We were discussing revival. I should have been clearer on this subject. I agree with Pastor Bob that Revival is for the church(Christians) and Evangelism/Witnessing is for the lost (the unsaved). I wanted to clarify what I was saying and maybe add a bit more.
Pastor Bob shared this verse of Scripture with James 4:7-10 (ESV) along with a Biblical description of the church of Laodicea from the book of Revelation (most believe this is the church of today) (That scripture reference is found at the bottom.)
James 4:7-10 (ESV)
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
All of who are in this state need to repent and this verse lays out what is required to do so. These verses from James are a call to personal revival. I was in that state. When I went through this ten-year trial, I had to confess what seemed like millions of sins. Now that was me; everyone’s experience is different.
It was necessary for me to be cleansed of these things and to be broken to be used as a vessel. It took some time to go through this process. Remember, in my case, God was taking a pretty wimpy man and change him into a warrior. I was going from a total people pleaser to a God pleaser. You get the idea. No easy task. This was him preparing me for the ministry that lay ahead. I do believe this is a life-long process and at times God will have to deal with our hearts. What was in my heart was ugly and he had to get it out before I could be free and really know him intimately and could touch others.
As I stated in my message to me praying for others whether it would be for them to know the Lord or to be revived goes like this. Prayer is the water and fertilizer. It prepares the heart. THE WORD IS THE SEED AND IT ONLY can change the heart. Of course, you must be dealing with a willing heart to it to be changed. You or the other person always has the right to overrule and reject the Word. Unless the person is reading and getting this out of the Bible themselves, which happens on occasion; THERE MUST BE AN INSTRUMENT. That is someone to share the truth of God’s love, so they can know him for the first time or repent and get to know him again and grow from those points. When a person gets revived (it works the same for the new believer) they want to know God intimately and they want to tell others about him, so they can know him to. Some of you may remember that 70’s song by Evie. “It only takes a spark to get a fire going. You’ll want to pass it on.” I shared in a previous blog that we need to get lit up (on fire for God-Revived) and then spark (witness) on someone else.
I think what has happened is the word revival is used both for personal repentance (where the believer has a personal experience God and repents of their sins and goes after God with their whole heart) and for church growth (where many come to the Lord).
Thank you for taking the time to read this. As I looked back over my message, I realized that clarification was needed. So, thank you Pastor Bob. I am grateful as the Scriptures says for a friend that can sharpen you.
Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another”
Revelation 3:14-22 (ESV)
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”