November 18, 2017

O Lord, revive thy work

George Stiekes

O Lord, revive thy work – Habakkuk 3:2.

This phrase is taken from a prayer by the prophet Habakkuk.  Hearing what the Lord had said, he was afraid because it involved the destruction of Judah.  He prays that God will manifest His wrath upon Judah and Chaldea, but he also asks Him to be merciful.  He wanted God to discipline Judah and destroy Babylon.  It was a prayer for a fresh manifestation of God’s power along with a full measure of His pardon.

It seems to me that America is in line for the wrath of God to be manifested.  If there ever was a day when a spiritual revival was desperately needed, it is now.  We need some kind of a reawakening from a state of spiritual stagnation to a fresh appreciation of God’s holiness, a passion for His Word, and a spiritual and moral renewal.  Unless our nation experiences a resurgence of God consciousness, moral righteousness and Christ-like living – individually and corporately, we may very soon experience the wrath of God as never before.

The key to genuine revival is prayer.  I used the word “genuine” because a lot of churches will have “revival meetings” without ever experiencing revival.  Some of the elements that will bring the blessing of God in revival are:

  • A desire to have God do in our lives individually, in our churches and in our nation what He has done in the past when revival has occurred.
  • This will be manifested in frequent, serious, even intense prayer.  This has been the one consistent characteristic of all revivals.  Suddenly, prayer becomes important and people will want to gather for special prayer.  When people gather at regularly scheduled prayer meetings, there will be some who will be praying prior to the meeting, the need is so greatly sensed.  When this occurs, another element that will automatically take place is a fresh sense of humility.  Without it, there will be no power and therefore no revival.
  • There will be a strong desire for the manifestation of God’s presence and an awareness of His holiness and authority.
  • Those with the longing for revival will come to God with a deep hunger in their lives.
  • There must be a dissatisfaction with the state of the Church in general and ourselves in particular.
  • There must be a willingness for God to begin His work in our lives individually as opposed to starting it in the lives of others.
  • There must be a holy expectance that God can and will meet our needs individually, in our churches and in our nation.  This is crucial because usually when we think of revival, we too often think of the urgent need in our nation without giving consideration to our own spiritual needs.
  • There will be a new sensitivity to sin – calling sin by their proper names such as pride, hardness, doubt, fear and self-pity.
  • There will be a new sense relating to the fact that we cannot live the Christian life ourselves.  There will be a new trusting in His ability to do in us and through us what He desires in our lives.

There are so many examples of personal, church and national revivals.  Here is one personal illustration.

James L. Kraft: James L. Kraft (12/11/1874 – 2/16/1953) was the superintendent of the Sunday School at North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago.  He was the founder and long time president of Kraft foods and had a desire to be the most famous manufacturer and salesman of cheese in the world.  His plan was to become rich and famous by making and selling cheese.  He worked long hours and made no money.  One day, he stopped along his route and began talking to his horse.  He said, Paddy, there is something wrong.  We are not doing it right.  I am afraid we have things turned around.  Our priorities are not where they ought to be.  Maybe we ought to serve God and place Him first in our lives.”  He drove home and spent some time  in prayer, making a covenant with God that He would serve Him and then work as God directed.  His business turned around and was later heard to say, “I would rather be a layman in the North Shore Baptist Church than to head the greatest corporation in America.  My first job is serving Jesus.”  Spiritual revival in his life preceded God’s blessing in his business.

No: God is not going to make every person rich as a result of revival, but there are thousands of stories of God working in the lives of people who were willing to come to the end of putting self first and putting God first.

This theme will continue in a post next week. Today we end with a simple question: Do you really want to see God do a work of revival in your life, church and nation?

Psalm 27:1 –  The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid.

James 1:3-4Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

Submit other comments here.