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First Person: The missing ingredient for revival

In 1962, the Supreme Court made the biggest mistake in the history of the U.S. Judiciary. They asked God to leave public life in America. God is a gentlemen. He left.

Since then, everything has been in decline: morally, spiritually, politically, educationally, domestically, everything.

America has no tomorrow. No future and no hope, except for true, old-fashioned, heaven-sent revival. No nation has gone where we have gone and escaped the judgment of God. We shall not be the first.

II Chron. 7:14 gives God’s eternal, absolute, unchanging formula for revival. “And My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from Heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” 

God does not say, “If the politicians, if the pornographers, if the drug pushers, or gang lords,” He says if, “My people.” We’re the cause, and we’re the cure.

Jesus said, “You’re the salt of the Earth.” If the meat of society has spoiled, it is because the salt has lost its savor. Salt is bitter to society. Salt bites. Salt challenges, and salt changes.

The cross and those who preach it and practice it will always be an offense to society. Rather than changing society, political correctness has changed us. Being friendly to sinners has become friendly to sin in too many pulpits. Preaching against the sins of society breaks open the rocky soil of the Gospel that the prayers of God’s people may infuse the rock and melt it.

 

///So how shall we pray?

• Pray that your pastor will cry out against sin and plead for conviction, brokenness and repentance from the pulpit.

• Pray for brokenness and burden in the pulpit of your own heart.

• In both pulpits we stand, as did men, in the pulpit of the bow of great ships, willingly tied there at the peril of our lives, crying aloud with warnings of rocks in the water that will sink the ship.

• In the name of Jesus, speak out and speak up. Without God’s people being God’s people, we are doomed.

• Humble yourself. If your pastor struts in and out of the pulpit like a rock star, pray for him. And the same goes for us. Hide yourself as far as humanly possible from the limelight. Every revival in history has begun, not in the hearts of the rich and famous, but the broken, humble, hidden and unlikely. As you go before the Lord in prayer for revival, pray that no one will ever know your name, but everyone will know His.

• Pray that God will make Himself your passion. Seek the face of God. To seek His face in praying for revival, is praying for a total abandonment of your will to His. His will. His honor. His name. His Kingdom. His land. Pray, “Lord, with all the sincerity of my soul, I ask, ‘What do you want of me?’ Speak Lord, thy servant waits to hear. I will do anything You tell me. Go anywhere You send me. Forfeit anything You ask me. Be anything. You mold me.”

“All to Jesus I surrender;

All to him I freely give;

I will ever love and trust him,

In his presence daily live.“

• Turn from your wickedness. What we see as little things, God sees as big. Our little white lies are big white lies to Him. Our racial slurs crush His spirit. Our sins of omission stop His hand. No praying, no witnessing, no giving, no forgiving, paralyze His plan. We are His chosen vessels, His instruments, His body, His hands and feet. He can choose to do anything He wishes: He has chosen to work through us. Pray that He will forgive your pride, prayerlessness, and heal your land.

America is sick. Politicians, educators, financiers, intellects, social commentators, have not a clue how to make her well again. You do. God just told you. God promised you. God has done it before. You’ve read it countless times. Did it go right over your head? It’s in your hands. We’re not waiting for Him. He is waiting for us. His promise to heal our land is more than a promise. It’s a law. Stop saying, “Why doesn’t God do something?” God is saying, “Why don’t you do something?”

When God speaks into a situation, it is more than a divine promise. It becomes a spiritual law. He is not saying, “If you lower the temperature to 32 degrees, as a reward I’ll give you ice.”  He is saying, “There will be ice.” Meet my conditions—the law of revival is engaged—the land is healed. And He always requires that we act first. If you will, I will.

The seven churches of Asia Minor in Revelation 2 and 3 are more than historical churches. They are also, in order listed, the seven ages of church history. We live in the last age, the Laodecian age, the age of the lukewarm church. God wants to come in and warm things up. Rev. 3:20, “If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come into him,” is written not to the lost sinner as we suppose, but to the Laodecian church and to us. Pray that you, your pastor and your church will open the door wide and set the world on fire. And it can start there. Every great awakening started with an unlikely, unexpected person. In 33 AD, 120 people prayed in an upper room and suddenly there came a sound from Heaven like a mighty rushing wind.

 

///Pray. Pray. Pray.

Three armies were coming toward Jehoshophat. He proclaimed a fast, prayed, and sang praises to the Lord in the beauty of holiness. God smote the armies.  Pray.

When Jesus said, “Ask, Seek and Knock,” He used the erosit perfect tense of the verb. Keep on asking. Keep on seeking. Keep on praying. Don’t quit. Let prayer be the priority of your life. And tell your pastor you are willing to do anything at all to help him promote explicit agreement and visible union of the churches of your area for extraordinary revival.

God cannot resist the visible, united, passionate prayer of His people.

“After a long time, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned because of their difficult labor, and they cried out; and their cry for help ascended to God because of the difficult labor.” Ex. 2:23

“When we cried out to the LORD, He heard our voice, sent an angel, and brought us out of Egypt. Now look, we are in Kadesh, a city on the border of your territory.” Num. 20:16

“When Jacob went to Egypt, your ancestors cried out to the LORD, and He sent them Moses and Aaron, who led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.” I Sam. 12:8

“Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He rescued them from their distress.” Psalm 107:6

“Announce a sacred fast; proclaim an assembly! Gather the elders and all the residents of the land at the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.” Joel 1:14

God has often sent spiritual awakening to His people, and only waits for us to do so again. Old Testament revival started from the top down. A prophet preached, the people responded in repentance. Since New Testament days, revival has started from the people up. Unofficial, unexpected, unlikely, very often with students. Always with prayer.

What happened in the New Testament? At Calvary, Christ died for His bride the church. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit of Christ birthed the church. We are the Body, Jesus is the Head.

In Old Testament days, God moved through the voice and body of one person, a prophet. Since Pentecost, He moves through a greater body, millions of people, His bride, the church.

The potential for world-impacting revival is much greater this side of Pentecost. The way up is down. The way to live is to die. The way to revival is denial. Self, sin, pleasure, food, time. Deny.

Fast. Repent. Seek. And pray.

Revival is the tool. Spiritual awakening is the goal. A healed land is the result.

 

John Bisagno

Author: John Bisagno

Retired Pastor, Houston, First

View more articles by John Bisagno.

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