This is the second in a series of blogs that are meant to look at the subject of Christian revival. Normally the word revival conjures up thoughts of tent meetings during the last century with an evangelistic intent. However Biblically, a revival is an experience that can be created by God alone. An evangelistic meeting can be arranged by men, but a man cannot place the life of God into a human soul, and that is the true meaning of revival. The word comes from the Latin revivere, that is re- “again” and vivere “to live” or “to live again.” Revival is the transformation of a person who once lived without God and with selfish purposes to a person who lives with unselfish motives and for the glory of God. Such a believer is transformed even though they will not experience perfection this side of heaven.
We first looked at Moses, a Jewish born Hebrew who grew up in the house of the Egyptian Pharaoh through the providence of God. In God’s time Moses walked away from the riches of Egypt to fulfill a divine call to worship God and serve Him forever. Moses call was not an easy one, as they never are, and so God sent him into the desert for 40 years to learn humility. In Biblical terms such an experience results in brokenness. Normally when we hear the word broken we think of something that does not work anymore or something that is no longer whole. There is a biblical brokenness that results in a person becoming better than he was before. The Psalmist speaks of the necessity of brokenness before God most holy.
“For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:16, 17
God does not delight in a sacrifice that is offered with an incorrect motive, and man’s motives are always incorrect apart from being broken and separated from sinful pride. That which is acceptable to God finds its origin in God because James 1:17 tells us, that all good things come from the Father of lights. If it is not from God it is not good because apart from God a man cannot produce anything worthy of God’s good pleasure and glory. The essence of sin is man departing from God’s’ care and power for living and a life holy separated to Him. In the Garden of Eden there were 2 trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When man chose knowledge in defiance to God’s command to not eat of the tree he was separated from God who alone could empower him to obedience and holiness.
This truth about brokenness and humility is hard to accept in a culture where pride is so highly exalted.
The truth about brokenness and humility is hard to understand where evil according to God’s word is raised to a level of supposed goodness.
Brokenness can only be understood by the one that is willing to take heed to Jesus’ words as true to the exclusion of worldly philosophy.
The man that possesses self-reliance is in great need of the brokenness that only Christ’ suffering can provide. Moses was a prince and a general in Egypt, the greatest nation in the world at that time. When Moses stepped up to help rescue God’s people by taking matters into his own hands by killing an Egyptian, God sent him to the backside of the desert to herd sheep. Therefore, these circumstances were engineered to create humility in Moses. The master of men became the leader of wool bearing animals; Moses was walking in the footsteps the Lord of lords that was yet to be born.
To walk in the footsteps of Jesus is the beginning of revival. Jesus left His place in heaven to become like those He created. Jesus is the holy and perfect Son of God, and as such He is of the very essence as the eternal God. His choice to fulfill the Father’s plan of salvation was a choice of infinite proportions as He humbled Himself beyond all comprehension. The sinless one agreed to become sin in the Father’s eyes and absorb all His righteous wrath on sin, so that sinful men might become righteous through Him.
It is the love of Christ that inspires His people to return the same humble submission to the Father’s will, for it is written, “We love Him because He first love us.” (1 John 4:19) God’s children accept the discipline that He brings into their lives as the means He uses to humble them, so that they might not rely upon themselves but upon Him. The Christian should see every person and circumstance as the Holy Spirit coming to him or her in that person and circumstance to conform him or her to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” Luke 9:22
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
When a man is broken, he is emptied of himself, so that Christ might receive the glory by saving, filling, and empowering him to live a holy life unto God.