REVIVAL (3)

DIG YOUR FATHER’S WELLS  

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a third 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 1500 years. The first historical revival started with Martin Luther who God used to ignite the Reformation combined with Revival.

Initially, revival affects the 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’.

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 God alone decides when He wants to ‘come down’ and make the seed germinate and grow! Revival is a miracle. There is a great difference between an evangelistic crusade and revival. During an evangelistic crusade, it is the effort of the church to go out and preach the Gospel. The preacher makes an altar call. The unbelievers who desire to surrender to Jesus come forward. Then, they may or may not attend a church. But revival is different. The Holy Spirit comes primarily on the Christians, to revive them. From the Christians, like wildfire, it spreads the unbelievers who surrender their lives to Christ without any human agent. People come to Jesus without any ‘altar call’.  Most revivals had a human leader, but the glory was always given to God. Even the unconverted people start to behave better. That is why revival changes the atmosphere in a city or a nation. Judges use white gloves, as a sign that they have no case to judge. All people have withdrawn their cases. The Police officers do not work because crime goes to zero. It affects the schools, the university campuses, the marketplaces, the government offices … As you can see, revival is not just a little event. It changes the history of nations! May God grant this mighty revival upon Warri/ Effurun and Nigeria!  

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. 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! 

All classes of people are touched and blessed during revival: old and young, educated or not, socially high or low class. Revival has a beginning and an end. This is another proof that God is in control. If men knew how to start a revival, they will do everything to make it work indefinitely. But man cannot do that. A revival can be on for one to two years. Then the Holy Spirit stops pouring in His mighty power. He continues as it was before. Then you may say: why then should we pray for revival? Because it is god’s will for His church! Revival stops because God has blessed all people. A generation has been blessed with power from above. The work God does in one year of revival is greater than what He does in one thousand years. All the people who get saved during revival are genuinely saved. They remain faithful to God and to the ministry, to the end of their lives. Praise the Lord! Therefore, we shall continue to pray for revival!  

When you pray for revival, think big! Think Church! Think about the Body of Christ! Be bold! Be strong! Have faith in God! 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! 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? Can you imagine that soon, there are no more “419”? 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! By the grace of God, I refuse to be discouraged!   

There is a great need of revival in the Church. “The opposite of war is not peace. It is revival” (Pastor Richmond Leigh). Initially, the revival is ‘messy’. Because the Holy Spirit convicts many people of sins, there is a lot of weeping and desperate praying. People look like they are drunk or depressed. They do not care what others say. All they want is to make peace with God. At that stage revival is like a labor room, noisy and bloody.  Most revivals start when the Church is lukewarm of backsliding. If you study the history of the Church for the past 2000 years, you discover that its growth was not linear. The growth was seasonal, going up and down. There are times when the Gospel manifested its power, converting many people. Other times, it seems that the Christians are not interested in the preaching of the Gospel, in prayer or church activities. During these times of spiritual dryness, when the Christians become discouraged, God ignites a revival. Like rain upon the dry land, the spiritual atmosphere changes and many are revived. What God does in one year during revival is greater than what He does in one thousand years, before revival. God loves to ‘surprise’ His people with showers of blessings. We can call revival the Kiss or the Dew of Heaven. “Even so, Come, Lord!”  

One picture of revival is the desert blooming again. This is God’s promise:  “I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland” (Is 43:19; NLT). There is a desert place called Namaqualand, in South Africa. It blooms only once a year, during August or September, when it rains. Suddenly, the dry hot grey sand is covered by flowers of many colors. Many people from all over the world go there to see this miracle of reviving the desert. The driest place on the planet is called Atacama Desert in Chile (also called the Moon Valley). These incredibly dry mountains see an average of less than .004 inches/.01cm of rain per year. Many times, this area will go without rainfall at all for years. Some places in the Atacama Desert have not had rainfall for over 400 years. Recently, there was rain over there. The desert suddenly became a garden, with flowers of all colors! This is a picture of revival!

DIG YOUR FATHER’S WELLS

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! This is a time of famine. What can Isaac do?

Isaac represents a believer, blessed by God, who lives in a difficult time and a 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)

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! 

The Philistines stand for religious spirits. They envy the prosperity of the true children of God. Isaac stands for a believer in Christ that God wants to prosper. This supernatural prosperity triggers envy and rejection from the religious spirits. Isaac was rejected from Gerar. He went to a lower place not far from there called The Valley of Gerar. He needed water to survive. He remembered that his father Abraham dug some wells there. That was his hope for survival. Water is life! First, see what Isaac did not do. He did not look for human help. He did not go to dig new wells in a new territory. “The man who experiments in a time of crisis is a fool” (Pastor Richmond Leigh). Isaac went to the wells Abraham dug. He trusted his father. I identified with the success of his father. The Philistines blocked the wells with earth. He removed the earth knowing that bellow this dirt, there is the water of life, the hope for revival. Removing the dirt from the wells is a difficult slow work. But it is the only work that leads to success. As we pray for revival, we go back to basics. We go back to the Cross. We align ourselves with the anointing flowing from God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, Apostle Paul … and even Tali! We repent from every sin that blocks the well of success. We repent from friendship with religious unbelievers. Let us go back to our foundation! Go back to the Bible! “Do the first things first” (Pastor Richmond Leigh). Reconnect with the blessings you saw working in your spiritual ancestors. The way it worked in them it will work in you! It is the tested and proven path to success and victory!

This is a spiritual game! It is a spiritual search! Envious people will attack you. That is the proof that you are on the right path! Halleluiah! God created man to dream big. The envious people dream big, but their dreams are of the flesh! We must dream by the power of the Holy Spirit! Revival is such a dream! Do not forget your God given dream! Do not give up on you dream! Invest prayer and intercession in your dream! Nigeria will ‘owe’ you! Nigeria will be grateful to you! Pay the price! God will answer your prayers and bless Nigeria with revival! Nigeria is waiting for you! God bless you as you pray! We do not go thru the politicians or thru the millionaires! We go thru the Holy Spirit! He is enough for me! He is enough for you! Let revival come that we may rejoice in Your presence, Oh, my God! Worship the Lord!        

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