In 1949, on the Isle of Lewis, two older ladies began a prayer meeting that led to a great revival in Hebrides Islands.
Chapter 3 is a Revivalist Handbook! Let’s walk through it:
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
Understanding that OT teaching was that righteous people were blessed materially–one that Jesus countermanded, we DO believe that we are blessed spiritually by following the admonition of verse 1. The seeds of revival begin when God’s people turn their attention to the Word of God and begin to apply the commands of the LORD to our lives.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man [generally speaking].
In order for those seeds to grow, we must water them with action. This action cannot be determined by us, nor can we generate “good works” that bring revival. We must lay our lives at the foot of the throne of grace and wait. In His time, He will tell us what the next step is.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
These verses are the crux of revival. When we are willing to trust Him entirely, THEN and ONLY then will revival begin to grow in our hearts.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
Pride is the enemy of revival. Our pride will keep those seeds from growing every time.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
One of the main culprits of warding off revival is the love of money. It is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Once we are willing to lay all on the altar, the rest of our lives follows pretty quickly.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
In order for revival to come to our lives, we must endure the LORD’s discipline. In fact, we must embrace it, want it, even cry out for it. WE NEED CORRECTION. The next verses tell us where we find the what and how:
13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
Wisdom is seeing from God’s perspective. Understanding is…well, understanding what we are seeing. We ONLY gain God’s perspective by reading/knowing His Word. We MUST KNOW what He has said in order to know what He desires of us. The Spirit will confirm God’s will concerning what we read. Even our prayers must be scripturally based.
19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.
Want to know what God’s thinking? What He’s up to? What He wants of us? READ HIS WORD!
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.
James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Read with the awareness of His nearness, His desire to open our minds, His presence, out of which flows love, joy, peace, hope, grace, knowledge, understanding, and discernment–WISDOM!
NOW comes the nitty gritty part, the part where His word tells us where to begin in order for us to make our hearts ready for revival:
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
In other words, be up-front and honorable in your business dealings.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
Be the trustworthy neighbor. “Let your light shine before men so that they will see your good deeds (being trustworthy) and will glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
31 Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
Do not mimic the ways of evil people. Instead, choose godly role models and learn from them.
32 For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame.
These verses remind us that God is still active in our world. He is looking for people who are seeking His heart:
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a
All it takes is a few people praying to spark a revival. The timing is up to the LORD. We just need to be faithful, willing, ardent, and compliant to the Spirit of God.
We will talk more about this subject of revival tomorrow. In the meantime, pray with me for Him to give us clean hands and pure hearts. Pray this prayer with me:
Dear Lord, we come before You in repentance for having proud hearts and dirty hands. We have done things our way for so long that our way seems right, feels right, and even looks right. But, when we read Your Word, we find that none of us is righteous unto ourselves. WE NEED YOU, Your guidance, Your correction, even Your rebuke. Give us clean hands and pure hearts, O God (Psalm 24:4). Renew a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10). “Show us Your ways, LORD, teach us Your paths. Guide us in Your truth and teach us, for You are God our Savior, and our hope is in You all day long (Psalm 25:4).” “My heart says of you, ‘Seek His face!’ Your face, LORD, I will seek (Psalm 27:8).” Begin now to work revival into our souls, O God. We need to be desperate for a new and fresh moving of Your Spirit in our hearts and across this land. Amen.