The Missing Key for Revival
It seems in many place within America there is talk about a
coming revival that our nation desperately needs. In the beginning of
America we were founded as a Christian nation, which we are far from
currently. The only way back would be a great revival breaking out and
blowing a fresh move of the Holy Spirit out across our country.
Many churches think of revival as a service or several services.
True revival brings change in lives and hearts of believers and
affects the climate of a community. Revival is not awakening. Revival
is bringing back the fire of the Holy Spirit to the life of the
believer that has grown cold. Revival is for Christians, and it always
touches the lost. There are elements that are found in every revival,
and they are well preached about, that is, all except one. In May,
while traveling, I heard a preacher in a great church preach on
revival. He covered well the thirst the people in that church have to
see a revival in their area.
In that particular church I knew well some of the situations, for
we used to pastor some of those people years ago. Yes, there is a
great thirst and hunger after God, prayer, and praise along with good
worship. But, as I listened to that message, I heard the voice of the
Lord say, “He is missing the key. He is missing the key. He is missing
the key.” I pondered those words as the Lord went on to share with me
the need of the missing key and how important it is in order for
revival to truly happen in this nation.
In the church where I visited folks are hungry for revival yet
there are those who will not speak to others who were formally
together in a church for many years. Tell me, is this the ground from
which revival springs? No! Revival comes when the missing key is put
into the hole and turned.
Lenard Ravenhill, a famous revivalist, knew what the missing key
well because most of his messages led to the key being set in place.
It is meant to turn the heart of believers. Although the evangelist I
heard preached some of Ravenhill’s thoughts on revival, he failed to
point out the key that Lenard often spoke about and encouraged others
to put into action.
The missing key is repentance. “In the Acts 3:19 we read, “Repent
ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,
when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the
Lord.” Repentance encompasses sorrow over what you have done or have
not done. It produces an intention to change your mind or your ways.
It means you make a 180 degree turn from what you are repenting of.
Repentance always is followed by good works, it doesn’t walk in the
past path. In Acts Chapter 19, verse 19 shows repentant works. The
believers repentance was followed by the bringing of their books “used
for curious arts”, valued at fifty thousand pieces of silver and
burning them before all men.”
One of the greatest times of refreshing in one of our churches
came on a Sunday morning when someone stood up and repented. That
confession was followed by others throughout the congregation until
the whole place was in tears of repentance and joy. A visitor was so
touched that she returned the next Sunday to tell us how deeply she
was touched by the hearts of believers who repented. She became a
faithful member of our church. That morning changed the direction of
all our lives and our church.
Repentance leaves self behind and sets your eyes on Christ, the
Author and Finisher of your faith. In Acts Chapter 8, we ready the
story about a man who obeyed the gospel, he was baptized, but later
for the love of money and position, he tried to buy the gift of the
Holy Spirit. It is clear that Simon’s heart was not godly but rather
greedy and self-seeking. Peter told Simon to “repent therefore of this
thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart
may be forgiven thee”. Ac 8: 22.
We had a very wealthy man in one of our churches. He came to the
Lord through my husband making a golfing relationship with him and
later he was able to lead him to Christ. He grew in the Lord as he
attended church services. His wife came to the Lord and other members
of his family. He was elected by the church to be a council member.
For over a year he served in that position until he decided that he
would be running the church and saying what direction it would be
going, especially the finances. We were a very mission minded church
and he has business options in mind for the church. During one of the
council meetings there were heated discussions. There was a break and
during the break he leaned over and said to me, “You know who pays
your husband’s salary.” I said, “Yes, I do, God!” At the end of that
meeting he resigned, after the other members stood with the pastor.
That man died a bitter old man and to my knowledge he never repented.
Repentance drops the curtain of winking at and overlooking sin.
It allows the Holy Spirit to clear the smoke screen to see sin for
what it is. “I tell you nay, unless you repent, you shall all likewise
perish”. Lu 13:3. Sin leads to hell, but repentance can and does
restore the life of the believer.
The Bible tells us that repentance and the remission of sins
should be preached among all the nations. Lu 24.47. Why isn’t it
preached? Because it is unpopular and makes people uncomfortable.
Repentance challenges your will power. It demands that you humble
yourself before God, and give up everything that is contrary to your
will. Revival begins with clean hearts. Nobody can give you a clean
heart besides God Our modern day world calls evil good and good evil.
Isa 5:20. When true repentance comes into the heart of a believer
there is no calling evil good.
As we seek revival we must continue to pray and preach and allow the
Holy Spirit to bring conviction into our spirits. We need a cleansing
of our land that God promises to do if we will pray and repent.. 2 Chr
7:14. There is none of us without sin, we all are without excuse –