Tuesday, September 16, 2014

P1 - Four Important Revivals

Genesis 4:25-26 "Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord."

Four revivals
Today's post is about relaying four important revivals. In our sketch of the four revivals, we will glean important truths that you and I can apply in our understanding of God's movement among His people.

1. The first revival. Genesis 4:45-46
This revival is significant because it is the first recorded move of God in the history of the world. In a recent sermon I heard on revival, the Evangelist pointed out how all revivals are couched in the context of man's rebellion. The back story behind this move of God in Genesis 4 is that as a result of Cain's murder of Abel, Adam and Eve conceived a son and named him "Seth". The name "Seth" in the Hebrew language speaks of "one appointed or designated in the place of another". Clearly Eve's remarks of Seth being God's ordained replacement for her deceased son Abel bears out the meaning of the text. 

However the subsequent birth of Seth's son Enosh leads to this curious remark in Genesis 4:26 "Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord". In the Hebrew text, the word translated "began" is from a verbal root referring to the men being "caused" or "influenced" to call upon the name of the Lord. In other words, there was a powerful influence that was exerted upon the men of Seth's day that resulted in their being a wide spread move of God. We know from the testimony of scripture that only the Holy Spirit's movement upon the hearts of men can result in their free and unhindered pursuit of Him. Thus we learn the first anchoring point of revival from this first major revival: God's Sovereignty. 

2. The defining revival - 2 Chronicles 7:1-14
Genesis 4:25-26 is an important revival worth learning from because it was the first. In that move of God we see that unless God initiates revival, no revival will occur. However there is one text in the Bible that is used more often than any other to define revival - 2 Chronicles 7:1-14. I f we include the prior chapter of 2 Chronicles 6:40-42, we can see the following template for revival:

a. Prayerful waiting on God. 6:40-42
King Solomon and the priests had positioned themselves in humble waiting on God. The focus came not be on themselves or even upon the temple they were dedicating, but upon Yahweh. 

b. Powerful visitation from God. 7:1-3
The fire fell and God visited His people. Unless we come to regard God as V.I.P in our hearts, lives and churches, He will not move powerfully in our midst.

c. Particular focus upon the blood. 7:4-7
The seeming excess of Solomon's sacrifices were thank offerings. The primacy of the blood in this text points to the blood of Jesus which would be the end all of end all sacrifices. Jesus' death and resurrection fulfilled all that the Old Testament sacrifices pointed. To not include the cross in our idea of revival disarms the power to crucify self, the enemy of all moves of God. 

d. Praise and worship. 7:8-10
Certainly the fruit of revival ought to be increased worship and praise. Worship is declaring war on the kingdom of darkness and asserting the reality of Jesus as King of Kings, Lord victorious! The Kingdom of Solomon was visualized most supremely here, being that it was only made possible by God's delegated Kingdom authority working through Solomon and Israel. Likewise God's Kingdom is glimpsed in the church through those extraordinary seasons of revival.

e. Persistent humility. 7:11-14
The thunder and lightening of revival is maintained most consistently through humility and child-like dependance upon God. We aim not in revival to merely see the hand of God, but the face of our Father. As we focus upon the Son and lean upon the Spirit Whom He sent in the Son's name, the uncreated life of God Himself will intersect the life of the church. Jesus as God in human flesh exhibited this Divine trait of humility through His human portrayal of it. (see Philippians 2:1-11) Only when we are humbled before God will He move and raise up His church in due time. (James 4:8; 1 Peter 5:6) 

This second important revival sets the template for what God wants when it comes for the proper conditions and atmosphere for Him to move extraordinarily in the lives of His people. A fine definition of revival I heard from a preacher goes something like this: "A revival is a Divine infusion of Divine life into the church through the inflowing, outflowing and overflowing of the Holy Ghost." 

More tomorrow.....

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