We bless God for this morning. It is a great morning and we bless God for the rains. It is our God who gives the rain also.
In the past few days I’ve been looking at the subject of revival—praying for revival; teaching on revival—and our expectation is that at the end of the period we will all be revived. The last time I spoke on my understanding of revival and I said it can be explained in four main ways:
1. It is life to the dying
2. It is the reappearance of the original
3. It is the restoration of a lively relationship with God
4. It is going back to your first love
Today I want to spend some time teaching on the same subject of revival. I want to speak on a life that needs revival—the signs o f a life that needs revival; what when you see about a life you know it needs to be revived. My teaching won’t be exhaustive, but I will speak on a few things that God has laid on my heart.
1. When love for God begins to drop
Your life needs revival when your love for God begins to drop. When a person’s love for the Lord drops, two things happen. One of them is that his love for the things of God drops. We love the things of God because we love God so when our love for him begins to drop our love for his things also drops. Then the person is no longer interested in the things of God. He is no longer interested in scriptures; he is not interested in evangelism.
The second thing that happens to the person is that his love for the world and the things of the world begin to increase. The love for God is replaced with love for the world and the things in it. The love for the world increasing and the love for God decreasing happens gradually so if you don’t check yourself, by the time you realize you would have drifted off. That is why the Bible says to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. The heart is desperately wicked and deceitful so you must examine your life all the time. What is the condition of your heart? That reminds me of the Ephesian church as recorded in Revelation 2. Jesus was telling them that they were doing well but he had something against them—they had abandoned their first love.
To abandon your first love means you have fallen—fallen short of the standards of God. The New Living Translation puts it as “Look how far you have fallen!” To abandon your first love also means you have fallen into sin. Jesus told them to repent, meaning they had fallen short of the standards of God. They had sinned. Reflect deeply on your life and compare your love for God yesterday to what it is today. You loved God so much that you used to do certain things but now look at your life.
Remember when you were called as a deacon for the first time; remember the enthusiasm. Remember when you first became a Christian and the energy with which you used to serve the Lord. Remember when you first joined the choir. Where is your first love? Some people give excuses that it is because of what someone said or did. I don’t want us to be like Samson whom the Lord left without him knowing.
2. When there is less prayer and less Bible study
When your prayer closet has developed cobwebs and your Bible has become dusty, know that you need mighty revival in your life. Prayerlessness and diminished Bible study are signs of a life that needs revival. When your love for prayer and Bible study starts dropping, understand that your life needs to be revived. Some of us can read everything but the Bible. Unless we get serious about prayer and forget about trivial issues, we will not receive the revival we are looking for. It is amazing how people can hold on to trivial issues and drop the weightier matters of prayer and Bible study. When you look at history, you see that all revivals were born out of prayer. The spiritual awakenings we have seen in this world have been birthed in prayer and the reading of scriptures. As the person studies and prays, the Spirit of God takes over. These people stuck with the weightier matters of prayer and Bible study.
There is a man I have come to like though I don’t know him. his name is Jim Cymbala. He said, “Prayer begets revival which begets more prayer.” When there is prayer you don’t have time for trivial matters; you are serious with the Lord.
I remember a man who was selling Bibles who went to the home of another man to sell him a Bible. When the man told the Bible seller he already had a Bible, the Bible seller asked him to go fetch it. When he went for it his spectacles were in it. He remarked, “I have been looking for these spectacles for the past three weeks.”
3. A life that needs revival is a life that lives in and enjoys sin
If a Christian begins to enjoy sin, he needs to be revived. He is dying and must be brought back to life. I will look at sin from two angles. Sin is anything God doesn’t like. When he says, “My son, I don’t like this; don’t do this,” it is sin. Sin is anything that Jesus would not do if he were here. So, if the child of God begins to enjoy sin, his life is dying and he must be brought back to life. You cannot be on fire and still enjoy sin. Fire will chase the sin out. Last Kratos I read a scripture where Paul gathered sticks to put in a fire but a viper came out because it could not stand the heat. A life that is comfortable with sin is one that is dying and needs to be brought back to life.
When you are a child of God and begin to give excuses for sin, your life is dying. When you begin to justify sin, your life is dying. When you begin to entertain those things that once grieved you, your life needs revival. When you became a Christian, you became sad when you sinned but now it has become a new normal. It is not alright to be a child of God and cut corners to make money you don’t deserve. I came with the word of God in my heart to announce to you that if you begin to entertain those things that once grieved you, you have drifted. When you regret losing an opportunity that is ungodly your life needs to be revived. Charles Finney has said revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Today I call you to a life of obedience to God.
4. A life that is unable to speak when it is supposed to speak
A life that cannot boldly declare its stand that “I am a child of God” needs to be revived. Some of you feel shy to say at your workplace that you are a child of God. Some of you feel shy to identify even with a Christian group. One of our big men went for a board meeting where they were serving all kinds of things. He told the lady serving to give him something else. Then the lady said, “Elder, praise the Lord.” What would have happened if he had compromised? Can you stand for the Lord? I listened to a man of God that said in those days he boarded a taxi and there was somebody smoking so he also decided to speak in tongues. The man who was smoking told the driver to tell the other man to stop disturbing his ears and he also said, “I won’t stop until you stop disturbing my nose.”
5. A life that doesn’t give is one that needs to be revived
When you become selfish and self-centered, your life is dying. We must give to the things of God; to the poor and needy; we must give without expecting a return. Some of us only help those who can help us but when your life is revived you are willing to sacrifice for the things of God and others.