The Lord recently gave me a message about making revival “personal” — meaning, that we each have a responsibility to make sure that WE are revived! In fact, the Bible doesn’t even contain the word “revival,” but it does contain the words “revive,” “revived,” and “reviving.” I’m convinced we don’t need a revival, we need a reviving!
To revive something means to “bring back to life something what once was.” Psalms 85:6 says, “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” The Hebrew word here for “revive” means to make alive, to recover, to repair, to restore to life. This is, sadly, a description of most of us. We need to be revived — back to the place we once were, when we first received salvation! I like what Paul said in Acts 20:24, “…that I might finish my course with joy…”. Don’t tell me about the joy you had when you first received the Holy Ghost, tell me about the joy you STILL have — that you are going to FINISH with! We need a reviving!
I recently heard some wonderful teaching from Bro. Chester Wright concerning personal revival. He taught that there are two hindrances to us having the personal revival we need and desire: unforgiven offenses and unsubmitted will. I would like to address these two issues in more detail:
Forgiveness is a BIG DEAL to God. Jesus taught us that we must forgive (if necessary), seven times seventy times per day. Jesus taught us to pray, “forgive us our debts, even as we forgive our debtors,” and that if we “…forgive men their trespasses, [our] heavenly Father will also forgive [us]: But if [we] forgive not men their trespasses, neither will [our] heavenly Father forgive [our] trespasses.” Several months ago, Brother Wright shared a list of ten ways you can tell if you’ve really forgiven someone that has offended you, or done you wrong…”trespassed against you:”
I HAVE FORGIVEN WHEN:
1. I no longer ask or expect God to “punish” them for what they did to me.
2. I no longer “expect” or “require” them to change before I forgive them.
3. I no longer avoid them.
4. I treat them no differently than my best friends — regardless of how they treat me back.
5. I no longer speak negatively about them to others.
6. I can freely pray for them and “bless” them without having to make myself do it out of obligation.
7. I can rejoice with them for them receiving things that I want and don’t have yet.
8. I can weep with them over their losses without feeling that they got what they deserved.
9. I want only the best for them and am disappointed with them and for them when they don’t get it.
10. My first thoughts and/or memories of them is no longer what they did or did not do to me.
Think about it: have I really forgiven? Maybe there is someone that comes to mind even now that you need to reach out to. Don’t wait, do it now! Jesus taught us to leave our “gift” at the altar, and go and be reconciled with our brother! Unforgiven offenses will hinder your personal revival, don’t allow it another minute!
The other issue that Bro. Wright addressed was unsubmitted wills. I know what you’re saying, “I’ve given my life to God, I’ve been born again, I’m doing my best to serve Him and do what He asks.” However, there is more to it than that. Most of us don’t really think of this on a daily basis. I have a question for you: when did Jesus die? And it’s not the easy answer, “on the cross.” He died in the garden. When He completely and totally submitted HIS will to the will of the Father. Calvary was just the manifestation of the death that had already occurred. Paul said, “I die daily.” Meaning, “I submit MY WILL to God EVERY DAY without fail.” With intention. On purpose. In prayer. Every day.
Have you ever studied out the meaning of the word “iniquity?” It’s not the same as the word “sin,” neither is it interchangeable, as we often view it to be. Iniquity is a “contempt for and a violation of God’s law and will.” In simple terms, it means “doing your own thing.” YOUR will, not God’s. Whenever you exercise YOUR will over God’s, you are committing iniquity. Think about this: what was the sin that caused the fall of Lucifer? Most of us would say, “pride.” But it wasn’t. Look at Lucifer’s description in Ezekiel 28:15: “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till INIQUITY was found in thee.” The sin that caused the fall was iniquity: Lucifer wanted to do his own thing, not submit to God’s thing.
With this in mind, look again at Matthew 7:21-23: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the WILL of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work INIQUITY.” If you want to truly know Him, you must rid yourself of iniquity — no matter what else you are doing right.
I encourage you to allow God search your heart for any unforgiven offense, and for any part of your life that is not submitted to His will. Release it to Him. Make it your priority in prayer.
I know I am.