There has been a lot of talk about revivals in the past. Most Bible-believing preachers and evangelists will agree that we desperately need one.
We need it in our churches, our communities, and in our nation. Most of all, though, we need it in our own lives. As believers, we need to realize that it is the presence of the Holy Spirit and His power that will make a difference in our lives. Without it, we are little more than just religious people.
Having been with the living Jesus is what others noticed about the Apostles when they were brought before the council after the Resurrection (Acts 4:13). It was the power of the Spirit that made a difference in Stephen’s testimony: “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake” (Acts 6:10).
Others take notice when you are walking in the power of the Spirit. No, I am not talking about an ecstatic experience. I am talking about being surrendered to Christ so that He can be seen through you.
In order to help bring about revival in the personal lives of believers in America, and around the globe, I have written a book called “Let the Fire Burn,” which will show you how. The key is found in II Chronicles 7:14.
Will you be one of the few Christians who helps to revive our homes, churches, communities, and beyond?
Joshua 26:3-9 “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.”
There has been a lot of talk lately about making America great again. Yes, our country has certainly seen some slippage lately, but not necessarily due to the reasons that some would think.
The primary reason is because America has forgotten the One Who made it great in the first place. God has power to raise up a nation, to bring it down, or to let it bring itself down due to forgetting Him and moral decadence.
In the above verses, God promises to bring about many great blessings to the people who serve Him. It is not science or technology that brings the blessings, although those things are certainly helpful.
There are several blessings that God directly promises in these verses:
Rain for the crops
Food in abundance
Safety and peace in the land
Few wild animals – think packs of wild dogs!
No enemies destroying in the land
As I look over this list, I find that America had all these things at one time. There certainly was a direct correlation between church-going and blessings. Of course, the greatest blessing is salvation through Christ – knowing about it and being transformed by it.
What are the conditions of making America great again, according to these verses?
Become one of God’s children (salvation)
Choose to obey God daily (a choice must be made)
Keep His Biblical principles (don’t just talk about them)
Any politician that wants to see America become what it could be must not only decide to follow these principles, but they must also choose to lead America toward that goal! Then and only then, will America begin to be in the place where God wants to bless it again. Until then, as our verse reveals – He does not “respect” a people who will not love and serve Him.
Will you be one who will follow God’s principles for personal faithfulness to Him? Are you saved? Revival, or a return to God that He may bless, begins with you today.
Certainly the eyes of Americans are on politics right now. With the events of the Democratic National Convention and the recent Republican Convention, the rhetoric is certainly flowing. So are the promises and the verbal attacks. Many decisions will need to be made once in office in light of current issues and problems. It certainly will affect the direction of America.
While none of this is new to politics in America at election time, it is evident that the major candidates have to be carefully evaluated. Both have “interesting” histories, and it must be taken into consideration, as well as their platform. Past performances of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump can certainly indicate probable future performance. Much prayer is needed for our future leaders – and present ones, too!
One thing that clearly stands out in the Bible is the blessing that a godly person can bring to a nation. How they were often able to change the history of that nation (Israel and Judah) simply because they read the Bible and sought their answers and direction from God – from Whom they received infallible wisdom and direction.
If you have been following my posts, then you know that a number of them have been about revival. Revival is a work of God performed in believing hearts to bring God’s people back into a right relationship with Him. Oftentimes, many souls are saved at about the same time. Today, the world and its allurements loom large in the hearts and minds of a large number of believers, leaving little room or time for real worship and service. It is doubtful that the Apostle Paul would recognize many of them as real Christians.
The reason I have been talking so much about revival is because God is needed to bring a correction and re-direction to America. As a whole, the nation is undoubtedly moving away from God and His Son Jesus Christ. What believers need to realize is that this is always the tendency of non-believers and nominal Christians.
While the polls are important and not to be neglected, the greater problem is neglecting God – the only One Who can re-establish righteousness in the land! Is He willing to do it? Yes! Can He do it? Yes! But it is also certain that at some point America will answer for its current sins and indifference!
On more than one occasion in the Bible, God faulted and judged leaders and those who followed them because they looked to people rather than God first for deliverance or answers! One such example is found in II Chronicles 16:7, where we see that Asa could not totally defeat the enemy because of it: “And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.”
This principle applies on large and small scales. Blessings that might have been are often missed because looking to God first has been overlooked. If you are a believer and reading this, I hope that today you will look to God first in His Word, and let Him guide and strengthen you. Revival, and the real hope of America’s future, rests with you and me.
I have been talking much about revival lately. I have showed how to get it, but have not yet revealed what blessings may be expected from it.
The blessings I want to talk about are those that a nation can enjoy when it, as a whole, is right with God. The Scripture that I will use come mostly from the Old Testament, since God was primarily dealing with Israel as a nation at the time.
If you are wondering what revival is, according to the Bible, let me define it this way: It means to come to a place where you choose to stop serving self and sin and are sorry for it, and start serving God (repent) with all your being and energy, and you do it according to the Bible. Revival is for true believers in Christ.
We have been seeing a lot of trouble in our nation recently. Starting with the shooting of the policemen in Dallas, there have also been a lockdown at the Capitol, robberies, riots, wild fires, drought, drugs, and more problems. There is no doubt that America is in trouble and needs healing.
A great revival verse I mentioned in an earlier post, II Chronicles 7:14, tells us that if we (Christians) will follow the steps mentioned in that verse, that Almighty God can change the nation. This is the blessing America needs now! When Christians are tired of being lackadaisical, sinful, and in general – uncaring – and they repent of those things, God promises: “then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Christian, did you see it – He will heal our land!
Here are some of other promised blessings that can proceed from revival that a believer serving God might expect:
A Long Life
Currently, our nation is seeing more deaths than ever. This is clearly because people are getting away from God. Death is increasing on our highways, because of drugs, disease, guns, and more. But notice the last phrase in this verse:
Deuteronomy 6:2 “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.”
A Blessed Life
Many people in America are realizing that things just are not as good as they used to be. Most people now have to lock their doors at night (with several locks!), their cars, and even be careful how they use credit cards online and at ATMS, etc. It is more stressful, there are more problems, and many people – including Christians – do not experience much joy anymore. Our current political candidates don’t seem to help us expect better days, either. When there is revival, God said things will be better.
Deut. 6:3 “Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee…”
Grow in Might
Developing into a powerful nation was one of God’s promised blessings if that nation would serve Him. America, though technologically advanced, has actually diminished in strength, in terms of the numbers of soldiers at home and abroad. Other nations mock us because of perceived weakness. Americans used to be able to hold their heads high as they traveled abroad. It isn’t so today. Notice this promised blessing:
Deut. 6:3 “…and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee…”
Deut. 6:3 “…in the land that floweth with milk and honey.”
One of the great benefits was that God promised an abundance of crops and goods to the nation that served Him correctly. America certainly once knew of those kinds of blessings. Yes, some of the blessings are still there – for now – but not like they used to be. In the news we read of many people, including school children, going hungry. Of course, some problems are caused by sin and misuse of money, and food prices are high, too. Then there are recalls because food is or may be contaminated. Besides that, much that is called “food” these days isn’t even healthy to eat! Companies just want to make money, so they take shortcuts.
People live in fear today. Fear that they might be harmed when going to work, at work, or when going to the store, such as WalMart nad other large stores. A lot of crazy things have been happening. This kind of fear did not exist in many communities until just recently – but it is there now! When God’s people get right and mean business about serving Him, He can bring the good back into our neighborhoods and places of work, and in our homes! He is able. Read what He promised:
Deuteronomy 6:24 “And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.”
Christian friend, I invite you to get serious with God. Start praying for yourself, for others around you to be saved and get right. Be faithful to a Bible-preaching church, read the Bible, and tell others about Him. The time is short.
Will you be part of those who will help bring revival to America?
Evangelist Mike Valles
Have you seen these other blog posts about revival?
Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
As I was thinking about the state of affairs in America and the problems often seen in our daily nation’s news media headlines, and wondering what would make it a better nation, the above verse came to mind. The answer, of course, really is not hard to come up with, once an open mind is applied.
Part of the problem today is the place where people often look to find their solutions. They are looking at sources of help to provide temporary solutions. Things that may have provided temporary solutions in the past are being sought out to provide more patches on ever larger problems – which are sure to eventually totally collapse. This usually means they look to politicians, legislation, technology, or finances.
In order to stop this forward-looking attitude that is sure to contain corruption and further degradation, including current political candidates, a different outlook is desperately needed. The answer to America’s problems is found in the question: What is it that made America great in the first place?
Some historians have observed that other nations in the western world were started by those who came seeking for gold. They sought riches, and their pursuit of them often drove them to live selfishly. The governments they created often followed that same pattern, and some of those nations even today frequently have miscarriages of justice by officials who just don’t care.
America was different. Sure there were undoubtedly some who fell into that same category in those early days of establishing colonies. Instead of searching for gold, many of the first settlers here were seeking religious freedom from persecution and oppression in the East. They wanted to be able to worship God as they believed the Bible and their conscience directed.
Later on, in the formative days, the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written largely based on the Bible. These documents are still among the greatest and fairest laws and guidelines held by any nation.
The founders and writers of those documents realized that fair and just laws can only be used to govern people who enjoy righteousness. Like the above verse declares, adopting sinful principles and practices does not merely increase personal pleasure, as some suppose, but it “is a reproach to any people.” It brings shame and degradation to any nation who practices those things. Rome was eventually destroyed by this very problem.
A statesman and historian of the past, Alexis de Tocqueville, who came to America from France around 1830 to discover what made America great, said this in his book – Democracy in America (please note that some say this quote may have been written by someone else):
“America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
He also said this about his discovery of the secret of America’s greatness:
“I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”
True righteousness comes from a higher and unchanging standard – not an evolving one. The Bible is the highest standard possible because it has the purest Author possible. God’s laws not only establish righteousness, but the Spirit of God also enables righteousness in believers. Its effect and capabilities to produce a righteous and great nation have already been tested and proven beyond any doubt. This is why real revival is so necessary to preserve the greatness of this country.
Every Christian is either part of the problem or part of the solution. My fellow Christian, are you truly seeking revival? Isn’t it time?
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.
In talking with believers in different places, it can be seen quickly that there are different views of what happens when revival truly comes. Believers will not know, however, if what they seek has truly come or not unless they can recognize it when they see it.
First, let me say what it is not. It is not having meetings called revival meetings. Probably most of these never see real revival – even though the intentions are good. Speaking for these meetings, I must say that I believe that they are generally on the right track.
Secondly, it is not speaking in tongues. I know some people may not like hearing that. However, the Bible says in I Co. 14:22: “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” Tongues are for unbelievers, and let me add that they are not for today.
Thirdly, a real revival is not a “feel good” church meeting. Feelings and emotions can be roused by a good speaker, or by music, or even by testimonies. Bible revivals often did not have these elements.
Biblical revivals are not always the same. Each one may be a little different, or there may even be some major differences. This is partly because God is not going to be put in a box, but He will never contradict His Word, either. Some great revivals of the past had some unique features.
In general, it is rather easy to recognize when revival comes. It will have several evidences that will separate it from a mere meeting. These will include:
God will have the main stage.
When there was a revival in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, individuals did not have the main stage. While there were human instruments, such as Moses, Samuel, Elijah, and others, they were only the instruments which led to revival.
When the glory of God filled the Temple at its dedication, the focus was on God alone. The priests and even Solomon, etc., had to get out of the way because the focus was on God’s glory. This is not saying that God’s glory is visible in a real revival today, but the focus will be on God alone.
Sin will become very sinful.
God’s people will see themselves for what they really are in the eyes of God. They will see what their sin has done to them and how it hurts God and their relationship to Him. This usually leads to sincere brokenness of heart and confession with genuine repentance.
There will be a humility not often seen.
Revived Christians will not seek to glorify themselves in any way. It won’t even cross their minds. In fact, they will talk about their own unworthiness and magnify God’s great worthiness in saving, forgiving, and cleansing them. Christ will be spoken of often.
There will be a great hunger for God, His Word, prayer, and meeting with other believers.
Like the disciples immediately after Pentecost, we are told that: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Ac. 2:42). They also were “continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house” (Ac. 2:46).
There will be a strong concern for the lost with bold witnessing.
Because the Lord commanded believers to go and be His witnesses, revival means an empowering for that very task. Notice that sometime after Pentecost: “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Ac. 4:31).
A genuine concern for other believers
Right after Pentecost believers gladly gave of their possessions to be able to meet the needs of other believers. We see this in Ac. 2:44,45: “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” The love of Christ for others was evident.
There are apt to be some other indications of the presence and power of the Holy Ghost in a real revival, but these are a few of the most obvious. They are obvious because things aren’t normally happening that way.
For True Revival,
Evangelist Mike Valles
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