Friday, March 31, 2017

Revive Us Again!

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.  
(2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)

2 Chronicles 7:14 Inspirational Image
Note:  On March 12, 2017, I was blessed to lead worship at my church—the title of my sermon was Revive Us Again!

This is the first post in a short series sharing a heavily edited version of my sermon by the same title.  In the future, there may be an audio or video of this sermon which will enhance what I will be sharing in writing. 

Personal photo

What is revival?  As expected there are a variety of definitions.  For the purposes of this post, I am sharing only two:  Pastor Greg Laurie, who was saved during one of the more recent revivals—the Charismatic/Jesus People Movement defines revival in this way:  “…revival is nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to God.  It’s a church word…  It is not for the nonbeliever.  Revival starts with the church and then affects the world.  The world does not need revival; the church does. The world needs evangelism.”[1]

As C. H. Spurgeon stated:  “To be revived is a blessing which can only be enjoyed by those who have some degree of life.  Those who have no spiritual life are not, and cannot be, in the strictest sense of the term, subjects of revival.”[2]

With these definitions and understanding in mind let us consider revival more fully from the Word of God and from history.  This is a sizable undertaking and cannot be covered in great depth in one short sermon.  However, I believe, it is important to learn about it and to pray for it, if we feel God placing it on our heart.

Beloved, we are not alone in seeing the need for an awakening, a revival from God.  Not only do we see this in our country’s history; we can also see it throughout the whole of history.  In reading through the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, we read about the following revivals:  there were revivals under the leadership of King Jehoash (2 Kings 11-12), King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18), King Asa (2Chronicles 15), King Josiah (2 Kings 22-23), Zerubbabel (Ezra 5-6), Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8-9, 13).  In the New Testament we read about the revival of Pentecost in Acts 2-3.[3] 

One of the greatest revivals in human history occurred when Jonah, God’s “prodigal” and reluctant prophet ultimately obeyed God and went to Nineveh proclaiming God’s message of destruction if they did not repent.  This was a nation-wide revival from the king down to the lowest—repenting and turning to God happened and the society was changed, if for a time.[4]

God’s faithful people throughout the ages have cried out for mercy, for revival.  Sometimes these prayer warriors lived to see their prayers answered, other times their prayers came to fruition only after their death.  Therefore, it is proper for us to seek it, to pray for it.  However, we do need to be aware of what we are getting ourselves into when we pray for revival.

Revival is a completely God-given time of refreshing and renewing—a sovereign act of God.  IT IS NOT something we can work up in our flesh.  Revivals are not manufactured or generated through human efforts.  All the programming, the special services—sometimes termed “revival services” are not the true revivals that are God-sent from Heaven.  Revival gives life to dry, dead spiritual bones—through the breath of the Holy Spirit—like Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 37.  It is all God and God alone!

Revival starts with God’s people—being convicted of their sins and of the sin around them—causing them to fall on their faces—literally and metaphorically before God, repenting of their sins.  In revival our lukewarmness is revealed for what it is—lukewarm faith is revived, becoming hot once again.

Personal photo

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  
(Revelation 3:14-20 KJV)

Personal photo

Like the church in Laodicea, we have left our first love—the result is a weakening faith—a faith where we are rather content to go through the motions, instead of being willing to risk the cost and the change necessary when God shows up.  We would be wise to heed Jesus’ warning to this church.  

 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.  
(2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)

What would happen IF we follow 2 Chronicles 7:14?  If my people… Notice the if …then construction:  if this happens; then this will happen.  If my people (that is us!) humble themselves (rend hearts and not our garments, see themselves as they really are—crying out for a clean heart), pray, seek God’s face (desiring God above all else), and turn from their sins (confess sins with a contrite or repentant heart).  Then God will hear His people’s (that is us!); He will forgive their sins (If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9); and He will heal their land. 

There is a diligence, a dedication for God’s people in what they need to do, turning the focus back to God and His righteous standards.  It is important for us to be genuine in our behavior—we may be able to fool others or even ourselves, however, we cannot fool God.  This Scripture is one of many revival oriented Scriptures we can pray.  I encourage you to search the whole of God’s Word for other Scriptures to pray regarding revival.

I invite you to return next week for the second part of this series.  Until then consider the thoughts and Scriptures on revival shared above.  Remember, above all else, revival is a sovereign act of God—God alone brings about revival—it is not something that He is obligated to do.  Nevertheless, we can pray for and seek it with every fiber of our being.

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Lord, Enhance our spiritual vision to see our own sin and need for personal revival.  Move us to cry out to You and to seek You for the renewal our spirits need.  We see how we have grown lukewarm in our worship and service to You.  Please send refreshment through the winds and fire of the Holy Spirit.  Many of us have grown tired and perhaps even bored with the emptiness of our worship services and have started to simply go through the motions.  Remind us that worship really is all about You and not about anyone else.  Rekindle our faith, so we can once again be hot, on fire for You, Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


[3] From Preacher’s Sourcebook of Creative Sermon Illustrations by Robert J. Morgan (2007), Thomas Nelson Pub. Pg. 673
[4] A very short summary of Greg Laurie’s sermon series on Jonah (revival)


  1. Hi Kim! (I'd love to see a video of you preaching!)
    I had not thought about the definition of 'revival' before, so it was interesting to realize that it happens for people who have even a drop of faith. Makes sense. After all, how can you revive something that isn't there? And that is the work of God, that's for sure. We can't revive ourselves!
    May God bless us all to stir up our faith and return even more excited about his love,

    1. Hi Ceil!
      I'll see what I can do about a video--it will be awhile yet (need a copy of it first! and then some editing....). Yes, it was interesting to learn more about revival and what it really means.

      Yes, "may God bless us all to stir up our faith and return even more excited about His love"!




All comments are moderated. Please use care in posting comments or replies. If you wouldn't say what you are writing in person, rethink your words. Remember words can build up or tear down. Speak the truth in love.