The Enemies of Revival

2 Chronicles 7:14
This is a well known passage that is often used by preachers to talk about the subject of revival.
It is a revival verse.
This word was spoken to King Solomon at the dedication of the temple.
He is told by God that disobedience and rebellion will result in judgment upon the nation of Israel.
This verse is God’s promise that those who turn from their sins; call on Him and walk in His ways will experience a revival of the presence and blessing of the Lord.
Now, this is a verse to Israel, but it speaks to every generation as well.
Those who meet the conditions detailed in this verse will experience the promises mentioned in this verse.
Folks, we need revival!
As Baptists we love our meetings; but we need more than a meeting, we need a revival.
We need something that we cannot produce by our own efforts.
Revival is a supernatural event.
It comes only by the sovereign decree of the Lord.
We can have a meeting this coming week,
but we cannot have a revival unless the Lord gives it.
While we cannot produce a revival,
we can meet the requirements set forth in these verses,
and that will make revival much more likely.
The writer hear speaks of the possibility and the problems associated with revival.
While telling what we can have, he also tells us about what can prevent revival.
I want to point out
The Enemies of Revival tonight.
There are four problems mentioned in this verse that can sabotage and prevent revival from taking place.
We need to listen closely to what the Bible has to say about this matter and do whatever we need to do to see that these enemies of revival do not hinder us from getting what we need from the Lord.
Let’s look into this passage together and talk about The Enemies Of Revival.
(Note: This verse is directed to God’s people. He says, “If My people, which are called by My name …” This is not a verse to lost people. Lost people do not need revival, they need to be saved! If you are not saved, you need to come to Jesus Christ, confess your sins and call on Him for your soul’s salvation. If you do know the Lord today, then God has something to say to you from this verse. He will help us, if we will allow Him to. Here are the enemies of revival.)


“Will humble themselves”
—This phrase deals with the area of our pride.
The word translated “pride” in the Old Testament means “to rise or to swell up.”
It refers to the rising of the waves of the sea.
It speaks of men thinking more of themselves and their abilities than they do of God.
Pride says, “I do not need God, I can make my own way. I know best. I call the shots in my life.”
Friends, we are eaten up with pride in our modern churches!
We have adopted the Laodicean mentality, Rev. 3:17
Revelation 3:17 KJV 1900
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
We have learned how to function without the help of the Lord and it has destroyed the power of the church!
When we compare ourselves to the world, we are looking pretty good; but when we lay the modern church alongside the early church, Acts 2:42–47;
it is easy to see that we are in sad shape!
God hates pride!
Ill. Pro. 6:16–19
Proverbs 6:16–19 KJV 1900
These six things doth the Lord hate: Yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, Feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren.
Each sin mentioned in that list is a result of pride!
Here is God’s Word on pride:
Proverbs 8:13 KJV 1900
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: Pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, And the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 11:2 KJV 1900
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: But with the lowly is wisdom.
Proverbs 16:5 KJV 1900
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: Though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
Proverbs 16:18–19 KJV 1900
Pride goeth before destruction, And an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
How can you tell if you have a pride problem?
Here are the evidences of pride in a life:
1. Pride refuses to listen, it always interrupts others.
2. Pride likes to talk about itself all the time.
3. Pride has an intense desire to be noticed.
4. Pride believes that it deserves everything it gets.
5. Pride is not thankful.
6. Pride cannot be corrected.
7. Pride does not like to follow instructions.
8. Pride exalts itself in the presence of others; it brags.
9. Pride criticizes and tries to makes itself look better by putting others down.
10. Pride thinks of its own needs first.
(Ill. Muhammad Ali furnishes a good example of pride at work. He was on an airplane once and he was standing up in the aisle, talking and laughing and entertaining the passengers. Finally, the stewardess came back to him and said, “Mr. Ali, you’ll have to take a seat and fasten your seat belt because the plane is about to take off.” Well, Mohammed Ali looked at her with a snarl, and said, “Honey, superman don’t need no seat belt.” She looked at him and said, “Yeah, and superman don’t need no airplane either. Now sit down and buckle up.”)
God has a better plan!
He calls on His people to “humble themselves”.
The word “humble” means “to bend the knee; to bring down; to place self under another.”
Pride will not allow the prideful person to bow their knee to the Lord!
God desires His people to take whatever steps are necessary to bring themselves under His authority.
He wants us to know that we cannot do it.
He wants us to know that we are dependent upon Him for everything we have.
He wants us to bend the knee to His authority in our lives.
We need to take the steps
When Jonah entered Nineveh and preached his message of impending judgment, the king of that city proclaimed a fast and all the people humbled themselves under God’s mighty hand,
Jonah 3:1–8a.
That is what the church needs to do today.
God’s people need to realize that we were nothing when He found us;
we would be nothing without Him and
that we can accomplish nothing apart from His power in our lives,
John 15:5
John 15:5 KJV 1900
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If we are going to have revival, then pride, the enemy of revival, must be dealt with forever!


The people of God are challenged to “pray”.
Prayerlessness is the first cousin to pride.
Prayerlessness says, “I do not need to call on the Lord, I can make it just fine without His aid.”
Prayerlessness does not say, “He is all I need”; but “I am all I need.”
Prayerlessness relies on self and the resources self can produce and refuses to lean on Jesus alone.
Prayerlessness is the enemy of revival!
It is a fact that
we can pray and not have revival;
but we will never have a revival apart from prayer!
Prayer is the ultimate statement of inability.
Prayer looks to God and says, “I can’t, but you can!”
Prayer acknowledges personal, profound dependence upon the Lord.
We do not have revival because we do not pray!
And, we do not have revival because we do not pray as we should,
Ill. James 4:2–3!
Charles Finney said, “Prayer is the essential link in the chain of events that leads to revival!”
We have lost the art of waiting before the Lord in prayer!
Too much of our praying is anemic, antiseptic, formal, repetitious and long-winded.
We pray around issues and never really get down to trusting God by faith.
Our prayers leave our mouths, but they do not move God in Heaven.
C. We pray for a few minutes and think we are ready for meeting.
We recite our lists to the Lord and make our requests for our fleshly, material desires and we think God is going to move in mighty revival power.
Well, it is not going to happen!
We have to come to the place where we sacrifice our pride on God’s altar;
declare our utter helplessness;
and cling to Him until He moves in power in our lives and church.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The church is dying on its feet because it is not living on its knees!”
When Jonah’s message came to Nineveh,
the people humbled themselves and they began to pray, Jonah 3:8b
Jonah 3:8b KJV 1900
But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
When they did, God moved in power and sent a revival! Another example of revival praying can be found in Neh. 9:1–2
Nehemiah 9:1–2 KJV 1900
Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
When we call on God from a pure, humble heart, we will see revival follow!
How is your prayer life?


God’s people are told to “seek His face”.
The word “seek” means “to search out by any method; especially by worship and prayer.”
The word “face” refers to “the countenance; to turn toward His direction.”
This little phrase is a call for God’s people to stop looking for help and purpose in every other thing in life.
They are called upon to make God their primary focus and their first priority.
You see, revival does not come to people who seek revival; but to people who seek God!
Far too many people are caught up in what God can do for them.
But, seeking His face means that we hunger for Him more than for what He can do.
He wants us to love Him for Who He is!
The essence of genuine revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again,
Ill. Rev. 2:1–7.
Seeking Him will bring revival to His church, James 4:8; Isa. 55:6.
If you had to be really honest today,
what is the number one priority in your life?
Is it your job?
Is it your bank accounts or retirement?
Is it your family?
Is it your church?
Is it your spouse?
Is it your hobby?
Or, is it the Lord?
When anything but God is the number one priority in your life, you are out of balance and you are not a candidate for revival.
When God is our first priority, the things He cares about are the things we will care about.
When we are seeking His face, we will be able to see what has His attention.
And, what has His attention is to be that which has our attention.
He wants us to love what He loves, hate what He hates and do what He does.
He wants us to develop that attitude Jesus adopted while He was here on earth, John 5:19–20
John 5:19–20 KJV 1900
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
C. If you really want to know what your priorities are today then ask yourself three questions:
1.) On what activity do you spend most of your time?
2.) On what do you spend the bulk of your money?
3.) On what do you focus your thoughts?
Look at where you go; what you do and where you spend your money.
Do that and you will have a good idea of your priorities in life.
Where does God fit in the equation of your life?
Is He in first place?
If He isn’t than you are not a candidate for revival!
D. Misplaced priorities are the enemy of real revival.
The priorities of Nineveh were all messed up.
Then, Jonah came to town with his message of doom and destruction.
The people of Nineveh, from the king on down, got their priorities fixed up and they began to seek the Lord, Jonah 3:8.
They got interested in the things that interested the Lord.
Things like prayer, holiness, worship, etc became a priority and God sent them a revival.
He can and will do the same for us, when our priorities are what they ought to be.


A. Finally, God’s people are told to “turn from their wicked ways.”
That is, they are to forsake their sins and embrace holiness.
The problem in Israel is that they were guilty of presuming upon the grace and goodness of the Lord.
The same trend is evident in the church.
We say, “I am saved and some of the things I do don’t matter!”
Yes they do!
Sin keeps us out of the presence of the Lord, Isa. 59:2.
Sin closes the Lord’s ears to our prayers, Psa. 66:18 Pro. 15:8 29 Pro. 28:9
Psalm 66:18 KJV 1900
If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me:
Proverbs 15:8 KJV 1900
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: But the prayer of the upright is his delight.
Proverbs 15:29 KJV 1900
The Lord is far from the wicked: But he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
Proverbs 28:9 KJV 1900
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer shall be abomination.
It is easy to see the hypocrisy and sin in our nation.
We need more money for schools, so we legalize and promote gambling.
We need to stop teen pregnancy, so we give out condoms and open abortion clinics.
We want to balance the budget, so we raise taxes.
We want to stop the spread of AIDS, so we practice “safe sex.”
It’s no wonder God won’t send revival to America!
What about the church?
Why aren’t we having revival?
We are just as bad!
We do not have revival because we are just as guilty as the world!
Church people sin and seem not to care!
They drink,
they steal,
they lie,
they cheat;
they commit adultery;
they engage in sexual fornication outside of marriage;
they carry hate in their heart;
they walk in pride;
they walk in hypocrisy;
they drag the precious name of Jesus through the mud and He cannot and will not bless a mess like that!
We are saved by grace, but grace is never a license to sin!
What we need is a season of repentance.
We are good with our excuses; and we are quick to rationalize our behavior; but we are slow to fall before the Lord and confess our sins and receive His forgiveness.
But, He will never bless us with revival until we do!
We must come clean about our sins, before He can bless us, Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9.
C. James 5:16b says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The key word in that verse is “righteous”. The word refers to a person who is “holy, upright and keeps the commandments of the Lord.” Does that describe you? Are you a righteous man or woman? Can God hear your prayers, and could you be an instrument of revival in His hands?
D. We need revival, but revival will not come to a presumptuous people.
It will only come to those who get honest about their sin; who confess them; forsake them and turn to God with all their hearts, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart,” Jer. 29:13.
Revival will come when God’s people adopt the attitude that gripped the hearts of the people of Nineveh.
They dealt with their sin problem and God moved in a great revival, Jonah 3:8–10.
Yes, there are some enemies that must be defeated.
They can be, and if they are, we can experience God’s power.
He promised Israel that He would “I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
That is a description of revival: God hearing; God cleansing and God working.
The word “heal” means “to stitch back together; to repair thoroughly.” That is what we need today!
Are you a candidate for revival? Here is the invitation:
1.) Are you “His people”? If not, you need to be saved. You need to come today!
2.) Are the enemies of revival, pride, prayerlessness, misplaced priorities and presumption active in your life? If they are, you need to come today.
3.) Would you life to see God send us a real revival? It can happen, but we must meet His conditions.
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