Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Beyond Awakening: Entering Into Personal Revival

Have you ever wondered how to truly enter into a personal revival? There is a pattern that precedes every personal and corporate revival. First, there is a time of frustration, discouragement and depression. Apathy sets in, and often leads people into sin; even if the sin is simply unbelief and double-mindedness. Unbelief speaks words of discouragement, for it is tied into a spirit of fear. The voice of fear tells us that God is not going to take care of us or bring the answer to our prayers, and when we come into agreement with unbelief then we are actually preventing God from answering prayer. He responds to faith, not unbelief! The downward spiral pulls people deeper into apathy as the voice of the enemy becomes stronger and louder. The farther away from God we get, the louder the voice of fear becomes. Fear magnifies problems and makes God small. The enemy’s goal is to draw people away from obedience and their loyalty to God, indulge in sin, and listen as he does all he can to convince them that God is too distant to care.

WHAT DO WE SEE? Do we see the giants, or do we see Jesus? Hopelessness is a huge factor in whether or not people will hold on to their faith or surrender to unbelief, sin and apostasy. If people allow Satan to deceive them into thinking that their problem, their sin, or the situations that affect them are too big for God to do something about, then they waiver in unbelief and double-mindedness. Scripture tells us that a double-minded person receives nothing from the Lord! This is why it is so necessary to combat the spiritual warfare with the word of God. God has spiritual laws attached to His word, and the lies must succumb to the truth. But, if a person lays down their sword and shield, they have no protection. Eventually they will become casualties of war if they refuse to fight.

PICK UP YOUR SWORD!!

The way out of the battle will always be through wielding the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, because that is the only thing Satan must obey. It is the only thing that cuts through the cobwebs of deceit.

The first step to personal revival is to admit where we got off track. When a person has a sense of defeat and discouragement, temptation is sure to follow. It’s the enemy’s way of enticing people into sin so that he has a legal entrance into their lives. He will always attempt to convince a person that their sin is justifiable and without consequence; and, without being legalistic, we all need to discern the things that God is personally dealing with us about because they are all significant. Grace is not to be taken lightly. Maturity calls us higher in accountability and personal sanctification. Have you ever been so tired of listening to yourself get angry, complain, or whine about your problems that you really can’t stand yourself anymore? Have you ever made yourself sick with your own sin and bad behavior? When God wants to change a person, sometimes He does it nice, but often he makes us feel like we’ve been hitched to a runaway horse and dragged through the mud on our faces. God will let us get so weary and exhausted that we have no more desire to resist His will. When we are tired enough to surrender, that is when He throws us a lifeline of revelation and pulls us in. He lets us know exactly why we've been going through certain things and what He expects of us. 

This principle is at work in us both as individuals as well as a nation. Daily we turn on the news and we are inundated with reports of human beings at their worst. Both as a church and as a nation, we have been in a spiritual slumber for a long time, but as threats of very real enemies such as ISIS and government over reach attempt to control every aspect of our lives, we have awakened to the reality of our great need for personal and corporate change. We cannot stay the same or we will lose our freedoms and perhaps much more besides. We see the cowardice of our government leaders in confronting evil and it disgusts us. We see the blatant disregard for human life when workers of iniquity mock our God, our justice system and our very lives, and it disgusts us. We see the treachery that had made us vulnerable to our enemies – and we are disgusted. We get it now, God. We’ve compromised with everyone that had an agenda. We compromised and allowed ungodliness and those hell bent on living in sin to intimidate us, all in the name of tolerance and political correctness. We’ve lowered the bar on our expectations from ourselves, others and from our leaders, and we’re suffering because of it. We didn't want to rock the boat by taking a stand, so we remained silent. We stood around with our hands in our pockets while evil agendas gained strength because all we could see was the giants screaming in our face and making their demands and we felt so small. We felt so inadequate. We felt powerless and we FORGOT how big You really are. We caved into to cowardice because we FORGOT about all the great things You've already done for us, so many times. We stopped rehearsing the testimonies of God and we lost sight of the fact that YOU ALONE ARE GOD, and NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR YOU. We listened and agreed with all the lies, and now we’re scrambling to recover our peace. We’re scrambling to recover our freedoms and our nation from those that desire to take it from us, but we can’t tackle a job this big without You. God, have mercy on our souls. Please! Have mercy on us for allowing the enemy to convince us that the way of sin would have no consequences. We let down our guard and now we need You, Lord Jesus, to help us recover what’s been lost. We can’t compromise with evil and think we have the power that is needed to take back our land, our families and our future. We MUST change. We must upgrade to a higher level of holiness and commitment to God. There are no other options left.

The way God awakens our heart to a sin He is trying to deliver us from is by letting us get sick and tired and utterly disgusted with our own behavior. He lets us sit in it a while and it seems that nothing we do delivers us from ourselves. All the other factors that seem to contribute to our unhappiness hinge on us becoming willing to truly surrender to God and turn away from whatever it is that has had us bound. That being said, it’s often because we need to understand where we have willingly participated in something God considers sin, and where our participation has allowed demonic activity to attach itself to us. When God has you in a headlock, the ONLY thing that will deliver you and severe those attachments is genuine repentance.  He uses our discomfort with circumstances, disgust with ourselves, and dissatisfaction with our spiritual condition to awaken us to the fact that He won’t stand for us staying the same. Sin weakens us. It strips us of confidence of who we are in Christ. It strips us of anointing, power and authority. Our Father loves us too much to allow us to remain complacent and spiritually weak. Gradually, the lights come on and we figure out what He has been after all along: our hearts. Not just the portion we are comfortable with, but all of us. We must come to a place where we are truly committed to forsaking those sins (even the ones we may consider minor) and surrendering to a new level of holiness. This is God’s process to giving His church an upgrade.

Perhaps a person has never truly made a commitment to Christ. They might have said a prayer at one time or another, inviting Jesus to be their Savior, but the desire to fully commit was lacking. Jesus isn’t moved by halfhearted devotion or a bride that is in bed with a bunch of other lovers. He is looking for those that mean what they say and will demonstrate loyalty to Him. He is after a solid, steadfast commitment to stand for righteousness, justice and equity. We all go through the various stages of growth and maturity, and the truth is, the Holy Spirit within us will fight to help us get there, if we allow Him to convict us for our need for change. The struggle comes when we insist on retaining our ability to make our own decisions and live by our own will. The good news is, no matter how long we may have been riding the fence on our willingness to fully commit, if we will just tell the Lord we are willing, and ask Holy Spirit to give us the power to live for Christ, He will pull us over to His side. 


When we get to the place where we truly ‘get it,’ and are ready for change, then personal revival is not far behind. Sorrow may last for a night but joy comes in the morning. Repentance releases joy to flood our soul and renew our heart. All we have to do is determine to show gratitude and ask Him to help us love Him the way He deserves to be loved, right where we’re at. Whether or not our circumstances have changed. Whether or not the answer to prayer shows up, because He is still good and worthy of our praise. The difference is, repentance and gratitude fulfill the process of change that he has been taking us through. The result is a renewed desire to worship the King and exalt the Most High God.  It's a desire to pursue purity not out of a sense of legalism, but a desire to please God. Purity precedes power. This, this love affair with our Lord, that is revival. That is spiritual renewal. This is the personal breakthrough that opens the heavens and unlocks answers to prayer. 

#Spiritualawakening, #revival, #Spiritualrenewal, #Breakthrough

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