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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