During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a second sermon called ‘Revival”. Her main text was taken from the Book of Psalms. “Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?” (Ps 85:6). Revival is the extraordinary work of God. It is a sovereign act of God by which the Holy Spirit pours upon the believers who seek God. The presence of God comes down as a blanket upon people. Revival starts with the believers, but later, it affects all people. It is a manifestation of the grace, glory, and power of God in answer to people’s prayer. It is a powerful move of the Holy Spirit that changes cities or nations. During revival, many people get converted. No man takes the glory. God alone is glorified. Most of the time it starts with one or few believers who humble themselves to seek God and revival. They prepare the altar with prayers, fasting and worship. They present themselves as a living sacrifice on that altar. They pray with faith and passion until the Holy Spirit comes down. Hallelujah!
The Holy Spirit does two types of work. He does the ‘regular, ordinary’ work of converting sinners, leading in all truth, and helping us to worship God. This work of the Holy Spirit goes on all the time. That is why we have churches and Christianity, 2000 years since Jesus lived and died. Of course, nothing the Holy Spirit does is ‘ordinary’. But we need to use human words, that we may all understand. The second type of work of the Holy Spirit is His ‘extraordinary’ work. This is called ‘revival. It happens from time to time in the history of the church. For the past 2000 years, there have only been about 50 revivals total, all over the world. After the Cross, there was no revival for the 1500 years. The first historical revival started with Martin Luther who God used to ignite the Reformation combined with Revival.
Revival is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit that is under the sovereignty of God. We can fast and pray for revival. But no man can make revival to happen. There is a difference between revival and evangelistic crusades. An evangelistic crusade is organized by men or by churches. People hear the Gospel and become saved. This is the good work of the Holy Spirit, blessed by God. But this is not revival. Men cannot ‘organize’ or ‘sponsor’ revival. It is God’s sovereign work on earth. God alone decides when, how and where a revival may start. We prepare the ground, plant the seed with prayer and fasting. But it is God who decides when He wants to ‘come down’ and make the seed germinate and grow!
Revival can affect individual believers. From one, like fire in the bush, the revival spreads to others. But what we are praying now is revival that will manifest in our church. We need revival. We need to fall in love with Jesus again! Revival is like a Kiss from heaven. We want to make God happy! Revival always starts with few humble and faithful people. Father’s House is positioned to ignite revival in this area. We are already experiencing a level of revival. We see our children rejoicing and acknowledging the Holy Spirit of revival! Revival starts with believers. An unbeliever needs salvation. He cannot be ‘revived’.
Not all believers desire revival! Some Christians have come to a place where they think that they have ‘arrived’. They become proud and unteachable. They have stopped paying the price for spiritual growth. These Christians become internal hindrances to revival. Religion is a great stumbling block to revival in many churches. The effects of revival cannot be faked. The Holy Spirit comes as waves of ‘tsunami’ to overflow all around. People suddenly repent of their sins and give their lives to Christ. It happens during their sleep, walking on the streets etc. No man takes the glory for such a holy work. All glory goes to God who overshadows any human vessel.
For example, a simple man living in Iyara (a needy area in Warri) starts to pray for revival. He lives in a house without an address, without a number. This man has not finished secondary school. He is what people call ‘a nobody’. He starts praying for revival. God may choose to answer his prayer. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit comes down and waves upon waves of blessings touch all of us. The ‘epicentre’ of this revival is a humble man blessed by God who lives in Iyara. Glory to God!
Evan Roberts, the leader of the Welsh revival, was a young man of about 25. He was born in a poor family. He was a miner as his father and all his brothers. He started praying for revival. Sometimes he will feel his heart breaking as he continued praying. God came down. From ‘a nobody’ he became a celebrity! The Holy Spirit led Him to preach, pray and praise God in such a way that at least a hundred thousand people gave their lives to Christ in just few days. Let us humble ourselves! There is no partiality with God! Never forget that! Before the Cross, the ground is level. There is no male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentiles. Let us humble ourselves and intercede for revival!
When you pray for revival, think big! Think Church! Think about the Body of Christ! Every church has a prophetic mandate. It is good for you to know what the vision of your local is. Father’s House Bible church has an apostolic/ prophetic anointing! We are like a ‘burning bush’ in the desert. We are positioned for revival in this area! We must not be satisfied with good or better. We must press in to manifest the best God has for us! We are commanded to “aim for perfection!” (2 Cor 13:11). By the grace of God, this we must do! May God’s perfect will be done in this local church! May we fulfill destiny! In Jesus’ name!
You may say: “Malia, why don’t you pray for all the Christians and all the denominations”. I do! When led by the Holy Spirit! But sometimes, these are religious prayers that avail nothing. These prayers may be covers for everybody to hide the truth. We speak and pray big words but, in our hearts, we do not want to take responsibility. Let me say this: “I am a mother! I must pray and train my children before I can help my neighbor’s children!” Let us stay focused and pray as led by the Holy Spirit!
We want to put a smile on the face of Jesus. When we humble ourselves and pray, God is happy! There is rejoicing in heaven when we repent and obey God (Lk 15:7). Heaven is a joyful place! Heaven is not boring or sad. Let us make God happy! We are praying for revival, for wholesale repentance and a harvest of souls! During revival sinners repent! Can you imagine Warri without armed robbers and kidnappers? Can you imagine that the people will not cheat others in the business world in Warri? You need to imagine and desire to experience this miracle in this town. I imagine it and believe that I will see it! That is why I am here! That is why I continue to pray!
In the Book of Genesis 26 we see a four-thousand-year-old story. Many preachers used this story to preach about revival. We shall do the same. There was a famine in the land. Isaac wanted to go to Egypt, like his father Abraham did in the past. Going to Egypt is a form of backsliding. Egypt stands for the world. Isaac was already going towards Egypt when God stops him and speaks to him. He tells him to dwell in this land that He will bless him. Isaac obeys and decides to dwell, for the time being, in Gerar, a city of the Philistines. Isaac is a man blessed by God who lives in the difficult season of famine. Nothing stops God’s promises! God’s promises are always fruitful! King Abimelech of the Philisties saw Isaac caressing his wife, Rebekah! He knew that Isaac lied, when he said that Rebekah was his sister. He rebuked Isaac. This is an example when God uses an unbeliever to rebuke a believer who is backsliding! The King forbids his people to ‘touch’ Isaac and his wife. Isaac lives amid people who ‘do not want to touch him’. In other words, they do not even want to do business with him. This is also a time of famine. What can Isaac do?
Isaac represents a believer, blessed by God, who lives in a difficult time and difficult place. Isaac hired the land from the Philistines. The harvest was hundredfold. The Philistines have planted in that land. They knew how much that land can produce. But God surprised everybody, including Isaac, with a hundredfold harvest. Only God can produce such a harvest! This is the blessing of God! Isaac was prosperous with a particular type of prosperity that increased as time went by. The famine and the unfriendly neighbors could not stop this prosperity. But then, trouble comes. The Philisties who were ‘friendly’ with him, began to envy him! “Then Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So, the Philistines envied him” (Gen 26:12-14)
In each station of life, there shall be trials and temptations. God allows such to purify our faith. For the poor man, stealing for food is the greatest temptation. For the rich man, knowing how to relate to envious people is his own peculiar trial. We need to navigate thru these trials of life. But, child of God, remember that God’s presence and peculiar prosperity will never leave you. King David experienced the same blessings: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over” (Psalm 23:5). Can I have a hallelujah?
Envy does not manifest when your situation is the same as others. But immediately God blesses you or promotes you, your ‘friends’ will envy you. Envy affects all of us. It is a natural product, a work of the flesh (Gal 5:21). Simply said, envy is an angry, selfish, and ambitious greed! Envy says: “I want to take what is yours! You can remain poor and naked! I do not care!” That is why envy is criminal! Envy is an enemy to your progress in life and to revival! Envy can become a demon! We need to overcome it in our personal lives and in the church! Envy is like a torment! Envious people do not sleep well at night! As we pray for revival and godly prosperity we need to learn how to identify and defeat the demon of envy, in our hearts, and in the others outside us. God will help us! Let us pray! Worship the Lord!