I want to see a spiritual revival take place, an awakening of extraordinary proportions, a mighty work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, in our city, in our churches and in our nation. We pray for it, we hope for it, we long for it, but are we willing to take God’s prescription for revival and apply it to our lives?
I am not convinced that we, as individuals, or the church in general, are willing to put His remedy into operation. Why? Because it will cost us something. It may cost us everything! God has definite instructions for a great awakening to take place.
God’s prescription for revival is found in 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.”
Found in that verse are four qualifiers that God requires before revival can occur. We must undertake them before He will complete what He pledges to do.
First, 2 Chronicles 7:14 identifies who God is speaking to, “My people” – it is a phrase of recognition. Our heavenly Father recognizes us as His; as part of His family; as part of His household! So, this prescription for revival is addressed to His church!
Next, our heavenly Father identifies Himself with His people, “who are called by My name.” When we speak of His name, we speak of His nature, we speak of His character. Being “called by His name” infers that we exhibit His character, purity, holiness, love, patience, kindness, wisdom, faithfulness, mercy and graciousness.
Qualifier #1: God’s people “will humble themselves.” Mac Davis wrote and recorded a song some time ago which completely outlines our predicament involving humility:
“Oh Lord it's hard to be humble, when you're perfect in every way. I can't wait to look in the mirror, ‘cause I get better looking each day. To know me is to love me, I must be a heck of a man. Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble, when I'm doing the best that I can.”
It is hard to humble ourselves; because what comes first is the realization that we are proud, self-centered and rebellious. The Lord is telling us to be pro-active about being humble! In other words, don’t just talk about it – do it!
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God definitely has the ability to humble us, but what He directs us to do is to “humble ourselves!” That requires determination, dedication and discipline. It requires that we admit to ourselves how selfish we really are.
Qualifier #2: In order for revival to break out, God’s people must “pray” – to intercede, to make supplication, communicate with God, have an ongoing, continual conversation with Him. That’s why in 1 Thes. 5:17, we are instructed to “Pray without ceasing.” We are to live in a continual attitude of prayer.
Qualifier #3: – God tells us to “seek My face,” The verb to “seek” means to strive after, to follow hard after. It means that the greatest desire of our hearts is to be in His presence, to spend time with Him. Revival has a chance to begin when God’s people get tired of looking at their own faces and seek His!
Qualifier #4: God’s people have to “turn from their wicked ways.” In my opinion, the biggest issue in the church today is worldliness. Whatever happened to purity, to living a life set apart from the world? We see too much compromise today. We have compromised His Word. We have compromised our integrity. We are living our lives in such a way that the world cannot see any difference between how we live and how it lives. I know one thing. Revival will never break out until the church repents.
When we are able to check these four qualifiers off the list, the Lord will do what He has pledged to do, “then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”
Perhaps the biggest qualifier of all is the small, two letter word that the verse begins with -- “If.” It illustrates that we have a choice to make. Do we have the courage to make that choice?
It only takes a few people who mean business with God for revival to break out.
God is looking for a few surrendered people who mean business with Him: 2 Chron. 16:9 – “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him.”