There is so much turmoil and turbulence around the country and the world. Some States are declaring bankruptcy and already, millions of Americans do not have jobs; banks are confessing risky ventures with people’s money; Congress is not functioning and can’t deal with the people’s needs or solve job situations and other problems; the booming voice of the Church is silent, and she is in a compromising mood; the Middle East tension can instantly escalate into Third World Nuclear War. At a time like this, what does a country do when humans have failed to lead- what do we do? We resort back to God who is in control to redirect us.
The Church of God has always led the way in times like this. In the Scriptures when King Solomon finished building the temple and other things God had asked him to do, God was very pleased with the magnificent buildings king Solomon erected, but God warned him if the people became disobedient, He will destroy and disregard the epic edifice king Solomon constructed. God continued that at any time if the people repented of their sin and wickedness, He will forgive them:
“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 sins and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
So God tells the Church who holds the mantle to His professed word and the people:
• If you will humble yourself
• Seek my face
• Turn from your wicked ways
• I will hear from heaven
• I will forgive their sin
• And heal the land
1 What does it mean to revive?
The Hebrew word for revive is anathallo, thalo: flourish a new or blossom.
Anazoa means to live again- bring something back to life again; something that has lost its zeal or strength; no longer productive- state of deadness.
God wants to revive His people the Church and use them to touch a world living and filled with fear and tension. God does not delight in the destruction of His creations. 'It is not the will of God that any should perish.' God seeks and pursues the sinner until their dying bed. That is how merciful God is. God delights in the prayers of His people. He invites the believer and the nonbeliever to come and communicate to Him. Though, God cannot revive the nonbeliever because they are still living in sin, and can’t be revived spiritually. They don’t have a relationship with God. But they can confess their sins, and accept Jesus as savior and believe He died for them. Then, they will become children of God and that simple. God wants His people to pray. He wants everybody to pray to Him-all nations of the world.
Before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Scriptures, God said if I can find even five righteous who will pray, then I will not destroy the land. Prior to the Jewish exile, God said in Isaiah and Jeremiah if I can find a man who will stand in the gap- that is pray, He will not destroy the land. God is a righteous God who hates sin and wickedness. Psalm 89:14 says: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne.” God cannot behold sin and wickedness. When there is so much wickedness, iniquity and sin, and no one is praying to avert it, then God removes the nation. That is how empires and nations have collapsed and fallen down the centuries.
2 What are God’s requirements for revival?
• Humble yourself
Humility is the opposite of pride. It means low lying in Greek- tapeinos: brought low; it means humiliation when used in Scriptures. Don’t exalt yourself before God. Do what He instructs you to do. Some people ask where is God? Who is He? He doesn’t exist for me and why should I obey Him? Leave your sophistication and arrogance alone, humble yourself and listen. God lives and His throne is forever and ever.” Psalm 45:6
Prayer to communicate in Greek koinoneo means to share together; to have fellowship. You come before God in faith, not in doubt and let Him know what your needs are. A group of people can do it of singly. Confess your sins and don’t go before God in pride. ‘If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves.’ God is a righteous God who hates sin. Let us go before Him and tell Him the situation in America and the world. That is what God wants us to do.
• Seek my face
The Hebrew word darash inquire, consult to seek and find something that is lost. Your zeal or interest in God must have waned. For many believers or Christians today, God is missing in their lives-He is far from them. God understands they will be a time of coldness or one problem or the other that blocks the believer’s love for Him, but God says to you come back and seek me. God says in Isaiah 55:6&7: “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. And let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, and he will abundantly pardon.”
Few things are pertinent here: seek him, come back while he may be found. That means they will be a time it will be too late to seek him. The second thing is God’s mercy to the sinner or the believer who has gone cold. His mercy is in abundance-He will abundantly pardon. Tell me who will forgive us like God when we have sinned and messed up?
• Turn from your wicked ways
The word wicked is rasha in Hebrew meaning ungodly, guilty- the concept of wrong doing or being in the wrong. A legal term -one who sins against the law is guilty. God says before revival comes and I do a new thing for America and the world, the Church must turn from wickedness and sin; anything that does not conform to His will. Anything God warns you about that displeases Him in your life, get rid of it. When this requirements are met:
• God will hear from heaven
Shama is the Hebrew word to listen. It is that when we have met God’s requirements, then He will hear our petitions and prayers for our country and the state of the world. God says I will hear. I will listen to you.
• I will forgive your sins
Psalm 32:1&2 says: “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” What a powerful image of freedom. Sin can cause fear, restlessness, sleeplessness and trigger all kinds of problems in our lives. Sometimes, the doctors cannot help us. Sin, moral deviations and wickedness have destroyed many lives. God says when we are revived, He will forgive sin no matter what they are. Only God can forgive sin, and no other human being.
• He will heal the land
How desperate we need healing in our lives; how desperate America needs healing and the world! He will give us back our peace sin has robbed us of; He will give us greater glory and lift the country up again; we will realize we are one nation- black or white as our nation is torn with racial overtones about ‘who is not one of us.’ “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” Our leaders will have God’s wisdom again to lead us; our Churches will be revived and listen to God and do His will; our nations and world will enjoy peace and tranquility again. God will heal us. So many things are caused by sin and disobedience, and because of that , we are not healed.
3 What will spiritual revival do for America & the world?
• It will change the job market. The people holding the job market hostage will surrender to the
will of God if you and I pray as God stipulates. Can anyone fight God?
• It will renew a spiritual interest in the nation and world, instead only the material-money,
sex and love for power and amusement.
• It will awaken people from their sin and wickedness and remind them of the coming judgment of God.
• It will change the uncertainty and turbulence in the world, Middle East that can escalate to
Third World Nuclear War
• Banks will stop their risky venture with people’s money, a global menace, and their
conscience will be pricked to repent or they perish.
• Those who want to repeal health care will be pricked by their conscience: that to repeal it is to
hurt the poor who have no voice; those with preexisting condition, millions without it and the
elderly. God will convict them of their greed and insensitivity. In the past revivals, the power,
glory and presence of God have been so awesome; and instantly convicted and transformed the
unsaved and revived the backsliders.
• Those who are rich will feel guilty and convicted by the Holy Spirit that paying your fare tax is
a matter of fairness and justice; and that could help offset the deficit.
• Spiritual revival brings the power of the Holy Spirit and the anointing that restores the Holy
Spirit in the believer’s life, and spiritual realities and interests to the unsaved.
• God will forgive sin and heal the land: establish the land to a greater glory, peace and
prosperity. Revival will bring these changes when we obey God's requirements.
Sometimes, human beings are the architects of their own failure. We have created the mess we are in as a nation through our greed, lust, arrogance, selfish interest and lack of God’s fear. But God is willing to forgive and heal America and the world if we are willing to listen: ‘humble ourselves, pray, seek his face and turn from our wicked ways.’ I hope we can do that before it becomes too late. Everybody should begin to gather everywhere and pray: in our homes, temples, Churches, mosques, individuals, etc. Let there be a revival of prayer. That is the only way we can escape God’s anger and judgment, and He will restore our former glory because we have obeyed His requirements for revival.