REVIVAL

[SW055] 08/12/12 message notes by Rev.  Susan J. Wynn ©2012

“Revival”

Since the autumn of 2001, Jeff and I have continually prayed for revival in American churches in particular, as well as revival across the globe.

We see that the church looks just like the world around her,
that she walks in very little power,
that the gospel has been dumbed down and perverted
so sin and repentance are not required,
that there’s no longer any need for a cross,
that Jesus died so we can have all the things we want.

We have great anguish for the state of today’s church, and have wept over her.
Great, gut-wrenching sobs.
The Lord has put our tears in a bottle, and written them down in His book
(see Psalm 56:8).

A Shocking Question!

Not too long ago, one of my leaders asked,
“What do you mean when you say you’re praying for revival?
“I don’t understand what you’re praying for.”
I’ll answer that, but first I believe the Lord wants me to describe revival.

First, a definition: Revival [Hebrew chayah (2421)] — To make alive, quicken, recover, repair, restore to life. It’s used 20 times in the OT.

Psalm 85 — A great description of revival

Our condition that demands it:

Verse 1     O LORD, You showed  favor to Your land;
You   restored the captivity of Jacob.
Verse 2    You  forgave the iniquity of Your people;
You  covered all their sin.     Selah.
Verse 3    You  withdrew all Your fury;
You  turned away from Your burning anger.

We remember that the Lord showed us favor by saving us.
He restored us when we were captive to our sins, enslaved by them.
He forgave our inner twistedness that comes from sin.
He covered all we had done against Him,
for when we sin,
we sin against Him only, Him alone.

We see that He removed His fury toward us,
His wrath, for we had ignored Him and gone our own way,
We rejected Him, we thought we knew better and more than Him.
His anger no longer burned against us,
Because we cried out to Him.

The cry that sparks it:

Verse 4    Restore us [literally, turn us], O God of our salvation,
and cause Your indignation toward us to cease.
Verse 5    Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to generation and generation?
Verse 6     Will You not Yourself revive us again [literally, give us life anew],
That your people may rejoice in You?
Verse 7    Show us Your lovingkindness [chesed], O LORD,
And grant us Your salvation.

Characteristics of our cry to God:

An understanding that God is indignant toward His people.
He is provoked, He is annoyed and frustrated with them.
Why? His people have returned to sinning.

We plead for the Lord to exercise His chesed toward His people,
His loving devotion as a Husband,
His faithfulness.

We plead in utter humility,
understanding that only God can revive, and no other.

We plead for restoration that will cause His people to rejoice in Him,
when He has done it.

The Lord defines the characteristics of revival’s recipients:

Verse 8b    For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones
But let them not turn back to folly.
Verse 9    Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

Revival will come to godly ones, those who truly worship and love Him,
who do not turn back to folly (stupidity, foolishness).

Revival will come to those who fear Him,
who have great awe toward Him,
who worship and obey,
who do not treat Him lightly or casually but reverently,
who know He means what He says and says what He means
who take heed when He warns them.

And His glory will dwell in their land.
In the NT, His glory dwells IN those who are revived!
They become the place where His glory dwells!
IF we turn back from folly,
worship and love Him,
fear and obey Him.

Revival defined by the Holy Spirit-inspired psalmist:

Verse 10    Lovingkindness and truth have met together
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Verse 11     Truth springs from the earth
And righteousness looks down from heaven.

Verse 12    Indeed, the Lord will give what is good
And our land will yield its produce
Verse 13    Righteousness will go before Him
And will make His footsteps into a way.

— God’s devotion and marital loyalty meets us,
we encounter it,
it becomes a common bond between us,
we have it in common with Him.

We become loyal and devoted and married to Him in the same way He is to us.

— God’s truth, His faithfulness meets us,
we encounter it,
it becomes a common bond between us,
and we have it in common with Him.

We become faithful toward Him with His faithfulness.

–God’s righteousness, His justice and rightness, kisses (it fastens up with)
His shalom, His welfare, health, prosperity and peace.
And these fasten up with and kiss us!

We become right toward God, and God’s peace floods us. OH, THE KINDNESS OF HIS KISS!

— God’s truth, His faithfulness springs from the earth,
like seedlings from the soil.
His faithfulness is everywhere, continually produced!

–And He, the Righteous One, looks down from heaven!
He watches over us!
We are kept by His power, protected as with His fort around us!
Satan can no longer have us!
He turned His eyes away from us when we sinned,
but now we have turned, and He looks up on us in joy!

–He gives what is good!

Luke 11:13 “ If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your  heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

–We become producers of His fruit! (Galatians 5:22-23)

–His righteousness leads the way.
We follow in His footsteps!
He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).

AGAIN, who receives revival?
Revival comes to godly ones who do not turn back to folly.
Revival comes to those who fear Him, and His glory will dwell in their land.

From Isaiah 57:15, the Lord revives
the spirit of the lowly (humble, subjecting themselves to God),
the heart of the contrite (crushed ones, crushed like powder before Him,
ones who see their spiritual condition and are so overwhelmed with sorrow
that they turn away from their ways and toward God).

But what does that have to do with the church? Isn’t that just Old Testament?

It’s true that the word “revival” is not used at all in the NT. After all:
The Reviver has come!
The Restorer to life has come —
life as God has it, abundantly, ‘til it overflows!

So why should we NT Christians pray for revival?
Aren’t we all alive in Christ?
Isn’t revival a moot point now?
I think that’s what my leader was getting at.

Jeff and I believe we are very close to the end of the age, when God is about to issue judgment for those who have rejected His Son.

Jesus describes that time:

Matthew 24:11 “Many  false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased,  most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “ But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

Lawlessness is sin (1 John 3:4).
Jesus says sin will increase.
Most people’s love will grow cold.
They will love their sin more than they love God.
The ember of love they may once have had dies out
never having been brought to FULL FLAME
By the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire.
The result?

Revelation 3:1-3
1 “To the angel of the church in  Sardis write: He who has  the seven Spirits of God and  the seven stars, says this: ‘ I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive,  but you are dead.
2 ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.
3 ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and  repent. Therefore if you do not wake up,  I will come  like a thief, and you will not know at  what hour I will come to you.”

Dead churches.
Dead people in them.
No life of God.
Jesus outside, not in the church, but knocking.
No miracles, no nothing.
Wake up! Repent!

Jesus speaks the word “repent” to the church 12 times in Revelation 2 and 3.

Repent. Turn toward God! Be crushed! Change your ways to His ways!,
The same words Jesus used of the religious elite of His day,
He uses of His church.

Even today, many have left Jesus Christ, their first Love (as in Ephesus).
He commands them to repent.

Even today, many follow false teachings and are immoral (as in Pergamum).
He commands them to repent.

Even today, many tolerate false prophets/prophetesses, and are idolatrous and immoral (as in Thyatira).
He commands them to repent.

Even today, many are dead (as in Sardis).
He commands them to repent.

Even today, many are lukewarm (Laodicea).
He commands them to repent.

Repentance leads to revival,
which makes alive the dead, quickens,
causes recovery, repair, restoration to life.

In Psalm 85, the Psalmist asks the Lord to turn Israel back to Him, so they may receive life.

For those of us who pray for revival today, we’re asking the same thing.
Turn Your church back to You, Lord, and give them life!
Turn our mourning over the church to dancing (Psalm 30:11),
we who weep those tears You keep in a bottle
the ones recorded in Your book!

You don’t have to wait for some big move of God. Repent now. His mercy is here NOW.
Today is the day of salvation.
Turn away from your sin, from loving other things more than Jesus Christ,
Turn toward God who wants you to live!

I am a watchman. I see the sword coming to you.
Repent! Turn from your wicked ways,
And He will receive you back and give you life!

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Author: Susan Wynn, servant of Jesus Christ

Healed by Jesus Christ of MS in 2001, in the middle of the night! Proclaiming His gospel, His healing, His heart. Author of From Death To Life--A True Story of Healing, Hope and Being Set Free. Our ministry: My Father's Place, a ministry without walls, proclaiming Jesus Christ to the world.

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