Deuteronomy 32:15 “But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.”
There is much talk in the Christian community right now of revival and awakening. Some have a ho hum attitude about this, others are verbally pressing for it and some are actually striving in prayer for it.
Just what is revival? If something is alive, not dead, it does not need to be revived. How many are trying to revive a living thing? If you are born of the Spirit of God you are alive. If you are not born-again as Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be, John 3:7, then you are dead in your trespasses and sin, Ephesians 2:1.
To the church in Laodicea, Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus spoke these words: “I know your works, you are neither cold nor hot…because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Many say that this is the state of the church today.
There is real currency and there is counterfeit currency. There is real Christianity and there is counterfeit Christianity. The Bible teaches that God knows those that are His because He searches every heart and nothing is hidden from Him.
In July of 1941, minister Jonathan Edwards read, in a monotone voice, a message that he titled: “Sinners in the hands of angry God”, If you have not read it I suggest you do. There was no music, there were no graphics, there were no emotional stimuli, no “anointed” preaching. But…the result of the rendering was the salvation of many in that congregation who thought that they were on their way to Heaven, who under the conviction of the Holy Spirit alone, cried and confessed their sinful attempts to make themselves right with and acceptable to a Holy God.
Books have been written by and about revivalists of past years, stories of revivals and awakenings abound. Yet, in the heart of God’s people there is always a stirring for more than what we possess now, in our day, our time. The reason? Because we are alive. Dead people have no desires, they are dead…It is a measure, a thermometer, take your temperature.
When I lay down in bed to go to sleep my temperature drops dramatically, consequently I use a lot more covers than someone whose temp. does not drop. You might say that when believers begin to love the world more than they love their Lord, they become lukewarm, their temperature drops. They are not excited anymore about the things of God. And, the progression will eventually lead them into a backslidden condition. If we stay with this analogy of natural sleep, I don’t need to be revived when morning comes, I need to wake up. My belief is that the church, all of it, is in asleep and needs to be awakened.
You can go into any church in the land and find a program to reach out to the children, the young adults, married people, and seniors, plus perhaps a hundred and one other programs to make sure that “no one slips through the cracks”.
Some years ago I had a dream that pointedly showed me how God feels about the condition of His church, those who feel that they must use some form of stimulation to keep people coming to church. This dream was especially dealing with children. I saw many forms of external stimulus, programs, ways, things, that would touch the soul and body of the young, but never reached their spirit. I understood that this was a reason so many youth turned away when they became teens. God showed me that when the power of God was there the youth ran to it. No one had to try to convince them to come by artificial, external means. He drew them to Himself.
II Timothy 3:5 Paul, speaking of the last days of the church age, says of the church at that time: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” What is form” I think of it as a shape, kind of like when a house has been framed. You know it is a house, but it isn’t liveable yet. To me a form of godliness is having a relative existence In Christ, but not a relevant lifestyle, no indication of the master design in day to day living.
The following words come from Jonathan Edwards sermon mentioned above: “What are we, that we should think to stand before Him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles and before whom the rocks are thrown down?” He is Holy God and His Spirit is Holy Spirit. This Holiness has caused proud men to fall before him and weep uncontrollably.
Ephesians 5:27 Paul speaking of Jesus and the church says, “That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Who among us is able to accomplish such a thing? This is the work of the Holy Spirit and He alone. He alone can awaken a sleeping church and clean it up.
“Each culture must be spoken to in a language it understands; the counterfeit can be recognized by the manipulation of people’s emotions in which they make disciples unto themselves in order to advance, promote and supply their ministry.”
Natural man is prideful, rebellious, stubborn and hard hearted. No one can reach his heart but the Spirit of God. Many a person has been manipulated emotionally, walked down an aisle, gone to the alter, said a prayer and been told that they are now “saved”… but God’s Spirit was not involved. The evidence? No change in the life-style, no change in the desires and appetites. They sit in church year after year, they learn how to talk Christian, and all the external Christian “stuff”, but in their hearts they are still not at rest in the Lord. They do not know His peace, His right way of living and the joy that comes of knowing the Lord.
Harvest time is coming. Yet, today God stands ready to pity sinners, God’s unfailing love is still available to “whosoever will come” to Him and receive. A day will come when His unmerciful wrath will be poured out on sin, on God-haters, on all who love and have believed The Lie that the liar has promoted from the beginning. What is the lie you say? Man is his own god, “Every man doing what is right in his own eyes.” It is called humanism.
Sell out to God, surrender your will to His will and yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. You will be glad for all eternity that you did. Each time He comes to you with His offer of new life, and you refuse, your heart grows harder. Consider carefully, your eternal destination depends on it. This is the “acceptable year of the Lord.” His hand is still reaching out to you. Turn from the darkness of your soul and be filled with the one who is The Light of Life.
Are you a Christian and asleep, cozy and comfortable in your religion? Wake up! Time is going quickly by, this is the day of salvation. Get out of your comfort zone! There is a lost world out there that our Father cares about. He is love and He wants His children to know Him. There are family members that have not yet been adopted into the family.
Have you placed your whole self on the alter of surrender? Have you allowed the Holy One to examine your heart and show you yourself? Have you allowed Him to show you Himself? It is our job to present ourselves to God the Father through Jesus the Son so that His Holy Spirit can clean us up. That is why and that is how you surrender.
Pray! Pray for yourself, pray for your loved ones, pray for those who don’t know what you know…how good God is, how faithful He is, how kind, how gentle, how patient, what a wonderful God and Father He is.
Come now to the Father,
Come only by the Blood.
Come leaving all behind thee,
Come now to escape the flood.
Ephesians 5:14 “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
Are you sleeping? Wake up! Are you dead? Receive new life! Come to the Father, in Jesus name and He will give you Love, Life, and Light .
May it be so…….Joyfully His.