Path to Revival

by Pastor Billy Chidester
 
My family and I have been out of town for a couple of weeks, but I am so glad to be back home. One of the blessings of vacation is the rest that we are able to get. I’m not merely talking about physical rest, but mental and emotional rest. It was that time for me. Praise the Lord!
 
I have been reading through The Old Testament book of Judges and I believe The Lord has given me a Word to share with you. In Judges 10 we are told that the people of Israel had sinned. Here is what it says in verse 6: “then the Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They worshipped the Baals and the Ashtoreths, The God’s of Adam, Sidon, and Moab, and the gods of the Ammonites and the Philistines. They abandoned the Lord and did not worship Him.”
 
The last sentence says it all. They abandoned the Lord and did not worship him. They began worshipping other gods rather than the one, true God, who had brought them out of Egypt. When Israel had had enough verse 10 tells us what they did and what the Lord required of them. Verse 10 says: “so they cried out to the Lord, saying, We have sinned against you. We have abandoned our God and worshipped the Baals.” In essence what the Lord did was He removed His Spirit and Power from Israel because they had abandoned Him. And Israel had to do three things: Humble themselves, confess their sin, and repent. If they would do those three things, He would return to them.
 
Now, what does this have to do with us? I believe this is more than a story from history. I believe that history repeats itself and that we can learn from those before us and practice what they did. I believe that the Lord has removed His Spirit from many churches in the United States. And when He does this it is for the same reason as He did so in Judges 10: His people abandon Him and worship other gods (while we may not bow before statues in our culture we surely bow before the god of self, among other gods). 
 
The answer for revival remains the same today: humbly crying out to God in confession and repentance of sin. Simple enough, right? While we may say “Amen” to this, I wonder how many of us (myself included) take the time to search our own hearts for signs of abandoning the Lord. I’ve noticed in the church (many local churches) that it appears that the Lord has removed His Spirit and Power, but instead of humble confession and repentance, we point the finger at culture (which has always been ungodly) and at one another. No doubt some churches have abandoned the truth of the gospel and the foundation of God’s Word. But I’m not primarily speaking to them. Instead, I am speaking to those who, rather than looking in our own heart to see if we (individually) have abandoned the Lord for the gods of self or tradition, point the finger at the culture or other believers. 
 
The path to revival is always the same: humble confession and repentance. So, what am I proposing? I’m proposing that we begin by taking time to ask the Lord: Have I abandoned you in any way? What idols am I following, Lord? 
 
The act of even taking the time for this requires humility. My prayer is that our eyes will be opened and we will humble ourselves before the Lord. He has great things planned for you and for our church. The future is bright and the best is yet to come. Come with me to the altar of the Lord and together we will seek the Lord. 
 
May the Lord shine on you, bless you and strengthen you as you seek Him.
 

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