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January 6: Introduction to Revival in the Church

 

“Real revival does not begin with joyous singing. It begins with conviction and repentance on the part of Christians.”  Vance Havner

 

Too many, the common conception of Revival is usually that of a spectacular religious awakening, in which large numbers of the unconverted are convicted of sin and brought to Christ.

 

FACT: True Revival is Often the Very Opposite of This Common Conception. Revival is Not something that God does First among the Unconverted…But rather, Among His People.   YOU AND ME!

  • Revival means New Life, which implies that there is already Life there, But that it Has Ebbed.
  • The unconverted do not need revival, for there is not any life there to revive…It is the Christians who Need Revival. And it is only the Christians who are candidates for revival and who are prepared to confess that there has been a declension in their lives.
  • And when that happens among us Christians, God will be able to work among the lost in new power and we shall see a new work of grace there.

POINT: The World has Lost its Faith, Because the Church has Lost its Fire!

 

It was when the King of Nineveh arose from his throne and covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes as a sign of his repentance, that his people repented.

So…What is at the Core of Revival?   One Word…Brokenness!

  • God’s power is boundless. And we, have only to get into a right relationship with Him, and we shall see His power being demonstrated in our hearts and lives and service, and His victorious life will fill us and overflow through us to others. This is Revival in its Simplest Essence.

 

If we are to come into this right relationship with Him, First, our wills must be broken to His will.

  • It is being “Not I, but Christ” (Gal 2:20), and a “C” is a bent “I.”
  • Jesus cannot live in us fully and reveal Himself through until the proud self within us is broken.
  • The hard-unyielding self, must stop justifying itself and bow its head to God’s will!
  • In other word’s it is dying to self and all self-attitudes.

As we look honestly at our Christian lives, we’ll see how much of this self-there is in each of us. Often it’s self who tries to live the Christian life, And it is self, who is often doing Christian work.

  • It is always self who gets irritable, envious, resentful, critical and worried.
  • It is self who is hard and unyielding in its attitudes to others.
  • It is self who is shy and self-conscious and reserved.

 

No wonder we need breaking. As long as self is in control, God can do little with us.

  • The fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5), with which God longs to fill us, are the complete antithesis of the hard, unbroken spirit within us and presupposes that it has been crucified.

Being broken is both God’s work and ours. He presents truth, but we have to make the choice.

  • If we’re really open to conviction as we seek fellowship with God, He will show us the expressions of this proud, hard self that cause Him pain.
  • Then, We have a Choice, Stiffen our necks and refuse to repent or Bow our head and say, “Yes, Lord.”
  • Experiencing Daily Brokenness is the Response of Humility to the Conviction of God.

 

KEY: We are not likely to be broken except as we Kneel at the Cross.

 

When we see Jesus, who is in the form of God, counting not equality with God a prize to be grasped at and hung on to, but letting it go for us and taking upon Himself the form of a Servant – God’s Servant, man’s Servant. [Ephesians 2]

 

We see Him willing to have no rights of His own, no home of His own, no possessions of His own, willing to let men revile Him, willing to let men tread on Him and not retaliate or defend Himself. We see Him broken as He meekly goes to Calvary to bear our sins in His own body on the Tree.

 

And…This is what God Wants us to do…He Wants Us to Become Like HIM!

  • Willing to Forfeit Everything we think we Deserve.
  • Not Retaliating Because We Think Someone is Violating Our Rights!
  • The entire Sermon on the Mount with its teaching of non-retaliation, love for enemies and selfless giving, makes it clear, in Christ, this is our Position.

Our Response to Christ Should Be: Lord, bend that proud and stiff necked I, Help me to bow my head and die; Beholding You on Calvary, Who bowed Your head for Me.

 

However, Dying to Self is Not Something You do just Once and for All.

  • There is always an initial dying when You Choose to Humble Yourself, Confess Sin and Turn to Christ and Accept His Free Gift of Salvation!

 

Once You begin Your Journey with Christ, Dying to Self Must Become a Daily Choice! 

 

It will mean His Plans Become Your Plans…

  • It will mean that Your Time Becomes His Time…
  • And it will mean that Your Money Becomes His Money! And Gods Goals for Your Life…Become Your Goals!
  • It will mean a constant yielding to those around You. Because, the way we yield to God is Measured by the way We Yield to Our Fellow Man.
  • God will use Every person… Every disappointment…Every Problem you face… to bring you to a place of Surrender.
  • As You Surrender to Christ in every issue of Your life…You Will come to a place of Brokenness…And Gods Holy Spirit Will Fill You with His Passionate Fire.

We can never be filled with His life unless We are Prepared for God to Bring Our Life Constantly to Death.  And when we do…We Will Change Our World!

POINT: The World has Lost its Faith, Because the Church has Lost its Fire!