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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.’     


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