Proverbs 23 1-23-20

Revival is coming; on what side of it will you be: conviction of the Spirit for repentance or praying for it to come?

4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust in your own cleverness.

The Spirit of God has begun to stir at Brookwood. Our pastor has been asked by the Spirit to call his staff to prayer on Monday nights. I am looking forward to these times of prayer and worship and the spirit of revival that will come of it.

What brings revival? What does the Holy Spirit ask of us in order to have revival? It’s simple, really. All we have to do is die to ourselves and live for Him. Paul said in Galatians 2:

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Revival is based upon the necessity of Christ being in us and living through us. It sounds like we have a passive role in this relationship, but it’s much more active than we might think. Dying to our old selves is a continuous exercise. We will not cease to strive with ourselves until we die and trade these bodies of sin for glorified bodies.

How hard are you striving? Have you fallen back into old habits? Have you gone stale in your walk with the LORD? Let’s look at a passage of Scripture that will help us identify where we are in our walk with Him:

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:3-8

Jesus explains the parable to His disciples in verses 14-20. It looks like this:

  1. Seed on the path-They hear the message, but refuse to consider any other way than the one they believe. Evolutionists fall into this category as do people with addictions and sinful lifestyles that they are unwilling to give up.
  2. Seed on rocky soil-Many people receive the message of Christ and His salvation because it IS Good News. But, when it comes time to change their lives to become like Jesus, we find that they were really in love with the IDEA of being saved rather than actually coming to Christ and giving Him their lives. He needs the deed to our house/heart and the Master key to every door in our house. His message is not, “Come to Me and be saved from hell,” but, “Come to Me and FOLLOW Me.” Being saved from hell is a benefit of the other.
  3. Seed among thorns-Here’s where a lot of Christians spin their wheels. The “worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come and choke the word, making it unfruitful (v.19),” “and they do not mature (Luke 8:14c).” Christ asked us to give up our lives, to die to ourselves, and to take up our cross DAILY and follow Him (Luke 9:23). Are we doing this on a daily basis?
  4. Seed on good soil-Here is where we want to be. We want to known by the LORD as having a “noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering (Luke 8:15),” follow Him closely, walking in step with Him, and producing a harvest for the LORD. What kind of harvest? We begin with our own fruit of the Spirit that is grown in our lives by Him (see Galatians 5:22-23). We continue with souls that come to Christ through our influence, all according to our obedience to His direction and leadership in our daily lives.

Revival will require each of us to examine ourselves and see where we are in this lineup. I pray that we will all make the necessary adjustments to our lives to follow Christ with whole and undivided hearts.

Abba, may I be the first to make these adjustments. You have already called me to make dietary adjustments (doctor’s orders); now You’re working on my spiritual adjustments as we begin praying together as a staff. Please continue to make the necessary adjustments to all areas of my life so that I look as much like You as I can in this world. I look forward to Your refiner’s fire. Amen.

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