Read: Ps. 85:6-7
In our text this morning the psalmist asks God an important question. "Wilt thou not revive us again?" We sometimes sing a hymn that says "Revive us again; fill each heart with Thy love; may each soul be rekindled with fire from above." There is much talk about revival, but this morning I want us to take some time and analyze what is involved in it.
I. What is Revival?
A. Not evangelism even though many may be saved as a result of it.
B. Not emotionalism although there may be emotional manifestations connected to it.
C. It is a renewal of spiritual life in an individual or among a group of people.
II. When is Revival Needed?
A. Whenever the love of God's people has grown cold.
B. Consider the symptoms of its needs.
1. Complacency: self-satisfaction or satisfaction with the status quo.
2. Lack of concern for the lost.
3. Hiding or covering secret sins.
4. Animosity toward other Christians.
5. Having an unforgiving spirit.
6. Being filled with pride.
7. Any condition of spiritual standing where we are less than we were before: backslidden!
C. Dangers in our need for revival.
1. Often spiritual deterioration comes without our awareness.
a. Samson had the power of God upon him, but he played around with sin and was found helpless in the face of the enemy because he was unaware that God's power had left him. cf Jg. 16:20
b. The disciples had received power from Jesus Christ to heal and cast out demons and yet on one occasion they were unable to do so.
c. They had lost their power, but they were unaware that it was gone!
d. Jesus told them that it was because of their unbelief! Mt. 17:19-20
2. Often the condition of our hearts is such that we are not aware of our need at the very time it is greatest.
3. The flesh will fight against revival, for to have revival we must admit that we have a need...and that goes against our old fleshly nature!
III. What Kind of Revival Do We Need?
A. We need a revival that will resurrect this church.
1. Revival means a return of life.
2. Jesus declared to the church at Sardis, "Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." cf Re. 3:1b
3. To the church at Laodicea he calls upon them to repent; they thought they had need of nothing.
4. He rebuked the church at Ephesus for having left their first love.
5. Elements of all of the seven churches of Asia are present here today!
a. Some folks are members of this church in name only; they are not interested in being involved in ministry.
b. Others are satisfied with the way things are and see no reason for any change.
c. Still others are too concerned about their own agendas to see the need that we have!
d. We need to cry out to God, "Wilt thou revive us again?"
B. We need a revival that will rekindle old fires.
1. Revive us again means that there has been rivals before.
2. The Christian life is made up of many beginnings.
a. To illustrate the life of a believer it is not like hooking on to a hot air balloon and continuing to rise until one day we are with the Lord
b. It is a journey that involves moun- taintop experiences and valleys as well.
c. We need a revival that will rekindle the old fires.
3. Do you remember better days?
a. Days of dedication to the Lord and to His work?
b. Days when you came to church expecting to see great things from God?
c. Days when you wouldn't think of missing church to go to a ball game or some other activity?
d. When you didn't look for some excuse for why you can't serve the Lord?
C. We need a revival that will restore joy and victory to the child of God.
1. Too many defeated Christians today.
2. Too many discouraged Christians.
3. Too many backslidden Christians.
4. The joy of the Lord is our strength, we need a revival where God will give us a song in our hearts once again.
IV. How Can We Have Revival?
A. Only God can send revival.
1. He alone is the source: "Wilt thou..."
2. It is impossible to schedule and plan for revival.
3. What we must do is pray for God to grant it to us.
B. We must face up to spiritual realities.
1. We need to see ourselves as we are...we must be honest.
2. We need to acknowledge God for Who He is and quit playing games.
3. We must see sin for what it is confess it , repent of it, and forsake it.
C. We must desire to be revived.
1. Usually we don't want it bad enough to make any difference.
2. Note: Isaiah 55:6-7
3. God wants to send revival upon those who genuinely seek it.
4. We need:
a. personal revival: that means individuals getting right with God.
b. home revival: that means families getting back to the place they need to be in.
c. church revival: that will come when individuals and families get right!
Revival is not turned on and off like a water fountain, but if we meet God's conditions He will bestow it upon us. There are souls that need to be saved, and people that need to be ministered to. Who will do it? How many will die and go to hell because we grow complacent and self-satisfied? "Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us Thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us Thy salvation." cf Ps. 85:6-7