How to have Personal Revival
Personal Revival: Introduction
Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
I. Chastisement (Intro)
Notice that this passage for revival starts with chastisement. God wants to help us. He wants to heal our weak hands, feeble knees, and lame feet. But before He can do His wonderful work of restitution and revival, He has to correct our sin and get it out of the way. This is the work of the great Healer, the Healer of our souls. The doctor removes shrapnel from an injury before he stitches it closed. So, with His saints God sometimes must chastise His children to get rid of sin before the healing. The difference between our physical shrapnel and spiritual shrapnel is that we do not want our to let the spiritual stuff go. We actually hold on to it.
But if we can let the great Physician do His work, we can have the personal revival in our lives that we need.
Notice that after God has to spiritually spank us, He wants to restore us. And if we learn from that chastisement, there will be healing. But God is never satisfied with only bringing us back to where we were before sin. He wants to bring us to a better place than we ever were before. So, not only does He want to take away our sin. He wants to bring a change to our condition. He wants to strengthen our hands. He wants to stabilize our weak knees. He wants to help us reach our goals in life. God will complete this change if we only allow Him to.
A. Hands (Work: lift up hands) I Thessalonians 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and [that] ye may have lack of nothing.
The first change that we need to make when it comes to personal revival is the lifting up of our hands. Now, lifting hands speaks of many things. It speaks of praise. For God calls us to lift up holy hands in praise to Him. When is the last time that you lifted up your hands of gratitude and praise to the One who is worthy of all glory?
Lifting hands also speaks of work. If there is going to be a sustained revival in our lives, then there must be a commitment to work. I Thes. 4:9 calls us to do our own business and work with our hands. If we will be honest to those around us, it takes some work.
Notice that this passage in Thessalonians starts with brotherly love. This is the test that it is easy to fail. Often it is love to those that are closest that is the hardest to communicate. How often do we go out of the way to love our enemies, and be kind to those that hardly know us. Sometimes, we are the least patient with those that are close to us. They know us the best. So, we expect the most from them. When we would give a pass to those that are strangers, we are furious with those dear family members or co-workers that know us the best. This ought not to be.
Of course, we should love our enemies. But do not forget about “brotherly love.” Do not forget about being patient and kind to those closest to us. If we are going to have a personal revival in our lives, we need to have service in brotherly love to the people around us.
Rather than be angry or short, let us strive to be kind and sacrificial. Let us work to do for others, setting aside our own plans sometimes. Let us have brotherly love and sacrifice in our lives so that we can have real revival with God.
Notice the word “study” here in I Thessalonians 4:11. God says we have study to be quiet. This is how it is when we will serve others and work with our hands. It takes practice. It takes carefulness. We often start working, but then we forget or grow willingly lazy. We need some “stick-to-it-iveness” in our lives. We need to study and continue until the work is done.
Notice that God says that if we work with our hands, we will have what we need. The fact is that so many people in our time are having trouble making ends meet. It is times like these that we need to turn to God. We need to get a little creative. Try something new. . . but find a way to work. This times of financial hardship are times of spiritual adventure. They are times that we can see that God is going to provide for our needs. But we need to call on Him for guidance to get new direction when the old ways of provision dry up. This is His great promise in our times of revival. If we will lift up our hands that hang down and work, we will see His provision.
B. Knees (Walk: carry burdens) Isaiah 35:3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 4 Say to them [that are] of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come [with] vengeance, [even] God [with] a recompence; he will come and save you.
God’s natural progression in personal revival is to start with the hands and then move to the knees. By this we see that revival starts with fixing our work and then moving to our walk. In this progression, the people around us see the work of God blossoming naturally through our own responses to His grace. When you start getting back to work with God, the natural result is to see you get back to a proper walk.
When there is a knee problem, you need to start slowly. You work hard to get the knee working properly. The muscles have to restrengthen. They need to move and pull together in a coordinated unity that produces strength for the step. The process of healing is sometimes long. Make no mistake, in the end, the only way to restore the strength to the knees is to walk.
If we will have this revival in our lives. . . If we will go further with God than ever before, then it is time for us to get back to work and then get back to walking. We have to move forward. We get into this endless cycle. We repent of sin and move toward God. Then we grow a little. Then we get lax and fall back into sin and guilt. Then we repent and do the cycle all over again. In the end, we have not gotten anywhere. We need to stop the cycle and get to the walk. We need to move on in God’s plan for our lives, families, and churches. We have churches filled with spiritual cripples because no one is getting up and walking.
1. Commit to Work
When you look at this passage in Isaiah 35, you see the progression of strengthening our knees. As already mentioned, you cannot strengthen your knees until you commit to doing hard work.
2. Confirm Weak knees
Then we need to walk. We just need to walk forward with God. If we get to the walk, we will get back our knees’ strength.
3. Courage for Warfare
Notice that immediately following “confirm the feeble knees” comes the admonition for the fearful hearts. Too often those that have weak knees are weak because they are just too scared to move forward.
My friends, we know that our God has already won the battle. Why are we hiding behind every lame excuse we can find? We need to put our confidence back in God and get to walking forward.
C. Feet (Witness: straight path)
After lifting up our hands for work and strengthening our knees for our walk, we need to prepare our paths for our feet. Notice what you do when your feet or ankles are weak. You get all obstacles out of the way. This way the ankle does not twist again. So, in our spiritual walk, if we are going to keep walking forward, we need to get the pitfalls and potholes out of the way that will make us trip up again.
1. Clear Message make straight paths
God calls for a straight path for our feet. Over and over again in the Bible, feet are spoken of in the activity of soul winning. What is God telling us? Why do we need to make straight paths when it comes to soul-winning? He is telling us to keep our message clear. The Gospel message is simple and needs to be kept so.
Too many “preachers” want to complicate the message with their own education and rhetoric. God made the Gospel simple because He wants everyone to be saved.
Jesus died to pay for our sins and wash them away. We cannot buy that salvation by works or riches. It is free. And the power of God’s grace will not only take us to Heaven after death, but also give us the power to live in total fulfillment here on earth.
Preacher, keep the message clear and simple.
2. Complete Message Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Notice the Good News in Isaiah 52:7 goes from the Good News of God’s grace. Then it moves to the fact that the Gospel brings us peace with God. It gives us salvation. But it also deals with promises and prophecy. God will reign. And because He will, we should allow Him to reign in our lives now.
Notice that the Good News is not done with salvation. We need to go on to all God’s promises. In other words, preach the whole council of God.
3. Communicated Message Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
We need to preach this Gospel. But who should preach the Good News? Well, the woman at the well did not know that she needed a college education to be a soul winner. No, the natural result of knowing Christ and His salvation is to tell others. If have been saved by the Gospel of Christ, you should be preaching it to others.
Tell the world that Jesus is your salvation and theirs too. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Just ask God to save you by the blood of Jesus. You can be saved today. If you are saved, who have you told today?
III. Communion (Conclusion) Heb. 12:14 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
A. Peace with all men
B. Purity from muck
C. Presence of Messiah
Notice what happens if we follow God’s plan for revival. We will achieve peace with those around us. We will have a living holiness with God. And we have the promise of communion with our Heavenly Father. There is nothing more that we could ask for. This is the end of the whole matter. This is what we need in our lives.
November 7, 2010sm
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