2 Chronicles 7:12-16
12 And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.
13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
God told us that He would be watching what happens in His house. He promised He would pay attention to our prayers in His house. The said that He has chosen and set apart His house. He said that He is endorsing (putting His name on) His house. And He promised that His eyes and heart would be there perpetually. For those reasons, I believe that verse 14 is only possible because of verses 15 and 16.
When it seems that a nation has turned so far away from God that there’s very little hope to be found in what we can see. And when it seems that the church world itself has drifted so far away from God that it seems impossible that they will ever find their way back, there’s nothing wrong with looking back at the pattern of the prophets and finding their path to revival and implementing it in our situation.
12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
In reality, it’s obvious what works. It’s obvious what moves the heart of God toward His people. He told them to turn toward Him with all of their heart. My conclusion from reading that is that they probably had been – at best – only halfheartedly following after Him.
He told them to turn toward Him with 3 things: 1) Fasting (crucifying our flesh), 2) Weeping (repentance for our sins) and 3) Mourning (Godly sorrow over the conditions around us). Don’t just rend your garments, rend your heart. Let your heart be broken for the things that break His heart.
I believe that there are 4 seeds of revival. Bro. Mike Blue called this Revival’s 4H club. All 4 of these seeds are essential if we want to experience true revival in our church, in our nation, and in our world.
First of all, we have to take a look around and come to grips with our situation. Realizing that we’re not where we need to be. And we have to acknowledge that God cannot bless us in our current state. Because when we really take a good look at God and what His word requires of us, and then we really take a good look at ourselves and who we are or what we’ve become, our response ought to naturally be humility. Lord, I’m a mess, I’m not good enough, and I never can be good enough.
But God told Solomon in verse 14…
…If My people which are called by My name will humble themselves and pray…
There is so much teaching in scripture about the importance of being humble. Probably the one that stays in my mind the most is in James 4:6 at the end of the verse…
…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
There’s no way for us to have revival unless we are willing to humble ourselves. There really isn’t any middle ground. Either you are willing to humble yourself or you are proud. And if you are proud, God is resisting you. His grace is amazing, but it is only available to those who will humble themselves.
1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
If we’re interested in reaping a revival, we must be willing to sow the seed of humility. That’s the starting point. And I have no doubt that if we plant that seed, it will bring about the 2nd seed we need to plant.
I’ve said on many occasions, “It’s a blessing to be hungry.” I remember an experience I had during my Bible College days. There was not an overabundance of good food at our school. So when we had the opportunity to be a part of a ministry team that went out for the weekend, one of the thrills was getting to eat well.
On one such weekend, we had decided, as a group, that we would wait to eat until we got to a popular all-you-can-eat smorgasbord that was very close to where we would be ministering that weekend.
We all ate until we were beyond full and drank milk, which we didn’t have in our college cafeteria at that time. We were all making comments about how full we were and how good that food was. And it was just a short few minutes until we arrived at our ministry location.
Our instructor went into the fellowship hall to get our instructions about where we would be staying and any other information we might need. When he came back to the van, he opened the door and said, “You all are hungry, right?” We all laughed because we thought it was a joke. There was no way any of us could eat any more.
He repeated the question with a very serious face. And then he told us that the church had prepared a complete Italian meal complete with lasagna, ravioli, spaghetti, and garlic bread. And there was no way we could offend them by refusing their hospitality.
We walked into that fellowship hall and saw an amazing feast. Normally, that would have been cause for rejoicing, but we weren’t hungry. It would have been a blessing to be hungry when there was so much food available.
It’s a promise from God’s word. It’s a direct promise from the mouth of the Son of God. It’s a blessing to be hungry.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
It would make absolutely no sense to go on a junk food binge right before going to a big dinner. Because if we fill ourselves with junk food, and then walk in to the place where good food has been prepared, it won’t matter how good the food is, we won’t be hungry.
If we’re not careful, the same thing will happen to us spiritually. We will fill our lives with any and every thing this world has to offer. We will find ourselves watching what the world calls entertainment to amuse us. The roots of that word amuse are a- which mean not and muse which means think. We are trying to find something that will help us not have to think. We are tempted to listen to things that please the flesh. We are drawn to read things that fill our minds with impure and ungodly thoughts. Then we come into the house of God and we are so full of other things that we can’t possibly be hungry for the things of God.
If we want revival, we have got to determine in our hearts that we won’t be defiled by what the world is offering. We’ve got to reserve our hunger for the things of God. Then when we come into His house, and are ushered into His presence, we will come hungry. And the hungry shall be filled. That’s a promise you can stand upon.
God told Solomon…
If My people which are called by My name…shall seek My face…
There’s a time and a place for bringing our petitions before the Lord. There’s a time to tell Him what we need. But if we want revival, we need to start by seeking His face, not His hand. We need to be seeking to know Him more. We need to be seeking to draw ever closer to him. We need to allow ourselves to get so hungry to see His face and so hungry to know His will for our lives that it becomes our driving obsession in life. Because the hungry shall be filled.
God also told Solomon…
If My people which are called by My name…shall turn from their wicked ways…
He described a scenario to Solomon wherein His holiness would require judgment for the actions of His people. It could be that the judgment would be in the form of a lack of rain – a drought. It could be that it would be that the locusts would destroy the harvests. Or it could be a pestilence in the land.
He wanted Solomon to know that no matter how His judgment fell, there would be a road back into His favor. After they humbled themselves and prayed, and after they hungrily sought after Him with all their heart, the next step was to turn from their wicked ways. They would need to set aside all of those things that had ushered them out of the presence of the Lord. They would need to remove all of those obstacles between them and the blessings of the God of heaven, They needed to turn from their wicked ways and forsake the works of the flesh.
1 Peter 1:14-16
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
When we get to the place where our desire to be like Jesus supersedes every other desire in our heart, we will start to reflect His holiness in our choices and the fruit will be evident in our lives. Our hearts and lives will be significantly changed. We’ll be striving to be holy as He is holy. Not just in one area or even a few areas of our lives, but in all manner of conversation or all manner of behavior.
And the last seed or the last H is probably the driving force throughout the entire process. We must have hope.
We must have hope that He will hear from heaven. We must have hope that He is listening for our cry. We must have hope that He will do what He’s promised He would do. And we must have hope that He will heal our land.
We can complain about the condition of our nation. We can blame our leaders from either party. I believe they are to blame to a certain extent but that’s not where the bulk of the blame belongs.
We can blame our colleges, universities and public schools. They are corrupt and even subversive to the truth. They are to blame to an extent but that’s not where the bulk of the blame belongs.
I personally believe that the bulk of the blame falls on the shoulders of the church. Not just one church or one denomination, or one movement but every church that calls the name of Christ. We’ve failed to reflect Christ to the world. We’ve failed to remind them of who God is. So we have become a nation – a civilization – a world that is forgetting God.
I’m afraid that we’ve forgotten the importance of praying for our nation with prayers that are birthed out of hope. We need to pray for the leaders of our nation and for the direction of education in our land. We need to pray that God will raise up righteous leaders.
And the same goes for the church. We need to pray for the church with a prayer that is birthed out of hope. We need to pray for the leaders of our churches. We need to pray for God to open the eyes of those who are being blinded by the enemy and rejecting biblical standards of living. We need to pray for God to raise up fearless, righteous leaders in the church. Those who will be willing to confront error in doctrine and errors in standards of holy living. We need leaders who are willing to stand fast in the truth of God’s word.
And every one of those prayers need to be prayed from the foundation of hope. We must grasp the hope that God can do what we’re asking Him to do.
Are you willing to plant the seeds of revival?
Humble yourself before the Lord and acknowledge your personal need of Him.
Hunger after the Lord instead of the things of this world.
Recommit to pursuing Holiness. Seek to be holy as He is holy. Seek to be more like Jesus in every area of your life. Seek to reflect the image of Christ to the world.
Allow the Holy Ghost unfettered access to your life. And if there is anything there that is hindering you; anything that is not consistent with God’s holiness, allow Him to sanctify you wholly. If there’s an area of your life that you have committed to God, surrender it now to Him and sanctify yourself.
And that last seed is hope. Pray from a foundation of hope no matter how desperate situations may become.
Have hope that God is able. Have hope that God is willing. Have hope that God is listening. Have hope that God will hear you. Have hope that God can send revival in your soul. Have hope that God can send revival in your community. Have hope that God will heal our land.
May we bind our hearts together and join our voices in prayer together. May you link your faith with mine and together let us plant The Seeds Of Revival hoping for a bumper crop from the very throne of God.