by Julia Bruce
CEO & Keynote speaker
Big implications from a tiny word
There is a scene in Disney’s animated 1950’s Cinderella where Cinderella learns about the ball and her evil stepmothers agrees that Cinderella can go to the ball, IF she gets all her work done. IF. Just a small, two-letter word that packs lots of meaning. It’s a condition. Something else must be met, IF we are to get the desired thing. IF. Experiencing revival also comes with and if/then clause.
Does God See Our World? Does He Hear our prayers for Revival?
At times it can feel that we pray and pray and pray for God to send a revival and wonder why God doesn’t answer. Sometimes, we feel like God is far away in way-off-distant Heaven. Sometimes, we feel as if God doesn’t care about what’s going on in our world. When we hit these snags in life, it’s usually a good idea to stop and take a self inventory of where we are spiritually. Are we living obediently? Do we radiate Christ? Are we spending time in Bible study and prayer? Are we walking in God’s statutes? Do we keep His commandments? Are we doing them? If not, then we can’t expect God to send a revival.
Has America Reached the Same point where revial isn’t possible?
In Jeremiah 11, God said to Jeremiah, “I warned your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt and I’ve kept up the warnings. I haven’t quit warning them for a moment. I warned them from morning to night: “Obey me or else!” But they didn’t obey. They paid no attention to me. They did whatever they wanted to do, whenever they wanted to do it, until finally I stepped in and ordered the punishments set out in the covenant, which, despite all my warnings, they had ignored.” A verses later, God says, “And as for you, Jeremiah, I don’t want you praying for this people. Nothing! Not a word of petition. Indeed, I’m not going to listen to a single syllable of their crisis-prayers (MSG).
Certainly America can be described as a nation that does whatever it wants, whenever it wants, ignoring God. Despite being a nation founded on Godly, Biblical principles, we — Christians — have set by in idle complacency while little by little America has become the same cesspool of sin and immorality as Israel. If God would judge His chosen nation as strongly as He did, why does America think God would not judge them. Christian need to have a sense of urgency for a revival to move across our land before, like Israel, God chooses to longer hear our prayers for a revival. How bad to things have to get in our world before we fall on our knees, desperately seeking the face of God – We need a revival!
Liars leading the nation to sin
Once again in Jeremiah 14, we find God telling Jeremiah not to pray for Israel. “Don’t pray that everything will turn out all right for this people. When they skip their meals in order to pray, I won’t listen to a thing they say. When they redouble their prayers, bringing all kinds of offerings from their herds and crops, I’ll not accept them. I’m finishing them off with war and famine and disease.”
Jeremiah comes to their defense and says, “But Master, God! Their preachers have been telling them that everything is going to be all right — no war and no famine — that there’s nothing to worry about.” They had all come to believe that because of the temple that Solomon built for God that God resided there and that would prevent anything bad from every happing to them. Over the years, the covenant God made with his people went forgotten and it was traded out for living just like the rest of the world. However, because God is a God of grace and mercy He sent prophet and prophet calling the nation back to Him – but they rejected Him and chose to live their own way. And eventually their sin reached a point where God refused to send a revival.
America led away from God
We still have many God-appointed and God-led preachers in our nations who unashamedly preach the Word of God. But we also have some preachers today who preach incorrect doctrine and lead people astray. We also have politicians and other influential leaders would have us believe that we don’t need God. That living for God is “old-fashioned” and out dated. They change the laws so that they can live anyway they want without feeling guilt – but changing the laws doesn’t erase their guilt in the eyes of God. His laws do not change at the whim of man. And they will all be held accountable to God for their part in leading this nation away from God. With out a revival, we will only see more and more of our nations being led away from God.
Consequences for the Liars
After Jeremiah points out that Israel’s priests were responsible for leading them astray, God said, “These preachers are liars, and they use my name to cover their lies. I never sent them, I never commanded them, and I don’t talk with them. The sermons they’ve been handing out are sheer illusion, tissues of lies, whistlings in the dark. So this is my verdict on them: All the preachers who preach using my name as their text, preachers I never sent in the first place, preachers who say, ‘War and famine will never come here’ — these preachers will die in war and by starvation.”
The Covenant between God and Israel
God told Israel that IF they walked in His statues, kept His commandments, and do them, THEN they would see the blessings of God in their lives. We can’t go through life living any way we want to and expect God to bless the mess we make in the process. We have to live obedient lives to Him, keep His commandments…and do what His Word says.
You Can’t Keep what you like and throw the rest away
My dad once used a sermon illustration about a woman who decided that every time she came to something in the Bible that she didn’t like, she’d just cut that section out. Before long she didn’t have much of a Bible left. We can’t name and claim all the promises and choose to ignore all the warnings and commands. God is an “all or nothing” God. It only takes one sin for you to become a sinner – and it doesn’t matter if that sin is telling a small lie or committing a felony. Only one sin and we are out of fellowship with God and in need of a revival.
To see revival, America needs to return to walking in His Statutes
If America is to truly be “great again” then it will come through following God’s way – not the way of the world. We need leaders who will stand up for Christ and lead our nation back to living in a way that honors and glorifies God rather than what honors and glorifies self. Our nation needs to return to Biblical foundation this nation was built on and be a nation that is under God once again. That will only happen as we walk in God’s statutes given to us in His Word.
To see revival, America needs to keep His commandments
Most of us know the 10 Commandments. But not so many years ago, it was decided to remove the presence of anything that had these Commandments from any government building – as if removing them would someone negate them or make them non-existent. Whether they are posted or not, they still exist and each one of us will one day stand before God who will measure our lives based on these commandments.
As important as the 10 Commandments are, the Bible is full of commandments and instructions for how God wants us to live. We need to honor life and recognize that each and every life is a unique creation of God and make abortion illegal. We need to honor God through the marriage union as one man and one woman. America needs to keep God’s commandments.
To see revival, America needs to do what God says
It’s one thing to read the Bible and know what it says. It’s a whole other matter to keep His commandment and do what the Bible says. But James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” It isn’t enough to just know God’s Word. You have to do it. Satan probably knows the entire Bible from memory including the Table of Contents and dictionary and the concordance in the back. He probably knows it in every language and in every translation. But he will still spend eternity in hell. Knowing isn’t enough.
Only when we keep God’s commandments and live obediently to His Word and follow His instructions can we expect for God to bless us. When we are living according to His Word, then we are walking in His will and we will do what He’s planned for us to do. Whenever we are in God’s Will and walking in His way, then we can be assured that His blessings will come – even if we have to go through a trial or two first so that He can teach us something new.
The same is true if our nation is to see a revival. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people [that’s Christians!] who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, then I will hear them from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.” However, the danger we currently face is our nation reaching the same point as Israel did and God becoming so fed up that he refuses to hear our cries of repentance and judgement comes.
Today’s Revival Prayer
Father, we, your people called by your name, humbly bow before you crying out to you and seeking your face on behalf of America. We have fallen into the same state of sin as Israel and Lord, we need a revival – a calling of God’s people to return to you – to get up out of idle complacency and see the urgency and need for You to be God once again in this nation. Father, hear us from heaven, forgive our sins – both as a nation and as individuals – and heal this land. May American once again bring you honor and glory and be a light to the world of your unending and lavish grace towards those who humbly repent and seek you with all their heart, mind and soul. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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