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Jesus has plans for a revival in our wastelands
But we need to be in the right spot.
STORY - Going through a book with the worship team.
Good quote - ‘leading worship doesn’t start with song selection, or stage decorations.
It starts with the state of our own hearts.’
Revival starts with a good, hard look at ourselves, and what we’re bringing to the table.
And I think that we run the risk of settling for something less than revival if we don’t take some core truths to heart.
We need to believe that God is near
So, God says, he has this throne in the highest heavens, with beauty and majesty that our minds can’t even comprehend.
BUT - he also live with the people who are contrite.
The people who are lowly in spirit.
And he’s there to revive them.
The easiest, easiest way to personally miss a move of the spirit is to say ‘God isn’t here’.
Is there EVER a place that God isn’t?
Psalm 139:7-12 “Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
We need to believe that God will want to be with us
I’m convinced that many people miss the boat simply because they think God’s already pulled away.
That he doesn’t want to be with us.
James 4:8 (NIV)
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
I mean, we can quote scripture after scripture.
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Ephesians 3:17-19 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Hebrews 13:5-6 “ God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?””
If you believe for one second that you can’t simply lift your hands and cry out to the Lord, and he’ll be right there - then it’s not the Jesus of the bible that you’re talking about.
And believe me, this is a major way the enemy deceives us and pulls us away.
By challenging the things that God has said.
Oh, he loves you, does he?
But you’ve done these things, surely he’s walked away from you.
Oh, he’ll never leave you?
But you aren’t doing a good enough job, he can’t have a use for you.
You’re trying to reach him?
Well, he usually answers other people, but you’re not doing it right so he’s ignoring you.
God IS near.
And God WILL come near.
We need to believe it starts with us
STORY - Jesus tells a story of two men praying.
One thanks God for making him not like others.
The other beats his breast and says, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Second guy was good with Jesus.
Notice how this branches outwards.
If WE humble OURSELVES, turn from OUR wicked ways, If WE seek his face - then not only will we receive forgiveness, but the land around us, the people around us - they’ll receive healing.
How many times do we have this backwards?
God, please fix THEM.
Look at THAT person, they’re awful.
And don’t get me wrong - God works on others.
But in each of our lives, he’ll start with the question ‘Ok, what about you?’
We need to believe that God is doing something new - and it will be wonderful
Isaiah goes onto say, look at the wild animals - that they are living in the wilderness and the wasteland, and God is providing water for them even in the middle of it all.
And when they live by that process - they bring God honor.
And isaiah here says - this is what the Lord is telling you now.
And remember - this is the lord who drew you out of egypt, who performed great and amazing miracles.
(TIES BACK TO THE PAST).
But he says - now, you’re in this wilderness.
And God is going to do something different.
The problem with revival, is that we often don’t ask for a revival.
Not directly, anyways.
We ask for a removal or a return.
- We say - God - take us away from these terrible things in the world.
But that’s not revival, that’s removal.
- We say - God - do the same things you did before.
But that’s not revival - that’s return.
God wants to take the here and the now, the very ground that we stand on and the world that we live in - and he wants to fix it.
He wants to see new streams and new rivers flowing.
We can’t ask God to send new springs when we won’t let him dig up the landscaping
Sometimes, the simplest thing will squash a new movement of the Spirit - we don’t want things to change.
We want what we’re used to, what’s comfortable and familiar.
But imagine if Jesus, walking around on the earth, stuck to what the pharisees and the jewish people were comfortable and familiar with.
God’s not here to make us comfortable.
He’s here to make us powerful.
We need to reach the lost
The worst thing that can ever happen to a movement from the Lord is when we make it about us, and what we get out of it.
This isn’t about us.
It’s about the Lord, and about the Lost.
There’s two different spots in the bible where Jesus uses a particular phrase.
The first - he was walking around, teaching about the kingdom, healing every disease and sickness.
The second, he was commissioning his disciples to go and do the same.
Do we want to do what Jesus did?
Ask the lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.
Do we want to honor what Jesus had his disciples do?
Ask the lord...
But we can’t for one minute suppose that Jesus is going to send a revival that we’re going to pack into a neat box and keep in one spot for ourselves.
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