points to the whole church and declares them hypocrites. We are all sinners saved by grace, and are prone to sin, but the world holds those who claim the name of Jesus to a higher standard and rightly so. As Christians it is important to allow the Holy Spirit to use us to reflect who Jesus is to the lost and dying world around us. Not standing in judgment and condemning everyone, but rather pointing them to the glorious Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

So the responsibility of all true believers in Jesus Christ is this, we are to point and direct people to Jesus, not push them away by our lifestyle or critical nature.

That is what it means to be a people who are called by His name.

Revival Part 6 – “If My People”


As we continue to look at 2 Chronicles 7:14, we look at the next two words: “my people”.

Last week we looked at the conditional preposition “if”, and the responsibility we have in revival. But the “if” applies to “my people”.

Revival is not for everyone in the world, it is specifically aimed at the people of God.

The verse offers a challenge, not to people outside the church, but to people inside the church who are believing Christians with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

We as the church have a tendency to point to the desperate spiritual situation in the world around us. The spiritual state of the nation and the immorality that we see every day, but do we see and pray for the desperate spiritual state of the church.

It is important that as Christians we are concerned about the moral condition of our nation and the world. As we look around we see that abortion kills millions of babies every year, morality is being dictated by the Supreme court, pornography is destroying lives and families, there is corruption in business and politics, daily children and young women are sold into sex slavery, and all this is happening in our own city. We live in a society that screams the question: “what’s in it for me?” And sadly many pastors perpetuate that thinking, by teaching that God is there to serve man and to give us what we want, rather than the other way around.

But before we get carried away with pointing out all the wrong in the world, we need to be reminded that when it comes to revival, it starts with the church, the Body of Christ.

We need to have the most critical eye focused on ourselves. God is concerned for the state of the nations, but He has an equal if not greater concern for those who are His people.

We are very quick to point out the sins of non-Christians, but we overlook our own sinfulness.

Revival starts with the people of God, but not just those who call themselves Christians, those who perhaps have attended church since they were a child. Those who are Christian by tradition but who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

It may come as a surprise to you, but in every church there are people who are members, leaders, committee members and even deacons, who do not have a personal growing relationship with Jesus Christ. And we would be foolish to think that it is any different at Grace Point. My prayer is that the day will come when God will look at Grace Point, He will truly say, “these are my people.” So as we pray for revival, let us focus on ourselves first.