Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Revive Us! Oh Lord, Revive Us Again!

                We live in the land of the free, the home of the brave. We are free to worship God, we are free to walk around with Bible’s in our hands, and Jesus bumper stickers on our cars. We are free to speak the name of Jesus in the open and publicly. We are not blocked from looking up John 3:16 on the internet, we are a nation of freedoms. We are a nation that was built and founded upon the principles of Jesus Christ, and we were founded my men who desired only to worship God without persecution. We are supposed to be a nation alive with the knowledge of the freedoms we have in Christ. Yet we are a dead nation, we are a nation that praises God with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him.

                “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,” Isaiah 29:13
                It was laid upon my heart this morning to pray for revival for this nation, for the church of Christ which is scattered throughout this nation of ours. The Lord spoke to the children of Israel as He speaks to us today and tells us that our lips say one thing, but our hearts show Him another. We have turned away from God; we have cast out His words and gone our own way. We have taken the traditions and rituals we have created and exalted them above God. We have sat with itching ears listing to His word being taught day after day, yet our hearts have grown cold, and our worship has waned.
                God seeks a people that will praise Him with their hearts, not just the lips. We sing the songs on Sunday; we lift our hands and follow along with the mood set by our worship teams. We say “Amen” to the things our pastor says, yet as soon as we are out the doors of the church; we forget God and go about our own ways. We use His word to justify our own desires; we use His word to make us feel better about ourselves, and then use the cross of Christ as a means to wash up so we can go and sin some more.

                God desires obedience. He desires hearts that seek to know Him and His will. He desires a people that will do what He says. We have taken our church doctrines, our traditions and “the way we do things” and made them more important than the Holy Spirit. God does not desire for things to be the same all the time. Not every church is the same, therefore making rules and traditions to follow goes against His word to us. God wants to move and work freely in the hearts of His people, but we will not allow Him to do so. There are committees you have to go through, meetings you have to attend, people you have to speak to before you can even go out on the street to tell someone about Jesus.
                We have outreaches and festivals, we have prayer meetings and potlucks, but where is the presence of God? Look at the book of Acts, read the book of Acts and tell me where that church is? The book of Acts was written as a guideline for our churches today, yet none of the miracles are happening, our towns and cities are not affected by the church.  We are praying for our brothers and sisters with our lips, but our faith in God and His ability is gone, it is not found in our hearts. We have turned away from the living God, we have trampled His word underfoot and the church is suffering for it, our land is perishing because of it.
                “So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.” Ezekiel 33:31
                We sit in our pews; we sing and say “amen” but then we disobey God and His word the very next moment. God desires obedience, He desires for us to keep His commandments, to walk in His ways. We have deceived ourselves; we have allowed the deceitfulness of sin to overtake us, His people. God is longsuffering, but how much more can we put Him through? We say we love Him, yet we seek our own desires, our own lusts and then expect Him to forgive us in our five minutes of prayer and devotion each day.
                Not much longer will He bear with us; not much longer will He stretch out His hands to this rebellious and stiff-necked nation. Not much longer will He allow His people to grow wild. He will come with His sickle and He will separate the wheat from the chaff. Not much longer and He will put the church in a fire and separate from each church building the dross. We must, as a church, as His people, come together on our knees and pray for forgiveness, pray for revival in our nation. He is coming and there will be many who say they are His who will be left behind. They will be cast into the fire, because they drew near Him with their lips but their hearts were far from Him.
                “Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you, even though you make many prayers, I will not hear.” Isaiah 1:14-15
                Our outreaches are not for the lost, but to gain members to fill the pews. Our festivals are for the glory of the church and not for God. We put a Christian name on them and plan them for our own joy, not for His. We wonder why our churches are dying, we wonder why the youth are walking away from Christ, yet we are not willing to open our eyes and see that it is our fault. We have made the word of God nothing; we have tossed it under our car seat until we need it again next week. We open it throughout the week, and pray and sing, yet we do not do what it says. We are not even willing to strive against sin; we just sin and then ask for forgiveness. We do not even seek to obey, but seek to cover ourselves with grace.
                God is displeased, He is weary of our hypocrisy and desires for us to wake up out of this sleep of “Christian” charity and look to Him for revival. Not much longer will He tarry. Not much longer and His wrath will be poured out upon all those who have chosen disobedience. Our good works, our service to the church, our titles, our preaching, our teaching, our worship means nothing to Him because our hearts are far from Him. He hears our lips but sees our hearts. He desires obedience, He desires us to do His word not just speak it. He desires us to wake up and see the deceitful ways we have traveled and come back to Him.
Please join me in praying for our nation, pray for revival, and seek the Lord while He may be found. Let us get on our knees, and with pure hearts seek our God. Let us turn from our traditions and rituals, our feasts and festivals, and turn back to God. Let us seek His face and pray for the lost and broken church which has rebelled against God. It all starts with you. Each one of us has rebelled, we have praised with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. Let us turn back with humble hands lifted high and pray for forgiveness. Let us hear His word and do it, let us become the church He intended for us to be.

                I pray for revival in our nation, in our churches. Father God, I pray that You would pour out Your Holy Spirit upon this land that has forgotten You, this church that has turned from You and revive us again. We are dead in our trespasses and sins; we need Your Spirit to wake us up from this sleep of deceit. Revive us, Oh Lord, Revive us again. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.