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Bible Ballistics:Vol. 15 No. 07 What May Be Hampering Revival???

 

I for one, have prayed for ‘revival’ to come to America (and me personally) as many of you have; yet I see many things that may be hampering true revival, and what saddens me is that many of these things are not only present, but sorely prevalent among those that claim the name of Jesus!  What is real revival?  Firstly, revival is not for the ‘lost’ but for those who are God’s own, and have, if you would, have allowed themselves to be drawn away from the fire of God and have cooled in their ardor for their Lord! And almost always we will find sin at the heart of our lack of ardor in our love for God; sometimes blatant, public sin, but just as often the hidden sins of our heart.  Paul gives a good standard to use in comparing the fruit (and there is no ‘s’ in that word that Paul uses) of the Spirit that should be evident in our lives (And I ask that we—you and me– might take some time going over this list of the works “of the flesh”, and ask God to “search my heart o God”—that we might truly hear God’s voice to our hearts—and repent and humbly bow before our God and our King!)!

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust

of the flesh.

17 For the flesh

lusteth against the Spirit,

and the Spirit

against the flesh:

and these are contrary

the one

to the other:

so that ye cannot do the things

that ye would.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit,

ye are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest,

which are these;

Adultery,

fornication,

uncleanness,

lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry,

witchcraft,

hatred,

variance,

emulations,

wrath,

strife,

seditions,

heresies,

21 Envyings,

murders,

drunkenness,

revellings,

and such like:

of the which I tell you before,

as I have also told you in time past,

that they which do such things

shall not inherit

the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit

is love,

joy,

peace,

longsuffering,

gentleness,

goodness,

faith,

23 Meekness,

temperance:

against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s

have crucified the flesh

with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.”   Galatians 5:16-24

We are called to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit which God has given to us when we are saved, and when we walk in “The Spirit” we will “not fulfil the lust of the flesh”!  And Peter also reminds believers that we are to not walk in the way that the world does, but we are called to reflect the character of our Father God and The Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,

be sober,

and hope to the end

for the grace that is to be brought

unto you

at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

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.

17 And if ye call on the Father,

who without respect of persons

judgeth according to every man’s work,

pass the time of your sojourning here

in fear:

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed

with corruptible things,

as silver

and gold,

from your vain conversation

received by tradition

from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ,

as of a lamb

without blemish

and without spot:”   1 Peter 1:13-19

We can and ought to walk in the light of what our Lord Jesus did at Calvary; we can live victoriously because of His blood that cleanses us “from sin”!  Jesus saves us “from sin” so we don’t have to stay “in” our sin.

Seeing ye have purified your souls

in obeying the truth

through the Spirit

unto unfeigned love

of the brethren,

see that ye love one another

with a pure heart

fervently:

23 Being born again,

not of corruptible seed,

but of incorruptible,

by the word of God,

which liveth

and abideth for ever.”  1 Peter 1:22-23

Even as Joseph was told before Jesus’ birth!

And she shall bring forth a son,

and thou shalt call his name JESUS:

for he shall save his people

from their sins.”   Matthew 1:21

When we come to Jesus in repentance and faith we are born again by the Spirit of God; and God will never leave us where He finds us—He transforms us into “the image of His Son”!  Our part is to yield to Him in obedient love and devotion—not obeying, or living holy lives to be saved, but obeying and living holy because we areborn again” by God’s Spirit.

He came unto his own,

and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them

that believe on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.”   John 1:11-13

And as Paul makes clear to us in his second letter to the Corinthians (the second one of the recorded letters) God is ever at work in His own.

Therefore if any man be in Christ,he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God,

who hath reconciled us

to himself

by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us

the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit,

that God was in Christ,

reconciling the world

unto himself,

not imputing their trespasses

unto them;

and hath committed unto us

the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors

for Christ,

as though God did beseech you

by us:

we pray you

in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin

for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness of God

in him.”   2 Corinthians 5:17-21

One thing I want you to know is that when I speak of revival, I am not drawing anyone to “be like me”—for like every other Christian, I am a “sinner” saved by grace; but that doesn’t mean I say ‘my’ sin is ok, and yours is not!  What I want us to recognize, is that God hates sin—any sin—all sin—every sin.  HIS Son paid for those sins with His precious blood; why would those who know Him by saving faith and grace want to cling to those things which put my Lord to death?  We ought to be clinging to our precious Lord and walking in the power of His Holy Spirit and not our flesh…for He came to “save his people from their sins”!  As Paul said, in more than one place in the scripture, we are to die to ourselves and live unto Jesus who saved us from our sin!

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed

to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

I am crucified

with Christ:

 nevertheless

I live;

yet not I,

but Christ

liveth in me:

and the life

which I now live

in the flesh

I live

by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself

for me.”   Galatians 2:20

Even Jesus addressed this issue of dying to self!

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

and whosoever will lose his life

for my sake

shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?”   Matthew 16:24-25

So as we think of living holy lives I’d simply like to share some food for thought—not throwing stones but rather sharing things for each of us to consider what is happening, not only in the world around us, but considering how many of these issues have we allowed to creep into our worldview, or even into our homes and lives.

Marriage is honourable in all,

and the bed undefiled:

but whoremongers

and adulterers

God will judge.”  Hebrews 13:4

Mortify therefore your members

which are upon the earth;

fornication,

uncleanness,

inordinate affection,

evil concupiscence,

and covetousness,

which is idolatry:

6 For which things’ sake

the wrath of God

cometh on the children

of disobedience:”  Colossians 3:5-6

Let him that stole

steal no more:

but rather let him labour,

working with his hands

the thing which is good,

that he may have to give

to him that needeth.”  Ephesians 4:28

Let no corrupt communication

proceed out of your mouth,

but that which is good

to the use of edifying,

that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,

whereby ye are sealed

unto the day of redemption.”   Ephesians 4:29-30

But godliness

with contentment

is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into this world,

and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8 And having food and raiment

let us be therewith content.”   1 Timothy 6:6-8

That we henceforth be no more children,

tossed to and fro,

and carried about with every wind of doctrine,

by the sleight of men,

and cunning craftiness,

whereby they lie in wait

to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love,

may grow up into him in all things,

which is the head,

even Christ:

16 From whom the whole body

fitly joined together

and compacted

by that which every joint

supplieth,

according to the effectual working

in the measure of every part,

maketh increase

of the body

unto the edifying

of itself in love.”                  Ephesians 4:14-16

And in closing a passage from Paul and one from Isaiah, may they prick our hearts and bring us to our knees, that revival may start ‘in me’; for if I don’t seek revival, I am not likely to experience revival.

See that none render evil

for evil unto any man;

but ever follow that which is good,

both among yourselves,

and to all men.

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks:

for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus

concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things;

hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace

sanctify you wholly;

and I pray God

your whole spirit

and soul

and body

be preserved blameless

unto the coming

of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

24 Faithful is he that calleth you,

who also will do it.”  1 Thessalonians 5:15-24

Behold, the LORD’S hand

 is not shortened,

that it cannot save;

neither his ear heavy,

that it cannot hear:

2 But your iniquities

have separated between you

and your God,

and your sins have hid his face

from you,

that he will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled

with blood,

and your fingers

with iniquity;

your lips

have spoken lies,

your tongue hath muttered

perverseness.

4 None calleth

for justice,

nor any pleadeth

for truth:

they trust in vanity,

and speak lies;

they conceive mischief,

and bring forth iniquity.”   Isaiah 59:1-4

And as I have mentioned often of late, may we pray that our nation will bow before God, and as the old hymn says may we truly pray:

….Lord send a revival….and let it begin with me”!                             (Written by B. B. McKinney)

May we be willing to “humble ourselves…pray….seek God’s face…and turn from our wicked ways…” that our God will “hear…heal…and forgive” our land—our churches—ME!  May we find anything that is “separating” us from God!

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.”  2 Chronicles 7:12-14

Lord, please send your revival fires upon your own, and may we hear the “still…small…voice” of your Holy Spirit breaking our hearts for revival, and repent of our sins—and receive your touch!  May the world see YOU in us!