Title: "God Give Us A Little Reviving"
Prop.: God gives revival, we give in to revival!
subject for this evening is revival. Revival because we each need to be
revived! Revival because God is able and willing to give it! Revival
because we will be visited by an evangelist next week for that very purpose!
"revival" does not occur in the Bible. The word "revive" occurs only twice
in the N.T., though not in the context of spiritual renewal. The word does
occur in the O.T. in the sense that we are considering this evening, but
only in 4 verses. So what we can learn of revival we will learn from the
O.T. & these 4 verses:
gives us the Purpose of Revival.
"Wilt Thou not
revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?"
rejoicing in God, or a refocusing of our attention on God.
gives us the Condition Necessary for Revival.
saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I
dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and
humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart
of the contrite ones."
Revival only takes effect in those with a Contrite ("crushed, repentant") &
Hab. 3:2 gives
us the Plea of Revival.
"O Lord, I
have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst
of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember
Revival brings about a Reviving of God's Work (personal & corporate) in
God's Children, and Mercy in the Midst of Wrath toward the Lost.
Ezra 9:8 gives
us the Encouragement of Revival. "And now for a little space grace hath
been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to
give us a Nail in His holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and
give us a little reviving in our bondage."
us a little space of grace, a little group to escape, an "little" nail to
hang our hopes on, a little lightening of our sight, and a little reviving
in our bondage.
There is a lot
of discussion about what revival is, and not much agreement! I like to go
to the Bible to find out what the word means, though applications are
sometimes more obsure.
"Revive" = to
live or have life; giving or restoring life. The O.T. speaks of life as the
experience of life. This is not some abstract idea, but the result of the
life you are living right now. This life, or reviving, or revival is the
ability to exercise all one's vital spiritual power to the fullest. So to be
"revived" or to experience revival, is to have life, to be able to exercise
it to the fullest, to restore life, to be alive. Jesus said, "I am come
that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Revival brings back into focus that state of spiritual life that is a
requirement of following Christ. In other words, revival should be the
common, everyday condition of the Christian! It is not a momentary
decision, but a continuing manner of life. It is not making great decisions
because an evangelist is in our midst, but it is the making of great
decisions because God is in our midst! It is not being motivated by a
speaker, but it is being motivated by the Cross.
And if we need
to be spiritually "revived" it must mean, that to some degree or other,
different in each individual, we are spiritually dead or dying.
Not one of us
is free from this decay, not one of us is immune to this most devious work
of our sin-natures. And so Ezra asks of God to give a little reviving in
Ezra 9:5-10 --
"God Give Us A Little Reviving" -- prayer
of the book of Ezra describes the return of the Jews to Jerusalem after 70
years of captivity in Babylon, and the completion of the Temple. Chapters
7-10 chronicle Ezra’s return to Jerusalem to help bring spiritual revival to
the people. Their spiritual problems are our spiritual problems, and Ezra's
spiritual answers are our spiritual answers.
FOUNDATIONAL ACTIVITIES TOWARD REVIVAL
(v5-7) (man's part)
A. Ezra Rose
Up From His Heaviness
1. It is the
responsibility of man to prepare to serve the living God with a living
confirms this truth (turn). And sometimes the hardest thing about getting
going is getting going!
2. He rose up
in the evening service. From his "heaviness" = humiliation. Sin brings
heaviness to your Christian walk and humiliates you before God, man, and
self. It is like "cement boots" that take you to the bottom.
separated ("to make a distinction, to withdraw") from the people of the land
according to their abominations ("disgusting things").
mingled ("to have fellowship with, share, exchange") with the people of the
sought the peace of the people of the land (v12c)
sought the wealth of the people of the land (v12c)
Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Matt 16:24
B. Ezra Fell
Down In Humility
exhibited the outward signs of humility (it cost him something!)
exhibited the inward signs of humility (fell on knees = humility)
exhibited the desperation of humility (spread out his hands)
exhibited the confidence of humility (unto the Lord my God)
Note: It is
humiliating to repent & confess, but it lifts the heaviness
C. Ezra Cried
Out in Repentance
1. Repent =
"change your mind" (Repentance is a Christian grace)
a. God still
hates your sin, and sin still separates between you and your God! It does
not change your relationship but it sure changes your fellow.
is directed toward God ("O my God" (twice))
3. "Ashamed" =
to fall into disgrace, normally through failure of self
4. A lack of
"blush" (= public humiliation) before God, before man, and before self
(used 3 times in Bible)
"Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were
not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall
among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast
(repeated twice in Jeremiah)
self, our shame causes self-esteem problems. With man, our shame causes
fellowship problems, but with God our shame ought to cause repentance.
1. Confess =
"agree with God about your sin." Confession convicts us of our spiritual
condition, reminds us of the depravity of our sin natures, and cleanses our
a. The depth
of your sin ("increased over our head & grown up into heaven"). Sin will
take you deeper than you wanted to go, and keep you longer than you wanted
"Iniquities" = crooked behavior, perversion; both the deed (sin) and its
consequences, the misdeed (sin) and its punishment
"Trespasses" = sin, acts of sin
d. Against God
("unto the heavens")
"Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight..."
Acknowledgment of Bondage
1. To the
kings of the land, to the threat of the sword, to the threat of captivity,
to the threat of being plundered/preyed upon, to being shamed in their
a. If we are
not in bondage to Jesus Christ, we are in bondage to the world and its
steps to revival followed a well-worn path. 1) A determination to
change--he rose up. 2) A determination to repent--he fell down, he cried
out, and he confessed. 3) Acknowledgment of bondage to the world--his
PROVISION FOR REVIVAL
Long-suffering For Now
(v8a) (God is a God of now!)
Note: That is
why God says to a sinner, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now
is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2) (Salvation)
1. And God
says to the Christian, Time to repent, yet a little space (before
backsliding, before death, before Christ's returns). Everything we do for
Jesus Christ must be top priority, and in the now and now.
B. God's Grace
Has Been Shown
1. "Grace" =
unmerited favor toward you; God favorably disposed toward you & your revival
3:22-23 "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his
compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy
faithfulness." (and great is our unfaithfulness!)
a. There is
nothing on God's side to hinder your revival
Abilities on Our Behalf are Sure
(v8a-10) (God's part)
Because He is the Lord
("Jehovah" = ever present, self-existing One) [our own] God ("Elohim"
= Triune God), representing all He is to His Own.
1. I don't
know where revival will take you, but I know Who will be there! I don't
know what He might ask of you, but I know Who can provide!
brings about a deeper trust in God
Because He Has Provided a Way of Escape
1. A remnant
escapes the clutches of sin, self, and the world because a remnant is
1 Cor. 10:13
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God
is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able
to bear it."
brings about a new willingness to forsake sin
Because God's Secure Place Is Revealed
1. The Nail
has been given us
2. The Nail is
secure in a holy place (not just any place)
3. The Nail is
Christ, a sure place to "hang your hope."
a. This Nail
was forged in the furnace of adversity
b. This Nail
was shaped by the hammer & anvil of human passions
c. This Nail
was tempered in the deep of the garden
d. This Nail
was hammered into place on the cross
e. This Nail
was enthroned in His Father's house on highIsaiah 22:23
"And I will fasten Him as a nail in a sure place; and He shall be for a
glorious throne to His father's house."
people fear the results of revival in their life, for we are afraid of
change that is not of our making. But the foundation of revival is knowing
that you have a sure place to "hang your hat," "pin your hopes." There is
One Who will not fail you when you place your full weight, expectation, and
trust upon Him; your very life itself.
brings about a new love and dependence on Christ
Because God's Vision Imparted
(v8d) ("lighten our eyes")
1. We see
circumstances and situations as God sees them
"In Him was life; and the life was the light of men."
agent/cause of revival is a new vision of the glory/manifestation of Jesus
Christ, and His work on our behalf. It is the same vision that brought
about our salvation, therefore, revival and salvation are closely linked,
since both center on Christ. Salvation put you into a state of
revival/life, and surrender and obedience to Christ work to keep you there.
brings about a new perspective
Because God's Reviving Is Given
1. Given when
2. Perhaps a
"small" work to start, but with continuing results. We want a "full" dose,
but God gives an increase.
brings about a new awareness of bondage
Because God's Faithfulness Realized
("not forsaken us") (v9b)
1. He was
faithful to save you, He will be faithful in your revival. Your sins have
not caused God to forsake you, you can be revived!
brings about a new awareness of God's faithfulness.
Because God's Mercy Is Proclaimed
("in the sight of") (v9b)
1. "Mercy" =
acts of grace freely bestowed on the guilty.
brings about a new appreciation of God's mercy.
Because God's Reordering Is Initiated
("set up the house of our God") (v9)
1. He will
make His priorities, your priorities to put your spiritual life in order,
first things first
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you."
brings about a new ordering of priorities
Because God's Repairing Is Begun
"Desolations" = root is 'to be dry': waste places, ruins
"Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be
termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah-bah ("My delight"),
and thy land Beulah ("married"): for the Lord delighteth in thee,
and thy land shall be married."
"In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the
brings about a new desire to repair relationships
Because God's Protection Is Afforded
("a wall") (v9c)
1. You are
walled about wherever you serve.
“And the Lord
said unto Satan, hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none
like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God,
and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the Lord.. Hast not Thou made an
hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or
distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"
brings about a new feeling of security
Conc.: I can
do no better than to conclude with v10, "And now, O our God, what shall
we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments" Here is the
root cause for our need of revival, we have forsaken God's commandments,
therefore we have lost to one degree or another the living sense of
Christ's great work of redemption and therefore have grown to one degree or
another, lukewarm to the things of God. Ezra cried out to God for the sins
of others, will you cry out to God for the sins of self? Are you willing
tonight to do what it takes to be revived, to live in the abundance of life
that Jesus promised? No matter your spiritual condition, you need a fresh
unction from the Spirit of God to say with Paul,
"I have fought
a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith"
Ezra got up,
repented and confessed, and then hung his hat on that Nail, which is Christ,
and went on to serve God despite the circumstances without or within. Will
you come tonight, and refresh your life in Christ--will you be revived?
have never trusted Christ as Saviour, and turned from death to life. Will
you come tonight?