Psalm 1:2,3 “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
The world talks an awful lot about success today. It seems that many people – leaders, gurus, etc., want to be the ones to charge you a lot of money to tell you how to do it. Many of them actually have succeeded in life and have the money to show for it.
The problem with this is that it is not the goal that God has in mind when He mentions success for the believer. Nor do the world’s methods lead to the riches that God wants to give you. Why such a vast difference? To the world, success means to go after and gain the things this life offers, and they have no thought for eternity.
Some Christian leaders like to talk about a health-wealth Gospel. They teach that if you are saved and right with God that you will be prosperous and wealthy. This teaching, of course, is not found in the Bible. What is promised in the New Testament is that God will take care of your needs as you serve Him faithfully.
Our Bible verses for today, Psalm 1:2,3, talk about meditating on the Word. The word “law” refers to the Bible. God wants us to meditate on His Book so that it will become the focus of our thoughts, which will then become the driving force behind our actions.
The meditation on the Word spoken of here is not like some forms of secular meditation where you focus on nothing and empty your mind. God never wants His children to empty their mind. Instead, He desires that we fill our minds with the pure Word of God and think about Him and His truths. This will often result in:
Praise to Him
Direction for our lives and service toward God
Cleansing of our hearts and minds
Leading in our actions toward others.
These two verses tell us that God will bless all we do on the condition that we meditate daily on His Word and conform our lives to it. His Word is powerful and it can change your thoughts and lives – to where God will be able to bless you. Daily meditation is easiest when we memorize key verses, then we can think on them at various times during the day.
Now Christian, there’s the promise. Do you want to have success and blessing from Him? There’s the key! What verse will you memorize and think about today?
There is little doubt that our world is not getting better. Not only are there problems abroad, such as the bombings in Turkey’s largest airport yesterday, the Brexit decision, shootings in Denver, and large forest fires in California. We are seeing trouble everywhere growing.
This indicates two things to me. I find both of them in the Bible. First, the increasing worldwide problems indicate that God is less involved in blessing than He once was – but He is certainly not at all absent. I say less active, in some ways, because fewer people really want His interaction in their macro and micro worlds. They pray less, do not pay Him much attention by going to church anymore, do not read His Bible, and government leaders increasingly push Him out through legislation, and permit things that God hates. God can take a hint, too, and knows when He is not wanted!
I know He is less active in national and international affairs because, when He chooses to bless a nation, or a family, there are many things He prevents, as well as providing some obvious blessings. Yes, He permits struggles, too, but there will also be blessings. We are seeing our nation and world crumble because they do not care to seek both God and His blessings.
A second way that I know God is less active is because those who hate God, as well as those who could care less, are definitely on the increase. This happens as those who love God decreases. The first commandment of God given to Moses still stands – not for salvation – but it reveals His desire for us that He may bless us and not turn away.
It is for this reason that God, in the first of the 10 Commandments, said: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3). In the New Testament, Jesus brought out its meaning like this: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mk. 12:30). The same thoughts can also be clearly found in such Old Testament passages as De. 30:16, where blessings are promised for following this same commandment: “that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.”
Being less active, though, in the overall affairs of the world does not at all mean He is less active or less interested in answering the prayers of His own people. He definitely is still working in their behalf. As far as the world goes, He is preparing to let the antichrist have it soon – but there may still be time for revival.
Revival Can Start When:
Believers Examine Where They Are in Their Relation to God
It is not too unusual for Christians to sometimes fall into a rut of living by rote. They do what they do out of duty or schedules, without taking time to check to see how healthy their personal relationship is with the Almighty.
One spiritual thermometer the believer can use is to be honest about their daily Bible reading and prayer. Do they really enjoy that personal time with God alone? One man that loved God immensely, and vice versa, was Job. In job 23:12, Job said this about his love for the word of God: “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” Is your love for the Word like that?
Believers Understand What God Really Desires of Them
Too many believers today draw their own conclusions about where they are spiritually. This is often done even though they don’t know much about the Bible, and often never ask Bible-knowledgeable people, such as a Pastor or Sunday School teacher. This most certainly will lead to a misunderstanding, and an incorrect conclusion.
A quick way to find out what God expects of Christians is to read Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Before you read, ask God to reveal problems in your own spiritual life. Be willing to make adjustments as God reveals the need.
Sin needs to be repented of. God is infinitely holy and whoever would walk with Him must also seek to be holy. If you can look at sin and it not bother you – you need to be revived. There is a problem. Confess the fact that it does not and ask God to help you hate it. If you love things that God clearly commands you to avoid, be sure that you and God cannot walk close: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Am. 3:3).
Spend Much Time in Prayer and Bible Reading While Seeking His Blessing
Realize that God is more than willing to bring revival to truly hungry hearts. David prayed: “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Ps. 85:6). It is a question that expects a positive answer.
As you begin to read the Word, you may find your heart is somewhat cold towards God and His will. Ask Him to expose wrong desires and to loose your heart from its natural attachment to sin. He will do it. Let God warm your heart by His Spirit and truth.
Remember that the goal of a revived heart is to follow Christ’s example of seeking the kingdom of God first in all we do. Christ provides the example for every believer in John 8:29, when He said: “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” Paul referred to this as being dead to ourselves and alive unto God.
Seek to Keep a Sensitive Heart to His Leading
The things of this world have a natural tendency to cause us to become too busy for God and His will. It is likely to take some time to be revived. In fact, it may take some time – days and weeks before it comes. Keep seeking Him and His blessing. You will know when you are filled with His Spirit (and, no, speaking in tongues is not the evidence of it).
As you can see, revival is not for the casual seeker of God, or for those who are not serious. God wants to be much more than a spare tire or fire insurance. He is Lord overall and He desires to be that to you! When you let Him, you can understand the blessings or revival and the joy of the Lord.
Once revival comes, be sure to start doing God’s known will, and then keep on going from there. He is capable of leading you and giving you spiritual fruit if you follow Him.
Yesterday, I presented the first step toward a real revival. It involved humbling ourselves before a holy God and confessing our sins before Him.
Today, I want to talk about the next step toward revival. There are no shortcuts, and there are no substitutes. The formula I am using is the one that God gave us in II Chronicles 7:14:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
The second step is found in the phrase: “and pray, and seek my face.” Some of you reading this might think it is two phrases. After thinking about it, though, I think we will see that they go together to form the second requirement for national revival.
Let me gently remind you that in this verse that God is talking to His people, not to unbelievers. True revival always starts in the hearts of the people of God.
The primary reason I believe these two statements are really one is because of the nature of prayer. If we examine our hearts, I think we will find that there are times when we pray but are not really serious about it. We pray to be able to say we prayed. We did a duty and that is all.
In that kind of praying we really did not care to talk to God. We conducted a ritual – made a performance without heart. Of course, I am not saying that this is always the case, or that it is even often the case; but it reveals a lack of sincerity in talking to God.
God is not One to be played with. He often called the bluff of His people. Jesus testified against the religious leaders of His day by saying: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Mt. 15:8). The Son of God was saying that they have the words – but there is no heart behind those words. In essence He said: Their worship is worthless!
Here is what God really wants, as said by David in Psalm 51:16,17. This was said by him in his confession of his sin with Bathsheba, and with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” God is more interested in your heart’s attitude toward Him than in your service or sacrifice.
Believers everywhere need to get serious about seeking God. Churches used to have Wednesday prayer meetings and even all-night prayer meetings. They were determined to get God’s mercy and blessing on their church, their homes, and their nation, and to see the lost around them saved. No wonder God blessed! Some of them even fasted while seeking Him! Now, however, people think it is asking too much to go to prayer meeting and seek God. They want His blessings, but not God!
When people want something today, they save up for it (or buy it on credit). They fix their minds on it and do not let anything distract them from their purpose. Yet how easily we are distracted from God and sincere praying! This is sin, and needs to be confessed to Him!
I realize I am speaking quite plainly. Some readers may not be used to it. However, I aim to speak God’s truth, in love, but please realize, my friend, that someone who only speaks sweet words is like a person trying to rearrange the furniture on the deck when the Titanic is going down! There is no time for it! The ship called America is sinking – and the churches with it! In reality, it is sinking because Christians are not fervently praying!
God wants to hear our prayers. He also wants our hearts and our love. If people only liked you because of your gifts to them, would you really think they were true friends? No you wouldn’t! God also knows very well who it is that really wants to be around Him and talk to Him.
The second step toward genuine revival is to seek God’s face – until He revives you! He wants to cleanse, strengthen and use you in His service. Will you start seeking Him today in confession, dedication, and fresh Holy Spirit powered service? May God help us all to do just that.
God Bless; For Real Revival,
Evangelist Mike Valles
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