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50 Days of Faith – The Pathway of Revival

By Rev. Joel Palser, Ph.D. &
Rev. Craig von Buseck - For most people the word "revival" suggests more church meetings. A visiting minister preaches to gain new members for that local congregation. For that reason, a revival week is usually well advertised. A large crowd may attend, some new converts may join the church, but after the revival is over, life in the church and community mostly goes on as usual. That is all well and good, but NOT what we are talking about here. God’s revival shakes all the churches of an area to their very foundations. Sinners on the street are called to God; the entire society – yes, the whole nation -- is transformed as the amazing grace of Jesus Christ is realized in the lives of thousands, even millions of people!

Now, what do we mean by revival? Revival technically means “life again.” You’ve had life and now life is stirred again. Revival takes place when God Almighty enters into the human condition, electrifies the church, empowers the pastors, and from that transforms society. This is the miraculous intervention of God, by the Holy Spirit. What we hunger after is our nation awakening to God in the staggering proportions of an earthquake or a giant “tsunami wave” of Divine grace sweeping inland from the coastal regions.

Beloved, only God can change people’s hearts; only God can bring about true revival.

Remember in Luke 15 where Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son. This foolish young man had abandoned his father and his principles and, for all practical purposes, was dead in sin. When life closed in on him and he was in the middle of an unbearable crisis, the prodigal came to his senses. His father’s redeeming love reached out over the miles, through the muck and the mire, to the heart of his son.

In the familiar conclusion the father greeted his returning son with open arms, rejoicing, "For this son of mine was dead and is alive again" (v. 24). The purpose of personal revival is to raise spiritually someone from the dead. Revival is miraculous, like a resurrection! Because of its effect upon those dead in sin, revival is, in a sense, more miraculous than the resuscitation of a person physically dead. Revival has its roots in the history of God’s people — from the Old Testament, through the New, and into today. And no generation is complete without experiencing personal and corporate revival.

Hear God’s Call To Enter His Revival

Remember, we said revival is a work of God. Yet, He calls each of us to participate in this process, for God does not work alone, apart from his people. Because the Church is the Body of Christ, He wants us to share in his life and His purposes. In fact, our oneness with Him makes our participation with Him absolutely necessary. The process of revival is our proper role and position as His children. We align ourselves in faith with the will and promises of God. He calls us to participate in His glorious yet necessary work of revival — the marvelous spiritual awakening of those dead in their sins, and of those whose love for Christ has grown cold. It is impossible for us to bring about revival. Yet, even our desire for revival is proof of His desire to send revival. We can prepare the way for it as we fully dedicate ourselves to God in repentance, holiness, and love. As we pray earnestly and persistently, we share in the very mission of Christ himself: "to seek and save what was lost." (Ref.?)

The Keys To God’s Revival

The fundamental components of revival are humility, confession, and true repentance before a Holy God. Sin hardens our hearts. In a pattern of what we call “little sins,” you might say a crust builds up on our heart or conscience. God says, “Break up your fallow, or your unplowed ground (heart).” This may be personally painful, but underneath that hardness there is a tender ground the Lord will water with the rain of his Spirit. The way to open your heart and be humbled before God is to confess sin. Look inside and say, “I did this wrong, and I’m sorry God.”

If you are seeking revival don’t try to justify yourself. When we confess sin, we’re saying, “God, You are righteous and we are sinners. Lord, Your view is the truth, and we deserve nothing good because we’re sinners. So, we come before you and we ask you to help us break up the ground of our hearts.”

One way of repenting is to sit down and ask the Holy Spirit to show us the things we have done wrong, or failed to do, and write out the list. The greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” (Matthew 22:37). We have all broken that one, so start there. Go through a list of people you relate with and seek the Lord’s forgiveness for sinning in attitude or action. You may need to go to them seeking their forgiveness. This may be part of the humbling process – call it “sin,” (Matthew 5:24). This confession and repentance may be a process, like peeling an onion. The sin might be in finances, sexual failures, addictive behaviors and attitudes, or the deep root of materialism -- all areas of sheer lust. Do not justify yourself; if God points out sin, AGREE WITH HIM! The Holy Spirit will come gently to you and point out things. Through confession to the Lord, we have the promise of His complete forgiveness, (1 John 1:9).

The process of listening to the voice of God and obeying Him by confessing sin breaks open our hearts. We receive what He wants to give us – His pathway of revival. God will let the rain of righteousness water your thirsty soul. The seed of the Word will grow up, and we will begin to see a harvest of righteousness springing up inside of us! Remember, Jesus taught, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). At the core, revival is about our heart before Almighty God. Jesus promised us “streams of living water will flow from within,” (John 7:38).

Are YOU Thirsty For The Living Water? Read on….

There are specific things that you can do to prepare your heart to receive a fresh revival from God -- and to see revival take place in your family, church, and community. The Old Testament prophet Hosea (10:12) contains God’s “recipe” revival. “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed [hardened] ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you,” (NIV). Here are action steps helping you begin the process of softening your heart before the Lord:

1. Acknowledge your need for revival. Humble yourself before the Lord. Get real!
2. Examine your own life to see if anything has become more important than your relationship with the Lord. Ask for the Holy Spirit to reveal the Lord and your sin.
3. Repent for any and all sin -- both sins of commission, and sins of omission (failure to do right).
4. Forgive anyone who has wronged you. If necessary, go to them to make it right.REF?
5. Make a decision to walk in integrity and truth in all of your actions and relationships.
6. Commit yourself to quality time reading and meditating on God's Word. Even a vow.
7. Discipline yourself to a daily time of prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you as you intercede. Don’t let anything or anyone rob your time with the Lord.
8. Pray for revival in your heart first and then in your family. Do spiritual warfare for revival in your local church and then in your community. Intercede for revival in the lives of governmental officials on the local, state, and national levels. Pray for revival in the nation. Finally, pray that revival would spread from nation to nation until "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Is. 11:9).
9. Renew your commitment to church fellowship, or a Believer’s cell group, and accountability. Walk in faith together with others who are zealous for the Lord.
10. Begin sharing your faith with others as the Lord directs you. Pray that God will give you Divine opportunities to witness for Him. Encourage others around you to take the Gospel outside the walls of the church and into your community.

The Bible says “You will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart,” (Deuteronomy 4:29). When we really get desperate we will have more of God. We must truly pray and cry out to God. It’s time to seek the Lord. He has promised us “showers of righteousness,” (Hosea 10:12). And, this is what a real revival is, the showers of righteousness that brings about righteousness in our life. Our lives are transformed by the righteousness of God Almighty. This grace upon our lives is irresistible to unbelievers.

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