by pastor david
“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?”
Revival is from God and for God’s people. Slick advertising and a lot of hype will not bring revival and the preacher cannot bring it in his briefcase. Revival is not an evangelistic campaign, although the salvation of the lost is always one of the results of genuine revival.
Real revival, God honoring-revival, Spirit-inspired revival, Christ-centered revival, sin-killing revival comes only from above, from the Throne of God alone.
God said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Did you catch that? “My people…My name”? God wants to revive us, His own special people. However, the fact we must understand about revival is this:
Revival is a bittersweet experience.
It is “bitter” because God begins by dealing with the sins of His people. One man described the great revival in Manchuria in the early 1900’s like this: “I simply cannot describe the scene. It made one think of the Judgment Day. God had come among us. All knew it and every heart was open before Him. For myself, I had the most intense realization of the holiness of God and of my uncleanness in His sight”.
James Burns wrote, “Every revival movement sees an awakening of a deep sense of sin in the individual and in the Church. In the intense spiritual light, the sin and guilt of the awakened soul stand out in terrifying blackness.”
Yes, revival begins as a “bitter” experience but once our sins have been confessed and repented of (Proverbs 28:13), then the experience becomes “sweet” as the discernible presence of God is manifested in our lives in a special and supernatural way.
It is then that God’s people move out of the lukewarmness and defeat of the wilderness and into the Canaan Land of victory. It is only then that we begin to experience the abundant life Christ came to provide for us (John 10:10).
The late Dr. Stephen Olford defined revival like this: “Revival is that strange and sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people – restoring, reanimating, and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing”. My heart races, as I read these words. This is what I want. This is what I need. No, this is what I must have!
Will you join me as we beseech God for a real revival – a heaven-sent revival? Please pray for God to work among those who attend your church to restore, reanimate, and release into them and yourself the fullness of His blessing.
Is that what you want? If so, begin now to pray to that end.
"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
These words were spoken to Joshua after the death of Moses, Israel's leader (Joshua 1:1). God had selected Joshua as Moses' successor (Joshua 1:2-4). The future, for Israel and their new leader, would be filled with great opposition as they marched into Canaan. But, opposition in the Christian life is always a sign of opportunity (Joshua 1:5-7).
Chuck Swindoll once said, "Life is filled with great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations".
Israel's future was too important to leave to chance. The Messiah would come from this nation. The wisdom of man would be insufficient to lead the people of God. Therefore, God left Joshua specific instructions regarding the standard by which His people were to live and a map (Global Positioning System) that would guide them.
In these encouraging words to Joshua we can readily see . . .
1. A Specific Principle To Be Obeyed. (Joshua 1:8a)
"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night." "This Book of the Law" refers to the book, which was written by Moses containing the first five books of the Bible we have today. This is commonly known as the "Pentateuch."
Here God says...
According to W. E. Vines, the word translated "meditate" is "found only 25 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, it seems to be a term reflecting the sighing and low sounds one may make while musing, at least as the ancients practiced it."
Along with The Specific Principle To Be Obeyed there is in this text…
2. A Special Pattern To Be Observed. (Joshua 1:8b)
"That you may observe to do according to all that is written in it."
Rev. Willard Wilcox used to say, "Breaking the law is like breaking plate glass; the largest or smallest rock will shatter the whole law." We have a duty to obey the whole law!
Writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul encourages him to…“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)
Along with The Specific Principle To Be Obeyed and A Special Pattern To Be Observed, we also see in this text…
3. A Significant Promise To Be Outpoured. (Joshua 1:8c)
"For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success."
The promise is conditional - as most of God's promises are. The Lord promises…
"Way" means "trodden path." You will have wisdom to make wise choices about your future: choices about your career, your church, your education, your family, etc.
"What is success?" you ask. Success is discovering and doing God's will for your life. (Prov. 2:6 NKJV) "For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding."
Lord, the road of my life is often filled with perilous curves, dangerously steep mountains, and dark valleys. It seems the devil usually causes it to rain or snow and the air is not infrequently filled with fog.
To be honest with you, sometimes I can't even see if I am on the right road at all, much less, if I am going in the right direction. Thank You for Your road map, the Bible and thank You that "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105 NKJV). Amen.
"And He [Christ] is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence."
What is the most important thing in your life right now? What do you want most in life? Most of us know what the answer should be but the issue is, what is really most important to you right now.
If you are not sure how to answer that question, just look to see how you are spending your time and your money. Based on where and how you spend most of your time, what or who is number one in your life right now?
I use the phrase number one because that is what the word "preeminence" means. The Apostle Paul told the church at Colossi that Christ was to have "preeminence" in their lives. What a monumental statement that is.
1. There Are Many Who Give Christ a Place in Their Life. (1:18)
Christ is on their list. To them Christ is just one of many things that occupy a place in their lives. He is right up there with P. T. A., Little League, golf, cooking, paying bills, working, and a thousand other encumbrances.
2. There Are Some Who Give Christ Prominence in Their Life. (1:18)
For them Christ is not only on the list but He is very near the top. He is right up there with family, job, and education.
To prove His prominence in their life, all you have to do is look for them on Sunday morning. Where will you find them? In church, where else? They may even give their tithes each week. Wow!
However, Christ will occupy only one place in your life and mine!
3. There Are a Few Who Give Christ Preeminence in Their Life. (1:18)
"That in all things He may have the preeminence"
In how many things is He to have "Preeminence"? The answer? "All things". Christ will never be satisfied with a place in your life or even prominence in your life. The only place for Him is "preeminence".
Turn to (Phil 2:5-11 NKJV), where we see …
(Romans 14:9 NKJV) "For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living."
If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all!
(Matthew 6:24 NKJV) "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
It is impossible to accept Jesus as Savior if you do not acknowledge Him as Lord.
(Romans 10:9 NKJV) "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Who is this Person you are accepting? The Person is the Lord Jesus. "Jesus" is His name and "Lord" is His title. You cannot separate the two.
How does one keep the main thing the main thing? You do so by daily acknowledging Christ's Lordship in all your life.
Let’s take inventory. Is Christ Lord of your . . .
Christ must come first in your life. Your spouse must be next, followed by your children. Then, all the other people and projects that fill your life must be prioritized. In the Garden of Eden, Adam had a personal relationship with God first. Then, the Lord gave him Eve. Why didn't God create Adam, Eve, and 2.4 children simultaneously?
It is because God wanted Adam to enter into an intimate relationship with Him first. Only after God was preeminent in Adam's life did the Lord give him a helper, Eve. When Eve arrived on the scene, she knew immediately that the intimacy she experienced with Adam was rivaled only by the intimacy of Adam's relationship to God. Later, when children were born to Adam and Eve, they grew up knowing that God was to have preeminence in their lives as well.
Lord, on _________________ (fill in the date), I received You as my Lord and Savior. Today, I reaffirm my original decision. In my life, You have preeminence! Obviously, that does not mean I am perfect, as You well know. Yet, in my heart and hopefully in my everyday life, You are number one - the Preeminent One. Amen
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
The words of Isaiah in this text have an immense prophetic interpretation for a future day. However, these Holy Spirit inspired words also have an intense personal application for today. Three questions are addressed in this brief declaration.
1. What Promise has been Expressed to the Christian? "You will keep him in perfect peace"
The Lord gave Isaiah a similar promise in (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV), where we read, "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Jesus reiterated this promise to His disciples in (John 14:27 NKJV), "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
The peace offered here is "perfect peace". Implicit in these words are . . .
Keep in mind that this peace is conditioned upon our faith in and our focus upon the Lord. Therefore, consider the second question addressed here.
2. What Priority must be Established by the Christian? "Whose mind is stayed on You"
Upon what is your mind focused?
May I ask another question? Upon what should your mind be focused? When preparing to build the magnificent Temple for the worship of Jehovah, David challenged his son Solomon and the leaders of Israel with these words, "Now set your heart and soul to seek the Lord your God." (I Chronicles 22:1-19)
The Apostle Paul's simple and succinct injunction is, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:2 NKJV)
In this hectic and hurried world, it is very difficult to make the time to quiet ourselves alone with the Lord and truly focus on Him and all He has done, all He is doing, and all He will do for us in the future. Despite how tenaciously the devil opposes our time alone with the Lord and clamors for our attention, we must set aside a specific time and a special place to commune each day with our Supreme Love, the Lord Jesus. We must speak to Him in prayer and allow Him to speak to us through His Word.
A final question deserves consideration as well.
3. What Principle will be Embraced by the Christian? "Because he trusts in You"
It is often easier to trust Christ with our eternal souls that to trust Him with our temporal circumstances. It is very hard to hear the "still small voice" of God when inauspicious circumstances are screaming in our ears. This is the point at which it is essential that we set aside a daily time to meet quietly with our Lord in prayer and the study of His Word.
Pray the Psalmist's prayer found in Psalm 119:18, "Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law."
King David's prayer in Psalm 141:8 is appropriate for anyone at anytime; "But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord; In You I take refuge."
When our focus is on the right object, our faith will be in the right object. Our faith always follows our focus.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace.
Lord let the light of your Truth penetrate the darkness that engulfs me just now. Even when Your radiance surrounds me, I can only see far enough to take one step at a time. Please guide each small step I take today. Theses things I pray in the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
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