Why Revival Tarries: 'By Invitation Only'
- Wednesday, May 12, 2004
There's no shortage of churches and Bibles in the United States today. But for all the trappings of religion, there isn't nearly so much living faith - faith that brings true transformation. The power to change people's lives and shake up nations only comes through revival.
Here are some ways you can invite a revival to come:
Seek power, not just knowledge. Realize that all the knowledge in the world won't give you an effective faith. Instead of intellectualism, pursue a relationship with the living God. Make prayer a priority in your daily life. Seek the power that comes only from prayer - not degrees, books, or debates. Connect yourself to the true power source by spending regular time with God in prayer.
Be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Ask the Spirit to come and fill you with the fire of faith. Let the Spirit guide you as you pray, so you can pray world-changing prayers that shake people up and move them toward transformation.
Ask God to give you vision and passion. Look upward to see the Lord in His holiness, look inward to see your own need for cleansing and power, and look outward to see a world that is perishing and needs a Savior.
Engage in spiritual warfare. Expect Satan to attack you whenever you try to move forward with God's work. Decide that you will be faithful no matter what the cost, and rely on God's grace to help you follow where He leads.
Let yourself feel grief for lost people. Ask God to give you genuine pain in your heart for people who are dying without Christ. Ask Him to give you a burden for them that will motivate you to share the Gospel message with people around you.
Create a church that represents God's values instead of the world's. Preachers should live simple lives instead of embracing materialism; focus on the cross and not on a cheapened, feel-good message; confront the heresies of counterfeit religions with the truth; and serve humbly, giving God the glory instead of grasping it themselves.
Ask the Holy Spirit to anoint your efforts for God. Rather than going your own way to do a good work, ask God what He's doing, and seek to join Him there. Before you undertake any ministry effort, ask the Holy Spirit to anoint it to accomplish God's purposes.
Don't just know the Word of God. Know the God of the Word. Understand that the Bible isn't just a book to be explained - it's a book to be believed and obeyed. Get to know the One who inspired the Bible and ask Him to increase your faith. Realize that faith - not wisdom or personality, or anything else - is what matters most to God. Know that deeper knowledge is of no use if you have a shallow heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you apply what you read in the Bible, so you can truly live out your faith.
Become a modern prophet. Don't just sit idly by while immorality surrounds you. Have the courage to speak up for the truth. Trust that God will give you the same power He gave the ancient prophets and apostles to shine His light into your world today.
Seek more than just sound doctrine. Realize that you can follow the letter of the law, but still be dead in your faith. Let your faith come alive by asking God to send you the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Pursue true repentance. Understand that repentance is not just remorse; it's a change of mind about God, sin, and hell. It's a decision to move forward an entirely new direction.
Identify with Christ. Seek to identify with Christ's sacrifice and service by asking God to brand you for Him. Be branded by devotion to your tasks, humility, suffering, passion, and love.
Birth spiritual children. Don't be content just to enjoy being born again yourself. Instead, do all you can to help other people experience the new birth of saving relationships with Christ.
Make yourself nothing so God can use you for anything. Give up your own ambitions, possessions, and concern for your rights and reputation so these things won't stand in the way of you accomplishing far greater things for God.
Don't underestimate prayer's power. Know that prayer is as vast and powerful as God because it's His idea and He has committed to answer it. Pray often - especially when you're alone and free of distractions.
Realize that the stakes are high. Understand that the world is watching the church, and as goes the church, so goes the world.
Don't settle for less than everything. Don't settle for a lukewarm faith, or live your life halfway. Decide to become fully surrendered to God, wholly sanctified, and completely fulfilled in Christ.
Adapted from Why Revival Tarries, copyright 1959, 2004 by Leonard Ravenhill. Published by Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN., www.bethanyhouse.com.
Leonard Ravenhill was born in 1907 in England. He became one of England's foremost evangelists, preaching with vigor and power. He emigrated with his family to the United States in midlife, where he continued his ministry. He and his wife, Martha, raised three sons. The author of several books, including Revival God's Way and Revival Praying, Ravenhill went home to be with the Lord in 1994.
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