The Shepherd of Hope blog is here to serve you, to help you know Jesus better and to find hope in Him. This blog relies on the Spirit of God using the word of God to build people of God. All material has been prayerfully submitted for your encouragement and spiritual edification. Your questions and comments are welcome.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Praying for Our Land

There are times when a nation needs prayer. A nation should always be prayed for by God’s people. But there are particular times when prayer is especially needed for a Land. Daniel chapter nine was such a time for Israel.

When I was a young student I remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every school day: “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Our allegiance is to the stars and stripes, not the flag of the United Nations. Our government and its leaders have become corrupt. They have stopped seeing their calling as one of serving the people and see their political positions as opportunities to enrich themselves. It doesn’t matter much which party is in power; they prioritize self instead of their constituencies.

Around Long Island where I live there are sumps. Sumps are holes in the ground designed for draining off rain water so as to avoid flooding. I have one of these sumps up the block from where I live. Last summer the sump by me became so overgrown with weeds and other plant life that it had to be cleaned out if it was to operate properly. The sump needed to be cleaned. One of the candidates running for president has said something similar regarding Washington and government. He says, “It’s time to drain the swamp!” Our government leaders are aptly described as a swamp or a sump. They need cleaning. I hope and pray God would do it

If the swamp or sump is to be cleaned, it will take a move of God’s Spirit. That’s what this teaching is all about; seeking God in His word and prayer and asking for His mercy and to heal our Land. The book of Daniel and the story of Daniel and the historical context of Israel’s captivity has many parallels to our present day circumstances.

The context of Daniel chapter 9 is God’s people are in Babylonian captivity. The year is approximately 539 B.C., the same year that Babylon fell to the Medo-Persian Empire, and which is implied by the phrase, “In the first year of Darius,” (Daniel 9:1). Daniel is in his late eighties to nineties in age, but he is still receiving words from the Lord. He is in his nineties, but he is still a student of God’s word. He is in his nineties, but he is also still a man of prayer.

Daniel 9 contains one of the most incredible prophetic messages in the entire Bible. And it comes as an answer to the heartfelt prayer of  Daniel on behalf of God’s people and Israel.

God loves it when we seek Him. In fact when Gabriel spoke to Daniel he said:

  • Daniel 9:23 - “At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:” (Emphasis added.)

God loves us and He loves to have prayerful conversation with us. Did you know you are loved by God? You are His “beloved.” What does the Bible say about being loved by God?


The phrase, “greatly beloved,” is found not only in Daniel 9:23, but is used two other times in reference to Daniel in this book (Daniel 10:11, 19). The term “beloved” in this verse is a translation of the Hebrew term CHEMDAH (pronounced KHEM-DAW. CHEMDAH (Strong’s #2532) means literally, “pleasant, desire, desirable, beloved, goodly, and precious.” [1]   Attach “greatly” to the front of this word and what you have in this verse is one who is greatly pleasing to God, very desirable to God, very precious to God. Daniel was known in heaven by Gabriel as one who greatly pleased God, was very desirable to God and was very precious to God.

God loves all the people of His creation. We see this in numerous verses throughout the Bible, of which the following are a small sampling:  
  • Jeremiah 31:3 – “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” 
  • John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” 
  • Romans 1:7 – “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 
  • Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 – “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” 
  • 1 John 3:1 – “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” 
  • 1 John 4:7-16 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 
When the angel Gabriel addresses Daniel in Daniel 9:23, he states that Daniel is “greatly beloved.” Daniel is especially precious to God. Why is Daniel especially precious to God? I believe it is because Daniel is living in God’s love. Daniel seeks God with all his heart out love for God. Daniel knows the love of God and lives in it. He knows that “beloved” love of God. As we continue to examine the life of Daniel in chapter 9 we will see what is pleasing to God, what He desires most, and what He finds to be so precious to Him. God has a special affection for those who seek Him the way Daniel did, in prayer. When was the last time you sought God? Do you even know how to seek God? How are you known in heaven? Do those in heaven say of you,  “Oh that’s greatly ignoring, they are greatly loved by God but they don’t even realize it, they pay little to know attention to the One who loves them so much.” Or perhaps they say this, “Oh that’s greatly unread, God has written them a love letter (the Bible), but they don’t read it to see His love.” Do they turn to you and say, “There’s greatly unheard of, they don’t seek or respond to the loving Master in prayer.” Or do they finally say, "Oh, what a shame, there’s greatly distracted, they give priority to all the temporal things, but not to the loving Eternal One.People it needs to be said, if truth were to be told by the way we live we would be more likely to be known by such phrases as, greatly a sports fan, greatly a shopper, greatly a luster, greatly a business person, greatly a home improvements person, and greatly a recreation specialist. Daniel, on the other hand, was a person who regularly sought God. We know from our previous studies that Daniel was a man of prayer who sought the Lord in prayer regularly three times a day (Daniel 6:10). God loves it when we seek Him that is very precious to Him. We can learn a great deal about how to seek Him by looking at the life of Daniel as depicted here in Daniel 9. I don’t know about you, but I want to be pleasing and desirable to God, I want to be seen by Him as being precious. I want to do everything I can to bring Him joy and delight. I want to be moved and compelled by His love in whatever I do (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). I want to be seeking Him and in touch with Him so I can experience the greatly beloved state in its fullness. I guess what I desire most is to be known in heaven as one who is “greatly beloved.” As we examine Daniel in this chapter we will see the characteristics of one “greatly beloved” and hopefully, with the help of God, we too will become one known to be, “greatly beloved.”


Oftentimes we see God as cold, distant, far removed from us, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible tells us that God is loving and wants to share an intimate and personal relationship with us. We see this truth throughout the Bible.

In the book of Genesis we see that God establishes a friendship with Abraham (Genesis 18:18-19; 2 Chronicles 20:7; James 2:23). Friendship involves intimacy, sharing, caring, sacrificing, and trusting, between friends. Later in the Bible it states that God “set His love” on the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel):

  • Deuteronomy 7:7-8 - “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;8 “but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” 

In the Song of Solomon we have a symbolic representation of God’s love for His people communicated through the poetic interactions between Solomon and his Shulamite bride. IN this book we find the term “beloved” used 46 times in the 8 chapters of the book. Read some of the verses which depict God’s desired loving intimacy with us:

  • Song of Solomon 2:4 – “He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love.”
  • Song of Solomon 2:16 – “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” (See also 6:3; 7:10)
  • Song of Solomon 8:6-7 – “Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame.7 Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised.” 

In the New Testament we see the intimacy of God through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus was very personable and intimate with those around Him. Jesus wasn’t distant and cold. He was touchable and was One who touched others (e.g. Matthew 8:3, 15; 9:20-22, 29-30; 14:35-36; 20:34). The true test of Jesus’ approachability is seen in the closeness He had with children. The children came to Jesus and you can just picture them crawling all over Jesus (Mark 10:13-16). Children don’t run into the arms of a person with a cold and distant personality. Children run into the arms of One who is warm, friendly and who enjoys their company, closeness and friendship.

Some need more coaxing than others to come into the intimate presence of God. Do you remember Thomas? Thomas wouldn’t believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. He was cold to that fact. But Jesus melted that cold hard heart by inviting Thomas to touch His wounds (John 20:24-28).

There are many believers who are very doctrinally sound but cold of heart. They are like porcupines; they have so many points you can’t get near them. But Jesus specifically calls us to friendship with Him, friendship with God. That is what He said to His disciples:

  • John 15:15 - “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” 

God desires a warm, loving intimate friendship with us and we would be foolish to settle for anything less than that! The Bible calls us to “draw near” to God:

  • Hebrews 10:19-23 – “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”  (Emphasis added.)
  • James 4:8-10 – “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”  (Emphasis added.)

How could you turn down an offer like that from the Master of the universe?! Wouldn’t you rather sense and experience the closeness of being “greatly beloved” as Daniel did? But in truth, we often miss out on such intimacy with God. Why? Because we fail to enter into the personal and intimate relationship God desires to have with us. The problem is with us. The Bible warns us to draw near sincerely, ready to have God apply what He teaches us in His word. It does us no good to simply go through the motions of drawing near. Listen to the words of Jesus who said:

  • Matthew 15:7-9 - “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, 1 And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”” [2] (Emphasis added.)

God is not the one cold, distant and removed, we are! We pay God lip-service but when we draw near we leave our hearts behind. We need to come to God with our hearts. It is with our hearts that we believe, God wants our hearts:

  • Romans 10:8-10 – “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” 

How can we enter into such intimacy with God? By drawing near to God with our hearts. Daniel 9 shows us by way of Daniel’s example how to seek God with all our heart and enter into experiencing the “greatly beloved” relationship with God.

The “Greatly Beloved” Seek God

When you look at the life of Daniel from beginning to end you see a man who sought the Lord consistently. His “greatly beloved” relationship with God is what fortified and strengthened him through the years of turmoil he experienced. There are two ways to seek the Lord and Daniel shows us both in this chapter.


Daniel 9:1-2 – “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” 

Daniel was a student of the word of God. He studied it consistently and his study yielded great dividends. It was through Daniel’s study of the book of Jeremiah that he discovered that the duration of the exile imposed by God on the people was 70 years. Daniel was likely reading the following verses, which state this:

  • Jeremiah 25:11-12 – “‘And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.12 ‘Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the Lord; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation.” 

If we want to know God we must be into His word. This is almost too obvious to mention but obvious as it may be, study of God’s word is often one of the most neglected aspects of believer’s life in God. We need to study God’s word my friends. There is so much benefit from doing so (e.g. Psalm 19:7-11). Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, conveys this truth:

  • Psalm 119:1-2,9-11,18,25,28,41,50,81,92-93,99,105,130,133,160,162 – “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, 1 Who walk in the law of the Lord!2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! . . .9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You! . . .18 Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law. . . .25 My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. . . 28 My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word. . . 41 Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord—Your salvation according to Your word. . . 50 This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life. . . 81 My soul faints for Your salvation, But I hope in Your word. . . .92 Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.93 I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life. . . .99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. . . .105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. . . .130 The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.133 Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me. . . .160 The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. . . .162 I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure.” 

Daniel had access to these words. Daniel took them to heart and sought the Lord in His word. Daniel was into God’s word and God’s word was into Daniel and that led to Daniel having understanding, stability, hope and encouragement in his life. But he did not just read it, he obeyed it. The Bible tells us very clearly that reading the Bible is not enough, we need to apply it to our lives with God’s help. Jesus said we find intimacy with God as we keep His word:

  • John 14:15,21 - “If you love Me, keep My commandments. . . .21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 

If you want to experience intimacy, closeness and be “greatly beloved” then study and apply God’s word. (See also James 1:22-25 and 2 John 6).

Oh the blessing to his heart he must have felt when he went on to read in Jeremiah that God was not finished with Israel but had a plan for their lives:

  • Jeremiah 29:10-14 – “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”  (Emphasis added.)

It says, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Daniel took those words to heart. Those words inspired in Jeremiah by God telling him that a time would come when they would call upon God and find Him when they SEARCHED FOR HIM WITH ALL THEIR HEART! That is exactly what Daniel did. He didn’t just respond to those words with lip service. Daniel didn’t just say, “Hmmm, yes, I must pray to God more, I really should,” and then walk away. As soon as the Lord directed him to the book of Jeremiah, he purposed in his heart to allow God to apply those words to his heart. So he sought God in prayer.


Daniel 9:3 – “Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.” 

As soon as Daniel learned that the captivity was for 70 years, (which was nearly completed) and that God promised to be found by those who seek Him with all their hearts, Daniel got right down to business. Daniel wasted no time in seeking the Lord in serious determination and humility. He didn’t just give a flippant sentence of prayer toward the Lord, but he meant business!

The Bible tells us that God’s forgiveness comes to those who “confess” their sin to Him, who repent. We see this in the Old as well as the New Testament. Read the two sample verses of this below:

  • 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 
  • 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

The term “confess” found in 1 John 1:9 is a translation of the Greek term HOMOLOGEO (Strong’s #3670), and literally means, ““to speak the same thing” , “to assent, accord, agree with,” . . . “to confess by way of admitting oneself guilty of what one is accused of, the result of inward conviction.”[3] Therefore, when we confess our sin before God, in effect it means TO SEE THE SIN THE SAME WAY GOD DOES, TO SEE OUR SIN FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE. That is exactly what we see Daniel doing in this prayer. Daniel is putting our on the table before God, the sins of the nation, and doing so as God sees the sin.

Daniel had an intimate relationship with God and he knew God is merciful and forgiving. Therefore he sought the Lord on behalf of the people. Daniel’s prayer reveals the heart of a prayer warrior. He was an intercessor. Daniel was experienced in prayer, this was nothing knew to him and he intended to pull out all the stops. He believed God existed and he believed God was faithful to His word and so He approached God on the basis of His word. That is the best way to approach God, on the basis of His word. When was the last time you sought God with all your heart? Do you know what it means to seek God with all your heart?  If you want to know what it means to “seek God with all your heart” just look at Daniel’s prayer. Let’s see what and how Daniel prayed to God.


Daniel 9:4 – “And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,” 

Daniel begins his prayer by confessing that God is “great and awesome,” that God is faithful, “who keeps His covenant,” and that God is merciful. Noting these qualities in God serves as a backdrop and contrast to the sinful behavior of the people. This contrast shouts of God’s grace as God responds in forgiveness. Daniel is saying, “Lord, there is none like You and You are not the problem here, we are, we are the ones who have caused all the problems, we are the ones who have been unfaithful, we deserve these consequences to our sins.”

When David confessed his sin with Bathsheba before the Lord he began with acknowledging God just as Daniel did:

  • Psalm 51:1-4 – “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.” 

Only when we come to know and acknowledge God according to His nature do we really understand the sinfulness of our sin. Isaiah probably thought he was a pretty upstanding man and right on with God, but when brought into the presence of God, he understood his utter sinfulness before the holy God:

  • Isaiah 6:1-5 – “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.3 And one cried to another and said: 1 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”  

I believe that what happens to Daniel in this prayer of chapter 9 is similar to that which occurred to Isaiah. You might think to yourself, “Hey, wait a minute, why is Daniel including himself in this prayer of repentance? Isn’t he one of the good guys? He hasn’t done anything wrong.” But no matter who you are, when you come into the presence of the “Holy, holy, holy . . . LORD of hosts” you will see your utter spiritual bankruptcy before Him. Daniel wasn’t fool enough to think it necessary to excuse himself before God, “Now God, you know I’m not as bad as the people, in fact I’ve been a pretty upright guy, a shinning light of yours, but let me intercede on their behalf.” No, you see none of that. Daniel sees himself as a sinner before God, plain and simple (e.g. Romans 3:23; Gal. 3:10; James 2:10).

Thank God that we are saved by His gracious provision in Christ and not holding on to that chain of the Law in our own strength!

  • Psalm 32:1-2 – “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.” 
  • Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • Ephesians 1:7-9 – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,” 

Daniel had a personal relationship with God and you cannot have a personal relationship with Holy God unless you understand His grace and forgiveness. We come into His presence by His grace. ON our own we are unfit and ill equipped to come into His presence. By grace administered to us in Christ, we come into His presence:

  • Ephesians 2:18 – “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” 

Because of Daniel’s intimacy with God, when he comes before God to intercede, he comes openly and honestly.


Daniel 9:5-8 -  “we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.6 “Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land.7 “O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.8 “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.” 

Daniel makes no attempt to sugarcoat or rationalize away their sin, but he speaks openly and honestly about the fact that they are guilty in all these things. He doesn’t even distinguish between himself and the people; he includes himself with them in their sinfulness. He says, “we have sinned” (9:5). Sometimes we go to God and we tone down our sin. There may be a person we can’t stand, who we even hate; instead of confessing to God our true attitude toward such a person we go to Him and say, “Well God, you know I have a bit of a problem with old so-and-so. I don’t love him as much as I ought to. I mean, it’s really not my fault. They’re such a creep. They . . . .” We end up battering the other person in our prayers instead of coming clean before God in our prayers. If you are going to seek God with all your heart, you have to open your heart, every nook and cranny of it, honestly, open it to God. Daniel acknowledges that they have not obeyed God’s word and when God sent prophets, or took steps to wake them up to their sin and need, the people sinfully rebelled and ignored God’s efforts. Daniel makes no excuses here, he simply says, “Lord, we were dead wrong and You were right to bring captivity upon us. You are righteous and we are ashamed to have rebelled against you as we did.” When you come to God, you need to come to Him openly, honestly and see your utter sinfulness before a great and awesome God.


Daniel 9:9-15 - “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.10 “We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.11 “Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.12 “And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.13 “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth.14 “Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice.15 “And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!”  

Daniel expresses confidence in God’s “mercy and forgiveness” even though they have sinned. What Daniel says in effect is that everything that has happened to them has occurred due to their disregard of God’s word. Daniel acknowledges that God warned them in His word (9:10). The Law of Moses stated this would happen and God’s word is true (Deuteronomy 28). Daniel admits that based on God’s word they are all guilty before Him. This is true always, all fall short of God’s glory, all have sinned (Romans 3:23). But thankfully the same word which shows us our sin, also speaks of the righteous mercy and grace of God.


Daniel 9:16-19 - “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us.17 “Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.18 “O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.19 “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” 

Daniel says, “for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deed, but because of Your great mercies.” We should never go to God and appeal to Him to treat us justly, because justice means we will get what we deserve and that is judgment! Mercy however, is not getting what you deserve and as Daniel did, we should appeal to God’s mercy so that we don’t get the judgment we deserve. There is a third aspect of coming to God, which blesses us and that is God’s grace. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. We don’t deserve the countless second chances given us by God, but His grace secures our hope.

God Shares With the Greatly Beloved

Daniel 9:20-23 – “Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God,21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.23 “At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:” 

The final verses of Daniel 9 contain an incredible prophecy about the coming of Christ and the End Times. It should not be lost on us that this awesome prophecy was given to one seen as “greatly beloved” who expressed that love in prayer.  God opened up Daniel’s understanding and gave him this prophecy after he had been seeking God in His word and seeking God in prayer. Its almost as though God looked down on Daniel thinking, “Oh how I love that Daniel, I’m going to bless him in a very special way and all those who read the word I inspire through him I’m going to let him and all the world know just exactly when My Son Jesus will make His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.” Daniel was ready and able to receive this blessed prophecy because he was living in the greatly beloved  relationship with God.  That should speak to us. If we are going to experience illumination and revelation about God, we need to be in His word and on our knees. God opens His treasure chest of truth to those who seek Him.

God goes on to lay out prophetically 490 years of future history for Israel. It is a fantastic word from the Lord that must have served to be greatly comforting to Daniel and God’s people. If we love the Lord and pray to Him, perhaps He will provide us with illumination from His word to comfort and direct us. He already has done that. We simply need to be illuminated to that word. That will happen if we pray.  


“Greatly beloved,” was how Daniel was seen in heaven. He was a man of God’s word and a man of prayer. He had an intimate and full relationship with God that made him ready to receive one of the most incredible prophecies in the Bible. Now if we follow in the footsteps of Daniel and are seen as “greatly beloved,” it doesn’t mean we will receive a prophetic revelation like he did, (God has closed the canon of scripture). But what it does mean, I believe, is that we will receive deeper illumination of God’s word and have a greater sense of the presence and intimacy available for us with God. In effect, when we seek God in His word and in prayer, we come to know what it means to be “greatly beloved.”

But we often miss out on the “greatly beloved” life with God. Why? We miss it because of distractions, unconfessed sin, or simple neglect or the memory of Who God is crowded out of our lives. . Tennessee Williams in a story entitled “Something By Tolstoy” tells the story of two people who were at one time “greatly beloved” to each other, but because of neglect and distraction they missed out on that love.

“Jacob Brodzky, was a shy Russian Jew whose father owned a bookstore. The older Brodzky wanted his son to go to college. The boy, on the other hand, desired nothing but to marry Lila, his childhood sweetheart -- a French girl as effusive, vital, and ambitious as he was contemplative and retiring.

A couple of months after young Brodzky went to college, his father fell ill and died. The son returned home, buried his father, and married his love. Then the couple moved into the apartment above the bookstore, and Brodzky took over its management. The life of books fit him perfectly, but it cramped her. She wanted more adventure -- and she found it, she thought, when she met an agent who praised her beautiful singing voice and enticed her to tour Europe with a vaudeville company. Brodzky was devastated. At their parting, he reached into his pocket and handed her the key to the front door of the bookstore. "You had better keep this," he told her, "because you will want it some day. Your love is not so much less than mine that you can get away from it. You will come back sometime, and I will be waiting. "She kissed him and left.

To escape the pain he felt, Brodzky withdrew deep into his bookstore and took to reading as someone else might have taken to drink. He spoke little, did little, and could most times be found at the large desk near the rear of the shop, immersed in his books while he waited for his love to return. Nearly 15 years after they parted, at Christmastime, she did return. But when Brodzky rose from the reading desk that had been his place of escape for all that time, he did not take the love of his life for more than an ordinary customer. "Do you want a book?" he asked. That he didn't recognize her startled her. But she gained possession of herself and replied, "I want a book, but I've forgotten the name of it. "Then she told him a story of childhood sweethearts. A story of a newly married couple that lived in an apartment above a bookstore. A story of a young, ambitious wife who left to seek a career, who enjoyed great success but could never relinquish the key her husband gave her when they parted. She told him the story she thought would bring him to himself. But his face showed no recognition. Gradually she realized that he had lost touch with his heart's desire, that he no longer knew the purpose of his waiting and grieving, that now all he remembered was the waiting and grieving itself. "You remember it; you must remember it -- the story of Lila and Jacob? "After a long, bewildered pause, he said, "There is something familiar about the story, I think I have read it somewhere. It comes to me that it is something by Tolstoy. "Dropping the key, she fled the shop. And Brodzky returned to his desk, to his reading, unaware that the love he waited for had come and gone. [4]

How sad it is when we are distracted from that which would have fulfilled and completed us. There is nothing greater than to be “greatly beloved” by God. I believe all believers are “greatly beloved” by God, but sadly, only a very few understand what it means to be “greatly beloved.” Won’t you draw near to God with all your heart? Won’t you come to experience that “greatly beloved” relationship with God? Don’t let this love pass you by. Seek the Lord with all your heart and He will be found by you.

If we are to keep God in our remembrance and recognize Him when He comes, we need to be in prayer and in His word. Then we will recognize Him when He comes. Then we will know Him. Then we may too remember what our beloved nation once was and welcome her back to what she can be once again. Oh LORD, bring it to pass. Help us to pray for our Land!

[1]Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
[2]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
[3]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.
[4] Signs of the Times, June, 1993, Page 11.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Restore Us O God!

Psalm 80 speaks of a time of hardship in which the restoration of God is needed for His people. The difficulty apparently had led to depression and discouragement. They were beginning to realize they needed God’s restoration. They needed to be revived. They had lost their passion for God. Perhaps this loss of passion was the cause of their difficulties.

There is a lesson for all of us to learn from this psalm. Do you have a passion for God? Are you only so-so or lukewarm? Jesus finds such a state in His followers repulsive. He said as much to the church of Laodicea (cf. Rev. 3:14-22). And unfortunately the contemporary Church is much like the Laodiceans. One commentator states:

The New Testament Church did not depend on a moral majority, but rather on the holy minority. The Church right now has more fashion than passion, is more pathetic than prophetic, is more superficial than supernatural. The church the Apostles ministered in was a suffering church; today we have a sufficient church. Events in the Spirit-controlled Church were amazing; in this day the Church is often just amusing. The New Testament Church was identified with persecutions, prisons, and poverty; today many of us are identified with prosperity, popularity, and personalities.[1]

Jesus rebuked the Laodicean church for being lukewarm, thinking they had need of nothing while in reality they were spiritually “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” Jesus counsel to them was to “buy from Me gold refined in the fire.” The key is “from Me.” Jesus said to these people, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” The gold, the most valuable possession of Jesus, is our intimate relationship with Him; coming into His presence. “He who has an ear, let him her what the Spirit says to the churches.” Hear what Psalm 80 says about restoration and revival.

Psalm 80:1 - Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!

God is prayerfully appealed to as the Shepherd of Israel His flock. And this is no small thing. Someone has said

            The self-satisfied do not want to pray.

            The self-sufficient do not need to pray.

The self-righteous cannot pray. [2]

God has been working on these people. Their circumstances and loses are percolating within them and has finally brought them back to their God.

As Shepherd, God directs us to green pastures of His word to graze in, protects us from predators, and keeps us close to His presence. This presence is alluded to in the words, “You who dwell between the cherubim.” This brings to mind the ark of the covenant whose lid had two gold cherubs with wings outstretched toward each other. This lid was “the mercy seat” (Exodus 25:17ff.). It was here where God’s glory, His presence manifested itself to His people (Exodus 40).

Here is a call for the glory of the Lord to “shine forth!” God’s glory or shinning forth is closely connected with the manifestation of His presence (e.g. Exodus 32 and 33). When we look at the Old Testament God led His people with a pillar of fire by night. The fire of the LORD provided warmth, light to see the way in the dark, and protection from enemies. As the Shepherd of Israel, God oversees Israel like a flock. The psalm starts off with a pronounced recognition of God’s Shepherding oversight and then cries out for it to be renewed in the lives of the people.

2 Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, Stir up Your strength, And come and save us! 3 Restore us, O God; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!

Here is a call for revival. A revival is an extraordinary manifestation of the glory of God. The word “restore” can also be translated “Turn us again” and means to return or go back, bring back. The people had lost something and were crying out to God to restore what had been lost. That they cry out for God to shine forth implies they were missing the presence of the LORD in their lives. They rightly associated this with salvation and sought to be restored.

4   O Lord God of hosts, How long will You be angry Against the prayer of Your people?

The people of Israel sensed the displeasure of God. What might have incurred the anger of God toward His people? Sin causes God to turn a deaf ear to the sinner (cf. Psalm 66:18). God is holy and pure and finds sin and wicked practices repulsive (Hab. 1:13). Sin separates us from God who is Holy (Isaiah 59:2).

Now God’s people were coming around. They were coming to recognize their wrongs before God and wanting restoration were crying out to God for restoration. God waits to assure that the sinner recognizes the seriousness of their sin.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his book Revival states:

“If you do not see your hopelessness, and your utter despair, before this holy, righteous God, who hates sin with the whole of his being, you have no right to talk about revival, or to pray for it. What revival reveals above everything else is the sovereignty of God, and the iniquity, the helplessness, the hopelessness, of man in sin.” – p. 42

Without a humbling recognition of our sin and guilt, revival will not come.

5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, And given them tears to drink in great measure.

The first step to restoration is conviction for the sin that hinders. This involves repentance and that repentance involves a deep teary sense of regret and a desire for restoration with the Lord. It is not mere shedding of tears. It is a deep conviction for sin that results in a change of mind and heart toward that sin (2 Cor. 7:10). Repentance means we regret our sin, desire restoration and do not plan to repeat that sin. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts the sinner of their sin (John 16:8-11).

6 You have made us a strife to our neighbors, And our enemies laugh among themselves.

Without God’s presence, we are impotent and helpless, a laughingstock before our enemies. When we stray from the Lord and His word our relationships with those around us often become adversarial and aggravated.

7 Restore us, O God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!

Repentance then leads to a cry for God to shine forth; for His glory and power to come down again on His people.

 8 You have brought a vine out of Egypt; You have cast out the nations, and planted it. 9 You prepared room for it, And caused it to take deep root, And it filled the land.

Israel is the vine God rescued from the world of Egypt and planted in a fruitful place where it could take root. The LORD is the Vinedresser who digs, plants, cares for and cultivates the vine of His people (Luke 13:6-9).

10 The hills were covered with its shadow, And the mighty cedars with its boughs. 11 She sent out her boughs to the Sea, And her branches to the River. 12  Why have You broken down her hedges, So that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit? 13 The boar out of the woods uproots it, And the wild beast of the field devours it.

Israel was growing and spreading until she lost God’s protective covering. She was lunging ahead of the Lord. Without God’s covering she was vulnerable to robbery and loss. She was in danger of being uprooted and devoured. Without God we are at the mercy of others. We need to guard against lunging ahead or lagging behind the Lord. We need to walk in step with Him; going where He wants us to go and staying where He wants us to stay. That is true of individuals. That is true also of nations.

In the book of Jeremiah we read:

·         Jeremiah 18:7-12 - 7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it. 11 “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.” ’ ” 12 And they said, “That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.”

God always gives ample warning before He passes judgment. He is merciful in that if a nation repents He will relent of the disaster they deserve because of their sin. It that nation continues in sin, God will relent of doing good to that nation. God warned Judah about their sin and the consequences. They disregarded God’s call to repentance as “hopeless!” They saw no future in following God. That’s sad. They went into captivity and suffered greatly.

When we look at the United States today and view it through the lens of Jeremiah’s prophetic word I shouldn’t surprise us to see the many troubles our nation is experiencing.  Our nation has been indoctrinated from within through education and the media to forsake God. We as a nation seem to see no future in following God. We too cry, “hopeless!” And if we as a nation persist in our rejection and resistance to God, that hopeless cry will apply to us in some very grave ways. What is the answer? What is the solution? Revival!

14  Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, And visit this vine

We need to call out to God for His return, “Lord visit us again! We miss You! We need You!” It is only when we come to God as the only solitary and preeminent need for our lives, the indispensible and supreme Person in our lives, the King of kings and Lord of lords, only when we are willing and eager to have Him take His rightful position in our lives, then and only then will He bring revival to us.

The poem Revival – God’s Way by Estelle Gifford Jackson expresses what is needed for revival to come:

Revival – God’s Way

Where is the hope for Revival –

God’s Holy Spirit outpoured

Convicting of sin, and of judgment,

And righteousness of the Lord?


When nothing else is important –

Only God’s presence Divine,

When Christians quit worldly pleasures,

Then God, His ear will incline.


Desperate prayer for Revival

Will cleanse the Church by the Word.

Then clothed in spotless, white linen,

The Bride clears the way  for her Lord.


Prayer is the key to Revival,

Prayer that is true Spirit-born,

Nights of compassionate weeping – Intercession for all the forlorn.


Then will the burdens be lifted,

Then all the sinners will cry,

Then all the chains will be loosened

And worldly passions will die.


The lost ones will yield to God’s Spirit

When Christians, cleanses, weep and pray;

God’s Living Water flows outward;

This is “Revival – God’s Way”![3]



15 And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, And the branch that You made strong for Yourself.

We need to return to the root truth that we are what we are because of God and without Him we are lost! America has a godly Christian heritage. When need to get back to our roots.

16  It is burned with fire, it is cut down; They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance.

Without God we are lost! Ready to be burned in the fire! Perishing at His rebuke! Like Israel, God brought them into the world and God can and did take them out as a nation. He would eventually restore them, but only when they had paid their just due and been thoroughly disciplined by Him.

17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. 18  Then we will not turn back from You; Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.19  Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!

We need the touch of Lord. We need His strength. We need revival! We need God’s reviving power! Restore us O LORD and shine Your glory down on us! Without Your touch we are weak and wasted. We need revival. Then and only then, when revival comes, can we call upon God and experience the shine of His glorious presence in our lives. Then and only then will we experience His salvation life. Then and only then will we find restoration.

[1] Leonard Ravenhill, Revival God’s Way (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Pub. 1983) p. 57
[2] Leonard Ravenhill, Revival God’s Way (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Pub. 1983) p. 134
[3] Leonard Ravenhill, Revival God’s Way, (Minneaplis, MN: Bethany House Pub. 1983), p. 16

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Way to Personal Revival – Part 2

We are toward the end of what seems to have been endless presidential election cycle. This election has brought out the worst in our nation. We are a severely divided nation. Establishment globalist socialists versus patriotic democratic citizens. (Even that description will raise the ire of some.) Our nation will soon eclipse 20 trillion dollars in debt. There is the constant threat of terror attacks. There is unrest and rioting in the streets. There is a dense air of dissatisfaction in the air and we have seen it bubble over into rioting and street violence.  Add to this the disinformation and embellishment of the main stream media which picks and chooses which information to propagandize its audience with making bad situations worse and that looks more to sensationalize events rather than accurately report them, (how many "storms of the century" have we really had?) and there can be no doubt we need reviving by God.

Revivals seem to start with individuals. God works on a heart and then He moves to hearts. When we pray for a revival, we need to do what another teacher on revival has said, and that is to draw a circle around ourselves and start praying for the person inside that circle. We need a personal revival before we can have a national revival! This study is The Way to Personal Revival. It is my prayer that God would refresh us and do a mighty work in and through us that would impact us personal as individuals, and in our families, neighborhoods, communities, workplaces, cities, states, regions, and nation, all for the glory of God. That’s what we need, that’s what this world needs. God may it be according to Your will and power. 


What is a Revival?

What is revival? Is it something that only happened with enthusiastic people of the past? Is it when people put up a tent and have special outdoor meetings? Does everyone need a revival? When does a person need a revival in their lives? These and perhaps a few more, are some questions the Lord has directed me to address in this message.

Revival is a work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of a people. A revival is a re-sensitizing and softening of the heart. A revival is a refreshing of the Holy Spirit. Greg Laurie describes revival this way:


“The word ‘revival’ means ‘to restore to one’s original condition,’ to get back to the way that you used to be.’ And so when God speaks of revival He’s speaking to His own people and He’s saying that we should get back to that walk with Him that we may have had at an earlier time in our lives . . . . Revival is not something that just happens across the board, it’s something that happens in an individual’s life. We can pray, ‘Oh Lord send an awakening, send a revival!’ But it starts with me. It starts with you . . . . We need to get back to the time honored, God-tested, tried and true message of the Bible . . . . God has told us how to live.” – Greg Laurie in What is Revival? (WFT tape #G381)


Here are some other descriptions of revival:


·         Charles Finney - Revival is a renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one's will to God in deep humility.

·         Del Fehsenfield Jr. -   Revival awakens in our hearts an increased awareness of the presence of God, a new love for God, a new hatred for sin, and a hunger for His Word. . . . Revival is not just evangelism, excitement, or emotionalism. It is the extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit! . . . Revival, no matter how great or small in its ultimate scope, always begins with individual believers whose hearts are desperate for God, and who are willing to pay the price to meet Him. . . . Revival is the moving of God's Spirit, through the power of His Word, to the hearts of His children, that resurrects to new life those areas which have been lying stagnant, dormant, or out of balance, and that results in new love and obedience to Jesus Christ. . . . Nothing short of an outpouring of God's Spirit will revitalize and empower an impotent and anemic church to display once again His glory to a lost world.

·         G. Campbell Morgan - We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again

·         Leonard Ravenhill - Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that He shows Himself.

·         Stephen Olford - Whether it be in the personal life, or in the church life, or on the mission field, we need revival--we need revival urgently--we need revival desperately!  . . . Revival is the manifestation of the glory, power, and blessing of the Son of God among His people. . . .  Revival is ultimately Christ Himself, seen, felt, heard, living, active, moving in and through His body on earth. . . . Revival is not some emotion or worked-up excitement; it is rather an invasion from heaven which brings to man a conscious awareness of God. . . . Revival is that strange and sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people--restoring, reanimating, and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing. . . . When God breaks into a life or a community, nothing else matters save the person of Jesus, the glory of Jesus, the name of Jesus. . . . Will you pray 'Revive me!' and then open your being to the Spirit of Revival? Do not rest until you have been restored to the fullness of the blessing that God is waiting to pour out in your life!

·         Vance Havner - Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again.

When is a Revival Needed?

Generally speaking, a revival is needed when the church, (the people in it), has become ineffective, weakened, or run down in its ministry to the world. This may be the result of depending too much on self and not enough on the empowerment of the Spirit. This may be the result of a lack of faith. It may be the result of heresy in the church. It may be the result of sexual immorality or compromise of various kinds that have crept into the church. It may be the result of carnality and division in the church.

Revival is needed when the heart of believers has become hardened or dulled. Like an ax that becomes dulled from use and must be re-sharpened, the dulled heart must be repaired too.

A revival is a re-breaking of the heart by the Holy Spirit.

Scripture states:

·         Psalm 34:18 - The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.      

·         Psalm 51:17 - The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.  

·         1 Peter 5:5b-6 - . . . Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, (See also revival under Josiah in 2 Kings 22:18-20)

Revival is needed when troubles are weighing heavy on the hearts of believers. At Pentecost the believers who had been obediently waiting in prayer for the empowering of the Holy Spirit referred to by Jesus (Acts 1:4-5,8), were empowered in answer to their prayer in accord with the promise of God (Acts 2). 3,000 were saved on that day (Acts 2:41). Those who were saved were “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Of these newly empowered believers that started up the early church it states, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). The Lord was performing miracles through Peter and John and opening doors to preach the gospel (Acts 3). The church grew to 5,000 (Acts 4:3-4).

But where the gospel goes forth and ministry is done, you can always expect opposition from the enemy. Peter and John were opposed by the religious Jews, (the same ones who had played a major role in crucifying Jesus) and forbidden to preach Jesus any longer but Peter and John kept on preaching (Acts 4:1-22). But this was the first of many persecutions of the early believers  (Acts 5:40-41; 6:8-15; 7:1-60; 8:3-4; 9:31; 11:19-21; 13:45-51; 14:19-22; 16:16-40; 17:13; 20:17-24; 21:10-14; 22:19-20). Such persistent persecution could have quenched a people if they depended on their own strength. Opposition and persecution weigh heavy on those who are the objects of it. But the Lord can use such things.

When they returned to the brethren and told them how God had worked, the assembly worshipped the Lord (Acts 4:23-28). And as they prayed the Bible states:

·         Acts 4:23-31 - 23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:  ‘Why did the nations rage,  And the people plot vain things? 26  The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

As the last verse in this passage shows, those who had been empowered at Pentecost, but who had experienced opposition and persecution, were refreshed or revived by the Holy Spirit.

Who Gives a Revival?

Revivals come from God. The Psalmist repeatedly calls on God for revival:

·         Psalm 85:6 - Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?     

  • Psalm 71:20 - You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
  • Psalm 119:25 - My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.
  • Psalm 119:37 - Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.
  • Psalm 119:40 - Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness.
  • Psalm 119:88 - Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.
  • Psalm 119:107 - I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.
  • Psalm 119:149 - Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; O Lord, revive me according to Your justice.
  • Psalm 119:154 - Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word.
  • Psalm 119:156 - Great are Your tender mercies, O Lord; Revive me according to Your judgments.
  • Psalm 119:159 - Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.
  • Psalm 138:7 - Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.
  • Psalm 143:11 - Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
 Where Do Revivals Begin?

Revivals begin in the hearts of God’s people. The Bible states:

·         2 Chronicles 7:14 - 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.

“My people” or the people of God are the ones who need to humble themselves and pray and seek the face of God. Andrew Bonar, a revivalist stated:

Revivals begin with God's own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!


Prayer is Integral to Revival

The above verses say revival will come when God’s people, “humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, . . .” Prayer is integral to revival. Lewis Drummond stated:


An awakening is ready to burst on the dismal scene when Christians have a deep, profound Spirit of prayer for an awakening.


Stephen Olford once wrote:


The people of God in America are doing everything today except praying! We can plan programs, promote rallies, raise money, exalt personalities, play softball, swallow goldfish, and many other 'good things' with the best of the them, but we can't get the people of God to attend real prayer meetings.


If we want revival, we must pray for it.


What does a Revival look like?

Oswald Smith described the Irish revival of 1859 in the following way:

. . .  people became so weak that they could not get back to their homes. Men and women would fall by the wayside and would be found hours later pleading with God to save their souls. They felt that they were slipping into hell and that nothing else in life mattered but to get right with God... To them eternity meant everything. Nothing else was of any consequence. They felt that if God did not have mercy on them and save them, they were doomed for all time to come. 


The following is a summary of what happened in the classic 1904 Welch Revival:

Souls were saved, individual lives were changed and Society itself was changed. . . .
Countless numbers of souls were saved. No records were kept of the actual number converted, but 150,000 is a very conservative estimate during the first six months.
Wales again became a God-fearing nation. People, thousands of them, were saved. There are men and women still in our churches today whose parents or grandparents' testimonies were that they were converted in the Revival in 1904 or 1905. . . .
Not only were individual lives changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, but whole communities were changed indeed society itself was changed - Wales was again a God-fearing nation. . . . Public [drinking] houses [or bars] became empty. Men and women who used to waste their money in getting drunk were now saving it, giving it to help their churches, buying clothes and food for their families. And not only drunkenness, but stealing and other offences grew less and less so that often a magistrate came to court and found there were no cases for him. . . . Men whose language had been filthy before learnt to talk purely. . . . with the sounds of prayer and hymns, instead of oaths and nasty jokes and gossip. . . . People who had been careless about paying their bills, or paying back money they had borrowed, paid up all they owed. People who had not been friends for a long time because of something that had happened in the past, forgot their quarrels and were happy together again. In fact, Evan Roberts used to say that there could be no blessing on anyone who had unkind thoughts about anyone else.[1]

What Prevents a Revival?

A lack of obedience to God prevents revival. A.W. Tozer wrote:


Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late - and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.

 A lukewarm lackadaisical attitude toward God prevents revival. Andrew Murray once wrote:

We must not be satisfied with a feeble life, but must seek for an abundant life. We must surrender ourselves entirely, that the Spirit may take full possession of us, so manifesting that life in us that there may come an entire transformation in our spiritual being, by which the complete mastery of Christ and the Spirit is recognized. . . . A true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and making God and His love triumph in the heart and life. . . . May it not be that the formality, the lukewarmness and worldliness, the self and pleasure-seeking, which marks the great majority of our professing Christians, are being looked upon by God as 'wicked abominations' in His house, while we have very little conception of their evil? . . . Men ought to seek with their whole hearts to be filled with the Spirit of God. Without being filled with the Spirit, it is utterly impossible that an individual Christian or a church can ever live or work as God desires.


A lack of holiness, compromise and rationalizing with sin prevents revival. Charles Haddon Spurgeon stated:


If Christ has died for me--ungodly as I am, without strength as I am--then I can no longer live in sin, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me. I cannot trifle with the evil that killed my best Friend. I must be holy for his sake. How can I live in sin when He has died to save me from it?


The Bible says:

·         1 Peter 1:15-16 - 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Holiness is not optional; it is something God wants and yes, demands for us.


How Can We Experience Revival?

Genesis is the book of beginnings. Everything starts in the book of Genesis. The first revival is found in the book of Genesis in chapter 35. In scripture there is a principle of first mention, which means the first mention of something sets the standard or foundation of a definition. If we want to know how to experience a revival the first place we should look is the first place it occurs. That means we should go to Genesis 35.


Jacob is the main human character in this first revival. He is the perfect person to be revived because he had a history of relying on himself (on his flesh or carnal nature). His very name means “heel catcher,” or one who grabs. Jacob was one of a pair of twins born to Isaac (who was himself a miracle baby). A prophecy foretold that Jacob the younger would rule over Esau the older and the two would be at odds with one another (Genesis25: 19-26). Early in their lives Jacob manipulated his way into getting Esau’s birthright (Genesis 25:27-34) and stealing his father Isaac’s blessing (Genesis 27). This created hatred in Esau for Jacob and Jacob actually had to flee for his life (Genesis 27:41-46). On his journey God spoke to Jacob in a dream and Jacob, the fleshly man, responded with offering God a conditional vow (Genesis 28). You don’t put conditions on God. But that is the way Jacob the grasper was, he was always looking to get something for himself. He met his match in Laban who would become his father in law. Laban outwitted him as Jacob served 14 years to secure Rachel as his wife and got her sister Leah too in the transaction (Genesis 29). Family life for Jacob and his two wives was contemptuous since the two wives competed for Jacob’s favor. Jacob’s family grew and eventually had to leave Laban’s territory when conflict arose (Genesis 31). Jacob left Laban on bad terms. As Jacob went on his way he heard that Esau was ahead of him and he feared greatly. He responded to this situation by first strategizing to appease Esau with goods he sent on ahead but then God met him in the night and he had a wrestling match with the LORD. The result of Jacob’s struggle with God was God blessed him with a wound that would cause him to always trust God as His Lord (Genesis 32). This was a pivotal and life changing event in Jacob. When Jacob met Esau he humbled himself before him and the two brothers reconciled (Genesis 33). Jacob finally had some peace in his life until his daughter Dinah was raped by a neighborhood boy Shechem. This led to her brother’s vengeful murder and plundering of the Shechem and his entire family and the city where they lived which was a cause of great grief to Jacob (Genesis 34). This then leads us to the chapter where we find the first revival.

How can we experience revival?

First, realize God initiates revival. Genesis 35 begins with the words, “then God said to Jacob” (35:1a). God saw the need for revival in Jacob’s life and God took the initiative to speak to Him about it. God usually begins to revive a people by speaking to them, burdening their heart and convicting them of their need of revival. The apostle Paul stated:

·         1 Corinthians 15:10 - 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

·         Philippians 2:12-13 - 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

And so revival is a gracious work of God in us. (See also Acts 15:8-9).

Second, realize revival involves God reminding us of where we once were (35:1b). God said to Jacob:

·         Genesis 35:1 - Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.”

In Genesis 34 Jacob’s sons had just wiped out a city in anger over the rape of Dinah. Jacob needed God to remind him of a time when he was close to God. “Bethel” means literally “house of God.” This was the place the Lord first met with Jacob. The LORD reminded Jacob of the words He gave to him when he first was fleeing from Esau. What were those words? At Bethel the LORD said:

·         Genesis 28:12-15 - 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

These are words of grace because God is stating He gives the land to Jacob (28:13). They are words of promise as God promises growth and that He would use Jacob to bless others (28:14). They are words of protection as God promises to keep Jacob and not leave him until all God purposed to do was completed (28:15). These are the words God wanted to remind Jacob about.

The Bible says:

·         Romans 10:9-10 - 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

When you were saved you proclaimed Jesus as your Lord. Is He still your Lord? Have you slowly or rebelliously taken back some of the things you once gave Him control of? Maybe you need to go to Him in prayer and return that which you’ve taken back. And maybe you need to ask Him to search you deeper for areas that need to be surrendered to His Lordship. Is He your “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”? (See Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 19:16). If you are further not nearer to the Lord today than you once were, you are what the Bible refers to as a backslider (Jeremiah 3:6-15). God will heal your backslidden ways if you return to Him (Hosea 14:4). We need to return to our first love (Revelation 2:1-7).

Third, realize revivals often work through a person chosen by God who acts on God’s word (35:2a). The account goes on to say, “And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, . . .” Jacob acted on what God had conveyed to Him. God moved on Jacob’s heart and he passed on to others what the Lord had put on his heart. Revivals are quenched by those who keep what God conveys to them to themselves. If God gives a word, he desires us to share it! (Jeremiah 20:9; Galatians 6:2). The Bible is filled with God’s call to share His word with others and that is especially true in revival settings (1 Peter 3:15). It may be a testimony of what God has done in your life or a scripture He has put on your heart, an answered prayer, God can use such things to spark a revival. We need to exert a bit of caution here though. We shouldn’t feel like we have to say something; don’t use such a time to voice a pet peeve or gripe. We need to listen to the Lord and only speak if He directs you to do so (Acts 4:8f., 31; 13:9f.; James 1:19-20; 1 Peter 4:11).

Fourth, realize revivals involve holiness, a willingness to forsake anything and everything that is not pleasing to God (35:2b). Genesis 35:2 states:

·         Genesis 35:2 - 2 And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.

We need to be willing to ferret out sin in our hearts and lives. We need to be willing to forsake and throw away anything that jeopardizes our walk wit h the Lord (Galatians 2:20). The Bible states:

·         Psalm 66:18 - If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.  

Hearts are dulled and desensitized to the Spirit when sin, fleshly attitudes, worldly distractions are allowed to muddle up one’s heart before God. We need to clean house before the Lord. We need to ask God to search us as the Scripture says:

·         Psalm 139:23-24 - Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. (See also Jeremiah 4:3-4)

 The missionary Jonathan Goforth stated:


If revival is being withheld from us it is because some idol remains still enthroned; because we still insist in placing our reliance in human schemes; because we still refuse to face the unchangeable truth that, 'It is not by might, but by My Spirit.'

Surrender and lay yourself bare before God and seek His holy gaze upon you and then respond to His conviction with repentance and forsaking whatever thing He points to in your life and heart. Someone sent me a story about a Haitian pastor who shared a powerful life principle about the need to let God do a thorough work in us. The pastor recounted:

A certain man wanted to sell his house for two thousand dollars. Another man wanted very badly to buy it but couldn't afford the full price the owner was asking. After much bargaining however, he agreed to sell the house to the poor man for half the original price -- along with just one stipulation: He would retain ownership of one small nail protruding from just over the door.

After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found the carcass of a dead dog and hung it from the single nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable and the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail.

The Haitian pastor concluded that "If we leave the Devil with even one small peg in our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ's habitation."

 The devil has only come to steal, kill and destroy. He can be very crafty and he would love nothing more than to steal from us our very inhabitance in the Lord. Let's ask the Lord to reveal any pegs we may be leaving for the devil today and take back all that belongs to us in Jesus!

We need to seek for God to do a thorough work in us. This work must be along the lines of Paul’s words to the Thessalonians where he was inspired to write:

·         1 Thessalonians 5:22-25 - 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us.

We need to be wholly and totally surrendered to God (Romans 12:1-2). God is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. Give Him your all.

Fifth, realize revivals involve taking action on God’s word (35:3-4). Jacob and his family took action; they obeyed the word of the Lord. It states:

·         Genesis 35:3-4 - 3 Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” 4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.

Jesus said the one who truly loved Him was the one who was obedient to Him (John 14:21, 23). Do you love Jesus enough to obey Him? (Matthew 7:21-28; James 1:22-24).

Sixth, realize revivals result in God’s protection (35:5). It states:

·         Genesis 35:5 - 5 And they journeyed, and the terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.

Revivals lead to the protection of God over His people. He puts a holy awe on even the secular onlookers. Often so-called “revivals” are more a circus and source of curiosity than an exalting of Jesus. The presence of God was such that no one dare come against Jacob and his people. If someone has been persecuting you or falsely accusing you or on the attack against you, rests in God, put your trust in Him as your Protector (see Psalm 4:8; 11; 59; 121; 124; 139:10). The Scripture states:

·         Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’      

·         Isaiah 54:17 - No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.

·         Isaiah 59:19 - So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.     

God is better able to defend us and His church against enemies than we are or any other earthly person is. (E.g. Acts 5 and Ananias and Sapphira; Paul and the sorcerer in Acts 13:6-11).

John Wesley used to say:

Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven upon earth.

Seventh, realize revivals result in a focus on God (35:6-7). Jacob moved from merely remembering that holy place by giving it the name of “Bethel(i.e. “house of God”) to focusing on “El Bethel,” or the God of the house of God. Revivals are not wrought by focusing on the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is working and bringing revival the focus is on Jesus. Jesus said:

·         John 15:26 - 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

Jesus said, “He will testify of Me.” When the Holy Spirit comes upon a people in revival, the focus is on JESUS. In a genuine revival the focus is on Jesus, not any other human leader or even the Holy Spirit Himself; it is on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2; 13:5).

Eighth, realize revivals may involve weeping (35:8). Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse died and the place where they lay her was then called “the oak of weeping.” Revivals sometimes come to prepare us for a loss (see Death of Rachel in 35:16-29). Sometimes a loss occurs in the midst of a revival. But weeping shows a willingness to allow our emotions out. People are often reserved or embarrassed to let their emotions out. Sometimes the keeping in of emotions is a sign of pride. In humility and humble (not prideful show) we should let our emotions out before the Lord.  (See Psalm 30:4-5).

Leonard Ravenhill wrote:

I read of the revivals of the past, great sweeping revivals where thousands of men were swept into the Kingdom of God. I read about Charles G. Finney winning his thousands and his hundreds of thousands of souls to Christ. Then I picked up a book and read the messages of Charles G. Finney and the message of Jonathan Edwards on 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,' and I said, 'No wonder men trembled; no wonder they fell in the altars and cried out in repentance and sobbed their way to the throne of grace!'

But a revival is not based on emotion; emotion is an honest bi-product of it. Stephen Olford wrote:

Revival is not some emotion or worked-up excitement; it is rather an invasion from heaven which brings to man a conscious awareness of God.

Ted Rendall adds:

Perhaps the greatest barrier to revival on a large scale is the fact that we are too interested in a great display. We want an exhibition; God is looking for a man who will throw himself entirely on God. Whenever self-effort, self-glory, self-seeking or self-promotion enters into the work of revival, and then God leaves us to ourselves.

When was the last time you shed a tear before the Lord? In humility (not prideful show) we should let our emotions out before the Lord (See Psalm 30:4-5; Hebrews 12:12-17; James 4:7-10). 

Ninth, realize revival leads to insight and greater perception of God and our relationship to Him (35:9-11). It states:

·         Genesis 35:9-11a - 9 Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. 11 Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. . . .

Jacob the heel-catcher or selfish grabber was transformed to “Israel” or “one governed by God” one who served God as LORD. Revival brings us back to our best time with God and then brings us even deeper as God works in us a greater capacity to know Him on a deeper level. We need to draw near to God (Psalm 73:28; James 4:8). This is a work of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).

 Often a revival begins with the Lord bringing a portion of scripture to mind in the one he is using to initiate the revival. For instance of one is seeking the Lord’s help in a situation where they are being attacked in some way, the Lord may give them a verse such as:

·         Psalm 86:17 - Show me a sign for good, That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Or He might give a verse that directs the person on how they should respond to the offender such as:

·         Proverbs 19:11 - The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.      

Revivals are started by God pointing us to His word and speaking to us from it by the Spirit (e.g. 1 Thessalonians 2:13). If we are going to be revived we need to prayerfully listen to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to us through His written word the Bible. We need to get to the point where like Jeremiah we say:

·         Jeremiah 15:16 - Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.  

   Is God’s word a source of joy to you? If not, you need reviving. Seek the Lord and ask Him to rekindle a joy for His word. .

Tenth, realize revival leads to memorable fruitfulness and blessing (35:11b-14). It states:

·         Genesis 35:11-14 - 11 Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. 12 The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.” 13 Then God went up from him in the place where He talked with him. 14 So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it.

God revived Jacob and sent him out to be “fruitful and multiply.”  And after God left him, he erected a stone pillar, a lasting symbol to remind him of this special time. And Jacob poured out a drink offering and “poured oil on it. “ Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in scripture (Zechariah 4). Are you spiritually fruitful? Are you growing in your relationship with Jesus? Are you being used by Him in some way? Are you involved in His ministry, in His church? We are fruitful when we abide in Jesus (John 15). When the Holy Spirit is at work He bears fruit in us (Galatians 5:22-25) and through us (Colossians 1:9-12). Revival is a work of the Holy Spirit

The Bible states:

·         Romans 8:14-17 - 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

·         Romans 8:26-28 - 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Revival is a work of the Spirit but that does not mean the focus is on Him. When the Holy Spirit is working He points us to Jesus. We can measure the extent to which a work is of the Spirit by the degree the focus and glory of it goes to Jesus. This is what Jesus taught when He said:

·         John 14:26 - 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

·         John 15:26 - 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

·         Acts 1:8 - 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Personal revival is what we need. A personal return to the Lord; personally going deeper with the Lord is what we all need. The first revival can happen here with us, in you and me. Are we willing and hungry enough to seek it? Is it important enough for us to request it obediently from the Lord?

Revival is there for those willing to pay the price, count the cost, and fully surrender to Him and walk in the ways He tells us to. Will we do it? Will you do it? Time will tell. 


Charles H. Spurgeon - Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival - men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations.


Jesus said:

·         Revelation 3:20 - 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart; will you welcome Him in?

The Lord tells us in His word to REVIEW where we are with Him:

·         2 Corinthians 13:5 - 5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

The Lord tells us to REMEMBER where we once were with Him:

·         Revelation 2:4-5 - 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

The Lord tells us to REPENT and turn back to where we should be:

·         2 Chronicles 7:14 - 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.


And the Lord tells us to REPEAT what we once did when we were right with Him and move on deeper and higher in our relationship with Him:

Jeremiah 6:16 - 16 Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see,  And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’