This is my testimony: when you called the sick out for prayer on Sunday I actually didn’t want to come because I wasn’t sick, but something pushed me out. I took my six-month old son from his dad and came out. My husband was surprised because he wasn’t sick either. After the prayer I went back to my seat feeling refreshed. Then came the wonders/ miracle!!! I noticed I now joke with my first son unlike before. For the past five years he has know me as no nonsense mom. I use to get angry with him in any little and given opportunity and even when he is seated calmly he used to come running to me and say mum you called me thinking he hear me called him. I have prayed about it infact each time I said I won’t beat him. I will find him doing something that will make me angry and I hit/beat him seriously.
Today I give God all the glory because who knows what I would have done to him if not for God using you to break me free from spirit of anger and bitterness towards him. Seriously ma if you see me dealing with him before, you will think I didn’t birth him. But since three days now I joke, laugh and play with him. To confirm God’s healing that Sunday after church we went home, I dished food for each member of the family, my son took his plate of food looked at it and said “mum I can’t eat this meal because I want something else”. I didn’t say I word. Before I could turn he pour the food away and I went into the room to bring out Cain but couldn’t pick it up. I just went and sit down. Would you believe he pack the food back into the plate and ate even requested for more indeed what God can’t do does not exist. Lord King Grace I am grateful for healing my body and mind Glory be to GOD!!!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Few days ago, I was attacked by a demon of fear. I defeated it many years ago. This was a new attack. I sensed it immediately. It was the same as catching a thief in my house. With all my strength I started shouting at the thief, at the demon of fear! I rejected it from my house! I prayed in English, and I prayed in tongues until he ran away, and peace was restored in my heart and in my house. Fear is a coward! Fear is a liar! Fear has been disgraced and totally defeated at the Cross! The Blood of Jesus was shed for me to save me! Fear has no place in my heart or in my home! This testimony of victory against the demon of fear is to the glory of God! At last, I asked the Holy Spirit, ‘what was the purpose of this attack and this victory?’ He said that I needed a fresh reminder of how wicked fear is, because many are struggling with it. He also said that now, I can prepare my sermon and I can encourage the brethren even more. His anointing will strengthen me to preach and pray! Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever!
In Christ I declare:
“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You!” (Ps 56:3).
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Doctrine of Revival (6)/Please, show me Your Glory. Her main text was taken from the Books of Exodus, 2 Chronicles and Isaiah. “And he said, “Please, show me Your glory… He said: “Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you” (Exodus 33:18; 34:10). “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chr 7:12-14). “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is 57:15).
Revival is a miracle; it is a phenomenon! Revival is a visitation of God’s Spirit to the Church. It affects even the unbelievers. Revival is defined as the unique, sovereign move of God, the Holy Spirit, coming down to earth in a dramatic way, changing people and nations. It manifests as a heartfelt return to God and His commandments. Only God can produce revival. The Holy Spirit does two types of works: the regular work (convicting people of sins, the process of sanctification, helping people to understand the Word of God…) and the extraordinary work, which is called ‘Revival’. From time to time, in the history of the Church, the Holy Spirit manifested His power among the believers in a most unusual way. The believers became filled with the Holy Spirit, signs and wonders multiplied among them. The overflow of this move of God affected all people. Many surrendered their lives to Christ and the Church became stronger. During revival the Holy Spirit recovers the basic doctrines of salvation, especially the justification by faith, by Grace, thru Christ alone. Revival can happen to an individual believer, to a family, to a church, or to a geographical area. True revival changes the history of a city or a nation. Great social changes start to happen. Righteous laws are given and the nation changes for the better. God does more in one day of Revival than in hundred years or ‘regular’ church work! During revival, God shakes our comfort zone and makes it uncomfortable. There is always a preparation for revival. No revival is an accident! Revival is like the risen tide of the ocean. The risen tide lifts all boats, big and small. “Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that He shows Himself” (Leonard Ravenhill). During Revival, the world stops and watches. Even the unbelievers must agree that God loves His people! Oh, how we need revival!
THE WELSH REVIVAL (1904-1905) – EVAN ROBERTS (1878-1951)
The Welsh revival is one of the greatest revivals in the history of the church at large. It lasted one year. It affected the whole Wales, an area in the UK. The primary language of the people is Welsh. English is their secondary language. Wales is a rural area made of villages and small towns. The capital of Wales is the city of Cardiff. From Wales, the revival spread all over the world. The human instrument God used to ignite it was a young man of 26 called Evans Roberts. Just before the revival, the churches in Wales were getting lukewarm. Most of the pastors were not preaching the Gospel. They were involved in politics and social events. Most people stopped going to church. Between 1899 and 1903 some Christians started praying specifically for revival. Many believers including Evan Roberts were grieved by the situation and were praying to God for mercy. The leaders of the Welsh revival were the young people. Generally, the brothers preached, the sisters sang, and they all prayed. Evan Roberts was born in Loughor, a village in Wales. He was one of eight children in a close-knit Christian family. At the age of 12, he started working in the mine with his father. This was hard work. He became saved when he was 13. He soon became passionate about the things of God. He said that God appeared to him telling him to pray for revival. He obeyed. He said that often, he would ignore the other boys who were playing outside and go back to his Bible and prayer. He passionately loved God and His Word. Like many others who God used, he separated Himself unto God, even at that young age. He ran away from the miners who used vulgar language. He thought himself to play the violin and the accordion. He used his little pocket money to buy Christian books. He never dated a girl. He was not interested in sports or social things. His family, friends, and neighbors all knew that he was a strange man. He was always reading his Bible and praying. He had visions with God in the night. The gifts of the Holy Spirit, like prophecy, words of knowledge, etc., were common with him.
When Evan Roberts was 26, though a young man, but he has been praying continuously for revival for the past 13 years. He left the work in the mine. He decided to become a pastor. He went to a Bible school to get his certificate. In England, a man cannot preach without a certificate. He wanted to do the right thing. But few months later, troubled in his spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, he left the Bible school. He went back to his village, Loughor, where he immediately organized a prayer meeting with the youths. During a prayer meeting, on the 14th of February 1903, a teenage sister called Florie Evans stood on the feet and said: “I love Jesus Christ with all my heart.” Everybody was touched and worshipped Jesus. That is when the Holy Spirit came down and the revival started. The first prayer meeting that he organized was increasing in numbers. They were mostly young people. They gathered daily to pray. The language most used was Welsh and only later, English. The Holy Spirit descended on Wales. All people felt a strong desire to repent of sins, to pray and to attend church. This spiritual activity went on for one year. Evan Roberts started traveling all over Wales. Often, he will fall by the pulpit and weep telling people that they should become saved. He ate and slept very little. This was the request all young people made: “God, send the Holy Spirit more powerfully for Jesus Christ’ sake!” Evan Roberts said: “We must firmly believe that the Spirit WILL come, not just hope!” Soon, people started coming to this group of young people on fire for Jesus. All social barriers were broken. Men and women, old and young, from all denominations, they came freely! During prayer meetings, Evan Roberts would jump and say: ‘Stop that! You are grieving the Holy Spirit’. Some people thought that he has some psychiatric problems. He said often: “Revival comes with the knowledge of the Holy Spirit and a way of co-working which enable Him to work in revival power”. Thousands of people became saved. All the ‘pubs’ shut down because nobody wanted to drink alcohol again. There were no police cases. It was the season for political elections, but all elections had to be suspended because nobody was interested in them. Even the football stadiums got closed because nobody bought tickets to go there. People did not want entertainment. They wanted God. They wanted reality, eternal reality. All the conversions were deep and genuine. This was an interesting fact: The donkeys the miners were using refused to listen to the new commands because now the miners stop using foul language.
During revival, the services would often run seven or more hours, with no one wanting to leave. Many parents came because they saw dramatic changes in the behavior of their children who became saved. Store owners were closing their shops early to obtain a seat in the chapel. The workers from the mines would come to the church still in their working clothes. The grocery shops in Loughor were cleared of food products by those who had come from long distances to attend the revival services. The people lost all consciousness of time and had no desire to return home. The Cardiff police reported a 60% decrease in drunkenness. The people who made money from selling alcohol went bankrupt. Coal miners crowded into prayer meetings that lasted till 3:00 a.m. and then washed, ate breakfast, and returned to work not being tired. The Judges had no case to try. People paid their debts and settled with one another outside the courts. By December police were out of work. They went with the crowds and formed musical bands to sing during church services. More than 100,000 unbelievers got converted and more than 100,000 backsliders came back to the faith.
The local Newspapers sent journalists to find out about the revival. Initially, the reporters mocked the people. Soon, they all stopped mocking because they felt the presence of God. Evan hated interviews. Once, when the reporters asked him why he and others behave so strange when they pray, he said: “The Spirit is at work. Just accept it!”. They wrote about him: “Each move Evan made was a puzzle to men but was known by God”. The articles made free advert to the revival. More people came to partake from the revival. All were surprised at the energy of Evan. He was never tired to pray, preach, and encourage others to draw closer to God! He said: “It is a wonderful life! I am so blessed that I could walk on air. Tired? Not once! I can face thousands! My body is full of electricity, day, and night…” He started travelling from village to village. At each place he went, the signs of revival will manifest. People will come to listen to him, fall to the ground and repent. Often, he will not preach, but just encourage all to pray. It was said that Evan was like ‘a spiritual catalyst’ to all the meetings. In Chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected. A person is counted as a catalyst when he causes activity between people without being affected himself. God gave to Wales Evan as a gift. He was not a great preacher or singer. He was a young compassionate and humble man with a burden for revival, filled and led by the Holy Spirit. Glory to God!
After one year of this constant ministry, Evan started showing signs of emotional stress. His friends advised him to slow down but he refused.
Evans Roberts was always worried that people should not worship him. In 1906 he had an emotional breakdown that led to depression. He left Wales to live with a wealthy Christian family in England. The wife, Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, was an evangelist also interested in revival. When she saw that Evan Roberts had signs of depression, she offered him an apartment in their mansion. He went to live there. He hid from public view for many years. He now decided that prayer and intercession is his main spiritual gift. He never married. He had no children. When he died, at 72, few people remembered him. He is buried in the family plot, at the cemetery behind Moriah Chapel, at Loughor, Wales, where the revival started. On the column erected later it is written in His handwriting: “Dear Friend, God loves you. Therefore, Seek Him diligently, Pray to Him earnestly. Read His Word constantly. Remember Jesus Christ! Yours in the Gospel, Evan Roberts”. The life of Evans Roberts is the proof that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. He was an uneducated young man, a miner. He became the human tool God used in the Welsh revival. He had not gone to Bible School. He has no evangelistic or pastoral experience. But what he has was a pure faith for Jesus and love for the souls of men. What is the lesson? Do not look down on young people! It is said that ten years later, during the first world war, many of the people that got saved died in war. If it is not for the revival, they could have died without peace in their souls.
The main prayer for Evan Roberts was “Holy Spirit, bend me! Bend us! Make me what you want me to be!” The four points of his sermons were:
1-Confess all known sin, receiving forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
3-Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly
4-Publicly confess the Lord Jesus Christ.
HERE IS LOVE
“Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love”
(By William Rees, 1802-1883)
This is the Welsh revival main song. It was a Love Song to God who sent His Son to die for us. Multitudes sang this song in Welsh, on and on.
THE EFFECTS OF THE WELSH REVIVAL
From Wales, the revival spread to: Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Korea, Africa, France, Czech, Belgium, India, China, and America. May revival come to us in Nigeria! To God be all the glory!
A young Welsh man named George Jeffrey (1889-1962), together with his brother Stephen, became saved during the Welsh revival. The two Jeffrey brothers became evangelists all over the UK. They preached the Gospel with signs and wonders following. They founded Elim Pentecostal Church that has many branches all over the world. In 1962, another young man of God, Reinhart Bonnke, on a visit to London, met with George Jeffrey, now an older man. Reinhard told him that he is called to preach in Africa. George prayed that ‘his mantle will be passed on Reinhard’. The young German man went to Africa and thru his ministry there, millions of souls were saved. Halleluiah!
GOD’S SECOND APPEARANCE TO KING SOLOMON
“When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chr 7:1-3)
“Thus, Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house; and Solomon successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house. Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually” (2 Chr 7:11-16)
As we pray for revival, we should revisit this passage in the Bible. God promised that if His people humble themselves and pray, He will visit the land and heal it. What a wonderful encouragement! This promise of mercy to God’s people and healing of their land applies primarily to the Jews. As a nation, Israel had a covenant relationship with Jehovah God. They knew that if they obey God’s Word, He will bless them. If they disobey God’s Word, they will suffer (Deuteronomy 28). We cannot change the word Israel with Nigeria because Nigeria as a nation does not have a covenant with God. But we can apply this scripture to our lives. This is a picture of revival in a church. In the first encounter with God, Solomon asked for wisdom. God gave young King Solomon wisdom and an understanding heart. God blessed him in many other ways. God also gave Solomon the responsibility of building His temple in Jerusalem. King David prepared the materials and mentored his son Solomon how to build the temple. Now, Solomon has finished building the temple. He dedicated it to God. The fire of God came down from heaven and consumed the burnt sacrifices. And the glory of God filled the temple. The priests could not enter because of God’s glory. All men worshipped God. This is what happens in revival. God takes over and all men bow. God wants us to be humble, to seek Him, and to pray. No humility, no grace! No prayer, no power! God wants us to repent. To repent it means a turn around in your mind, in your will, with fruits to prove the change. There is great difference between Remorse and Repentance. Both have tears. Remorse has tears but no fruits to prove the change. Repentance has tears too, but there is a radical change in the believer. For example, Both Judas and Peter sinned against Jesus. Later, Judas had remorse, but Peter repented. Judas committed suicide but Peter became a leader in the early church, faithful unto death. True revival is always connected with strong preaching of the Biblical Doctrines, faithful prayer, and desire for personal holiness. “No great spiritual awakening has begun anywhere in the world apart from united prayer” (J. Edwin Orr). We should take sin as serious as God takes it! Are you tired of your sin? You must say no to sin and yes to God!!! May God help us to humble ourselves, seek His face and pray! May revival come to us!
PLEASE, SHOW ME YOUR GLORY! (Exodus 33)
“And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen” (Ex 33:18-23)
We continue to study the life of Moses, the servant of God. He is asking God to please show him His glory. In the past, Moses had encounters with God. He had seen God’s power among men. Moses saw God in the burning bush. God has been with him as he went back to Egypt to free the people of God. God used Moses’ rod to part the Red Sea. God’s people crossed over and their enemies drowned at the same place. Moses and the people were led and covered with God’s cloud by day and by night. God provided mana in the desert. Moses went on the mountain and spoke to God there. God gave him His laws and the plan to build the tabernacle. After the people sinned, Moses carried his tent outside the camp and the Shekinah glory came there. He spoke with God like a man speaks to his friend. God assured him of His personal protection. Even so, Moses wants more. This request of Moses reveals His passion to know God more, his great faith and holy boldness. Moses is grateful but no satisfied. This is a spiritual law: the more you know God’s Word, the greater revelation you shall receive. The more you pray, the more God will talk to you. “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Mt 25:29). Moses is concerned for the glory of God. He wants God to manifest His glory to men, that they may know Him better. This desire to see the glory of God among men is the primary reason why we pray for revival. This desire manifests especially when the enemies of God mock His name and despise us, His people. “Arise, O God, plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily” (Ps 74:22). The believer longs for the manifested presence of God as the thirsty deer pants for water in the desert. “As the deer pants (long for) for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” (Ps 42:1-3). Do you know this thirst? Do you desire a closer walk with God? Paul said: “That I may know Him…” (Phil 3:10). Don’t seek revival! Seek an intimate relationship with God! Revival is falling in love with Jesus again!
Moses prays: “Please, show me Your glory!” Please observe that God is pleased with this prayer of Moses! This is wonderful! God answers Moses but in His own way. Moses is ignorant of God. He does not know that he will die if he sees God. A glimpse of the glory of the resurrected Christ blinded Saul of Tarsus on the spot. God says that no man can see His glory while still living in his body on earth. To see God’s glory, the man will die. The Son of God became a Man on earth. He hid His glory with flesh. Once men killed Him on the Cross, the glory was revealed. That glory on the Cross killed all sinners. That is the power of the Cross. But for all who believe that Jesus died for them, they receive new life! God tells Moses that he will answer his prayer partially. God places Moses ‘in a place by Me’. That cleft in the Rock is called Christ. We are protected from God’s judgment in Christ alone. God places His hand over Moses and passes by. Moses can see God’s ‘back, and not His face’. Many commentators describe revival what Moses saw that day: a passing, a glimpse of God’s glory on earth, a foretaste of heaven. Here you see that revival has a beginning and an end. As the passing by of God’s glory and goodness, so revival is described. Each time God touches you personally, supernaturally, three things happen: you will never forget it, you will never be the same, and you want more of God!!! Revival is supernatural. For revival, you need to experience hunger for more of God. You also need to pray!
Moses saw the glory of God passing by. The glory of God is manifested mostly as the Proclamation of God’s Name (in the act of preaching) and as the Goodness of God. In Hebrew, the word ‘goodness’ means God’s best, His favor, Beauty, and Prosperity. God is good! His mercy, His justice, His peace, are all good! God tells Moses that He shows mercy and goodness by His Grace. It is a free gift. He gives it to the humble. He gives it to the elect. Nobody has a claim on God’s favor. “God made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel” (Ps 103:7).
Oh, that we may desire to experience God’s goodness in our lives! No man knows God completely. All we know about God is from God self-revelation, that comes by His Grace. The greatest revelation of God is found in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected is the glory of God! What Moses prayed was really this: “Please, show me Christ!” Apostle Paul said: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:5, 6). The Glory of Christ in the Gospel is revealed: the glory of His Person and the glory of His Word for the salvation of sinners. When the glory and goodness of God passed before Moses, we see the revealing and the concealing of God. This manifests in Christ. His flesh concealed the glory of His Person. On the Mount of Transfiguration, the glory of the Son of God was revealed for a short time. The hand of God protecting Moses was the Cross. By His death, Jesus covered our sins and made peace between man and God. What a Savior! Worship the Lord!
The child of God… his path (is) blazed by God, he’s happy. If he stumbles, he’s not down for long; (for) God has a grip on his hand.
-Psalm 37:23, 24; TM
We are building our new sanctuary. Most of the work is done with the willing volunteers from the church. They are lovingly called ‘the men of valor’. The women in the church have decided to cook daily for the workers. This holy project is on for about two years. Every day one of the women cooks for about 50 men. This is not a small job. The men like ‘heavy’ food. Here, in Nigeria, it is called ‘eba ’and it is made from cassava flour mixed with hot water. It becomes strong like a ball. It is eaten with different soups.
Sister Ufuoma was the one who cooked yesterday. Her name in the native language means ‘Peace’. This is the Testimony of Peace to the glory of God! Ufuoma is a godly wife, a wonderful mother of two and heavily pregnant. She also goes to the College of Education, intending to be a teacher. Yesterday, at lunch time, she came with the food to the site. She stopped the car close to the building. She went behind, opened the boot (trunk) of the car and brought down the heavy coolers with the hot food. Then she went back to the wheel, and, by mistake, she reversed the car. The car tires crushed the coolers, and all the food was wasted on the ground. The workers shouted ‘stop, stop’ but, somehow, she did not hear. When she saw what happened, she cried (of course). Then, she did what a woman of God should do. With tears on her face, she entered the car and drove back to the market, bought the meat and all the stuff, went home, and cooked again. Before the brethren closed for the day, at about 6 pm, to the shouts of ‘Jesus!!!’, sister Ufuoma was back to the site, with new coolers, hot food, and all!!! Praise the Lord!!!
Clearly, this labor was not easy. She had every reason to just cry, apologize to the brethren, then go home and sleep. But she could not ‘declare defeat’. God gave her the grace and the strength to redeem the time and make the best out of a hopeless situation. She obeyed the command to conquer evil with good. She could do all things thru Christ who truly strengthened her! By now, you realize that I am very proud of my spiritual daughters. To God be all the glory!
(This testimony happened in 2013 when we were building our sanctuary; see picture bellow)
In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God! If I stumble, I do not fall, for God’s mighty hand grips me! I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me! My testimony of an overcomer is sure! Praise the Lord!
“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering… Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded… You will receive what He has promised!” (Hebrew 10:32-34)
Dear child of God, you are commanded to remember the beginning of your Christian life, when you were persecuted for Christ’ sake. You should remember the time you told your unbelieving family and friends: ‘I gave my life to Christ! I am now a born-again Christian…’ Because of this confession of faith your world as you knew it then mocked you and rejected you. It was very painful. Do you remember it? Can you share with me some of it? The Bible commands you to remember that peculiar pain of the past. The Bible is not commanding you to remember your ‘sweet’ times of success and breakthrough with Jesus. But the Bible tells you to remember the pain of that new beginning when you died to the world and the world died to you. The Holy Spirit uses this holy remembrance to build up your confidence in Christ, to reward you and to bring you to the place where you are able to receive the promises of God! Remember the price you paid for your first Love and you shall receive the answers to your prayers! Remembrance is directly connected to reward and receiving of miracles! Selah!
Let me be more personal… When I married my husband, he was my ‘first love’. Later, after I became saved, Jesus became my FIRST LOVE, and my husband, was my second love. He too did the same. Jesus was his FIRST LOVE and I, his wife, became the second love. Praise the Lord!
As I get older and more mature in Christ, I am able to pray more, to make better choices, to avoid sin faster and to stand stronger for the truth. But there is still this tendency to become proud because of my spiritual accomplishments. Comparing with who I am now with my life as a beginner in Christ, I see that in the past, my life was full of mistakes. And there were a lot of unnecessary tears… There is this temptation to forget from where I started, to ignore my spiritual roots as a baby Christian. But I need to fight this pride by going back to re-visit my first love. This morning I remember how I first fell in love with Jesus Christ, my Lord… I remember and I worship Him!
What is the lesson? From time to time, it is good to remember the way you started this Christian race. Do you remember how for the first time you discovered that behind this natural world there is a complex spiritual realm? Do you remember your ‘sinner’s prayer’? Do you remember the joy when after a lifetime of spiritual blindness and foolishness, your eyes suddenly got open? Please do not forget the anxiety, the desperation that preceded the joy to be called a child of God! Then there was this strange battle over your soul. The devil commanded the forces of his dark kingdom to fight you, to stop your prayers, to block your progress. For a moment you thought that you will fail to stand your ground. But when all outside natural support failed, when friends and family disappointed you and ran away, when darkness pressed you down and arrested you in its chains, when you could not breathe and thought you will surely die, then the light of God broke thru the clouds of despair and love lifted you to the place of victory, to taste of its glory. Do you remember the taste of grace, the fragrance of glory imparted to you, a baby Christian? Darkness does not tempt an unbeliever! Darkness only fights the child of God. Darkness cares not for its own. Darkness is a wicked mother. All her children suffer! All her followers hate the children of light!
This morning, pray that your spiritual eyes may be open. Pray for spiritual sight in the name of a Jesus! The devil will fight this prayer, but he will lose the battle. Darkness can never understand or quench the light of God. Even a little candle wins against a room full of darkness. So, shine your little light wherever you go. Your words, your testimony, will bring life, truth and freedom to all people who come your way. This is indeed your greatest privilege, to be a witness for The Lord, you who are the royal seed of heaven planted in this earth.
Also, remember! God is faithful! From the beginning to the end, God is faithful! From your youth to your old age, God has been with you! The grace of God upon your life is your best possession! This morning, as you remember the beginning of your testimony as a believer in Christ, give thanks to God! Praise the Lord!!!!
THE DOCTRINE OF REVIVAL (4)/ GOD DELIGHTS IN MERCY
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Doctrine of Revival (4)/ God delights in mercy (Micah 7:18). Her main text was taken from the Book of Psalms, Isaiah, Habakkuk, and Micah. “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10). “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:11). “Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence—as fire burns brushwood, as fire causes water to boil— to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, the mountains shook at Your presence. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him” (Isaiah 64:1-4). “O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2). “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me… Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham, which You have sworn to our fathers from days of old” (Micah 7:8, 18-20).
Revival is a miracle; it is a phenomenon! Revival is a visitation of God’s Spirit to the Church. It affects even the unbelievers. Revival is defined as the unique, sovereign move of God, the Holy Spirit, coming down to earth in a dramatic way, changing people and nations. It manifests as a heartfelt return to God and His commandments. Only God can produce revival. The Holy Spirit does two types of works: the regular work (convicting people of sins, the process of sanctification, helping people to understand the Word of God…) and the extraordinary work, which is called ‘Revival’. From time to time, in the history of the Church, the Holy Spirit manifested His power among the believers in a most unusual way. The believers became filled with the Holy Spirit, signs and wonders multiplied among them. The overflow of this move of God affected all people. Many surrendered their lives to Christ and the Church became stronger. During revival the Holy Spirit recovers the basic doctrines of salvation, especially the justification by faith, by Grace, thru Christ alone. Revival can happen to an individual believer, to a family, to a church, or to a geographical area. True revival changes the history of a city or a nation. Great social changes start to happen. Righteous laws are given and the nation changes for the better. God does more in one day of Revival than in hundred years or ‘regular’ church work! Selah!
Revival can be ‘messy. No man can totally control revival manifestations. The devil can infiltrate a church with fake manifestations to distract the believers from the genuine work of the Holy Spirit. The pastors need supernatural wisdom and discernment of spirits. Listen to what the great pastor and author R. T. Kendall said “I have prayed for revival all my life, but I wonder if I will recognize it when it comes. Will I be able to cope with the packaging in which God sends it?”. These are honest words.
REVIVAL MEANS THE CHURCH GETTING AWAKE FROM SLEEP, TAKING HER BATH AND WALKING IN WISDOM AND LIGHT!
Revival is a gift from the Holy Spirit for the church in particular. Revival has been described as ‘a community saturated with God” (Duncan Campbell). In revival the ‘sleepy’ church wakes up to please God afresh! “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore, He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:8-16).
The Church is ‘sleeping’. Most of the Christians are spiritually asleep. Not dead, but asleep! The reason is because they still love the things of darkness. Many believers have intimate ‘fellowship’ with unbelievers, with the shameful and unfruitful works of darkness. They are children of light, but they chose to partake from ‘the fun’ of darkness. What do people do in the night? They party, they commit adultery, they kill, and they steal! The believers go to church during the day and join those who do evil in the night. To protect them from greater harm, God puts them to sleep. That means they become weak and some, they die untimely death. It is better to sleep than to destroy your testimony. Many Christians are like this. Sleeping people are spiritually tired. They find it difficult to pray, to study God’s Word, or to attend the local church (especially the weekly activities). Revival means waking and walking in love, wisdom, and light! See the Church, not only in its dryness, but the way Christ sees it, glorious and powerful! You need to balance the present and the future vision to be able to pray for revival! Selah!
But not all believers are sleepy. There is always a faithful remnant who stays alert and awake even during the night. These are the ones who study God’s Word and ‘pray without ceasing’ (1Thess 5:17). They are the humble, faithful, and responsible servants of God! They pray day and night! “Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?” (Lk 18:7). It is their prayers that God answers to bring revival. Revival is not just a visitation of the Holy Spirit to the nations. Like rivers in the wilderness, Revival is God’s precious Gift to the local church. During and after revival the church gets stronger. God’s purpose for the church is to be the Household of God, the Pillar, and the Foundation of Truth (1 Tim 3:15). The Church is the Light of the world and a City on a Hill (Mt 5:14). The Church is the Bride of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ loves the Church. That is why He died for her. He now cleanses her with the Word of God. He does not cleanse the world, but only His Bride, the Church. “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:25-27). The cleansing goes on until she is perfect! Glory! During revival, you can see the difference between the believers (who are clean) and the unbelievers (who are unclean). Christ awakes His Bride and brings the Living Water to give her a fresh bath in the morning light! The preaching of correct Biblical doctrines supplies this fresh water and perfumed soap for the bath. Halleluiah!
Clearly, God’s plan is that the Bride of Christ is a blessing to the world. “The manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Eph 3:10-12). During Revival, people stop mocking the Christians and the Pastors. They see the glory and the beauty of the Church like never before! Wisdom gives us boldness to preach! May Revival come to Nigeria!
REVIVAL IN NIGERIA
About revival, God has done special work in Nigeria. There are two men that God has used in a particular way: Pa Elton and Apostle Babalola!
PA ELTON (1907-1987)
Pa Sydney Granville Elton was an English man of God, and a missionary to Nigeria. He was a towering apostolic and prophetic vessel in the hand of God specifically for Nigeria. When he was a young man growing up in England God specifically spoke to him to move over to Nigeria and locate a town by the name of Ilesha. He came and he found such a town. It will be his home for the next 50 years of his life (1937-1987). He never left Nigeria. He is buried with his wife at Ilesha. He is undoubtedly the father of the Pentecostal Revival Movement in Nigeria. Pa Elton had arrived in Nigeria in 1937 with a clear mandate to raise a new breed of leadership in the Nigerian Church, who, powered by the Holy Spirit, will take the message of God’s kingdom and the all-conquering King to the very ends of the earth. He lived in Ilesha which is about 30km from university town of Ile-Ife where he found a potent platform to impact and disciple young men and women who were students and lecturers at the University Awolowo. When he got to Ilesha, he became a part of an ongoing revival there led by Apostle Ayodele Joseph Babalola. He became the mentor of Apostle Babalola and to many other great men of God (Archbishop Idahosa, Pastor E.A Adeboye, Pastor W.F Kumuyi, Bishop David Oyedepo, Emeka Nwakpa, Gbile Akanni, Francis Wale Oke etc). His only daughter Mama Ruth, just like her father gave her life for the service of humanity in Nigeria. She got her Nigerian passport in her eighties. She refused to marry or move back to England. She too has done missionary work all her life. She is now 88 and still living in Nigeria. These are Pa Elton’s last words on earth: “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” These words were the strongest motivator for all that Pa Elton achieved in 50 fruitful years as the untiring vessel of a spiritual movement that was soaked as much in prayer as it was in prayer-inspired action. He and his wife are buried at Ilesa. Listen to his prophecy about Nigeria: “Nigeria and Nigerians will be known all over the world for corruption. Your name Nigeria will stink for corruption but after a while, a new phase will come a phase of righteousness. People from the nations of the earth will hold to a Nigerian and say, We want to follow you to your nation to go and learn righteousness.” To God be all the glory!
PROPHET AYODELE JOSEPH BABALOLA Ayodele (1904-1959)
Joseph Ayodele Babalola was born on April 25, 1904, at Odo-Owa in Ilofa, near Ilorin, in Kwara State, Nigeria. His father was the Baba Ijo (“church father”) of the C.M.S. Church at Odo-Owa. In 1914, his brother took him to Osogbo where he went to school. However, he quit school to become a motor mechanic apprentice. He soon joined the Public Works Department (PWD) working as a steam roller driver. On September 25th, 1928, he suddenly became restless and could not sleep. The next day, as he was working, the steam roller engine went off with no visible mechanical problems. He heard a great voice ‘like the sound of many waters’ calling him three times. The voice told him that if he does not go and preach, he will die. Babalola resisted the voice initially. Later, he surrendered to God’s call. He resigned his work at PWD. The same voice came to Joseph a second time asking him to fast for seven days. He obeyed and at the end of the period he saw a great figure of a man that resembled Jesus. The man in a dazzling robe spoke at length about his ministry. The man also told him of the persecutions he would face and assured him of God’s protection and victory. He was given a bell and told that evil spirit will flee at the sound of the bell. He was also given a bottle of ‘life-giving water’. He was told that he will pray for the water and any who is sick and drink that water, shall be healed. This is how he started his ministry. Pastors invited the young prophet who performed miracles of healings. Muslims and pagans got converted to the new faith and revival started. He said that he was not sent to start churches. At that time, he said that he is a member of Faith Tabernacle church in Lagos, where the leaders baptized him in water. He also went there to learn the doctrines of the church (one of their doctrines is rejection of all medicine, and only pray and trust God alone for healing). There was a division in the church. Some said you can pray but still take malaria medicines. Others said that only prayer is sufficient. The church spilt. Babalola went with the group that believed in prayer alone, which eventually became Christ Apostolic Church.
All people who knew Babalola agreed that he was a very humble man. Glory to God! The revival began in July 1930 with the raising by Babalola of a child who was dead for 4 days, at Oke-Oye, Ilesha. The mother of the dead child who was restored to life went about spreading the news that a miracle working prophet had come to the town of Oke-Oye. This attracted many people to see the prophet. Many of those afflicted with various diseases who came to Oke-Oye were healed. Many mighty works were performed using the prayer bell and the drinking of consecrated water from a stream called Omi Ayo (“Stream of Joy”). The result was that thousands of people including traditional religionists, Muslims and Christians from other denominations were converted to the Faith Tabernacle. As there was no space in the church hall, revival meetings were shifted to an open field where men and women from all walks of life, from every part of the country and from neighboring countries assembled daily for healing, deliverance, and blessings. Within three weeks Babalola had cured about 100 lepers, 60 blind people and 50 lame persons. The Anglican Churches in Ilesha were left desolate because their members transferred their allegiance to the revivalist and that all the patients in Wesley Hospital, Ilesha, abandoned their beds to seek healing from Babalola. Hopeless barren women were made fruitful. The dumb spoke and lunatics were cured. The number of clear healings and miracles was never previously seen in Nigeria. Witches confessed and some demon possessed people were exorcized. Babalola said that God told him to burn the mighty tree in front of Owa’s palace. He said that the tree is a coven for witches. He burnt the tree down. People expected him to die. But he lived. That increased his fame. Babalola travelled all around the area. The revival spread to other places. The success of the revival was accelerated by the conversion of both the Oba of Efon and the Oba of Aramoko. They were both baptized with the names, Solomon Agunsoye and Hezekiah Adeoye respectively. Some people persecuted him. A warrant for his arrest was issued from Ilorin. He was arrested for preaching against witches, a practice which had caused some trouble in Otuo in present Bendel State. He was sentenced to jail for six months in Benin City in March 1932. Babalola got married and had four children. Two of his daughters are still alive today. To God be all the glory!
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH
Christ Apostolic Church is a distinctly indigenous African Church with headquarters in Nigeria, but with members spread across the world. We are the pioneer Pentecostal Church in Africa, with a membership base of presently over five million, made up of men and women, families from diverse sectors of the social strata. Our history is traceable directly to the definite outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Nigeria, Africa, in the great revival which began in 1930 through the ministry of Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola. The Church is renowned as a praying church, and we believe that healings, miracles, and other signs and wonders as recorded in the book of the Acts are meant to manifest today” (From their website).
The word ‘Aladura’ in Yoruba means ‘the praying people’. The first Aladura movement emerged from St. Savior Anglican Church, Ijebu-Ode, in 1918. The leaders in the church felt led to start vigorous prayer meetings. In 1919 they became influenced by the doctrines of the Faith Tabernacle of Philadelphia, to reject all forms of medicine, whether western or traditional. This led to a doctrinal conflict with the Anglican Church, and they were forced out of the church. The Aladura movement began as a renewal movement in search of true spirituality. A revival took place in 1918 during the influenza pandemic. The group claims to have used prayer to save many lives affected by the epidemic. This consolidated the prayer group. The movement grew gradually and formed branches throughout Nigeria. The name of the group went through several changes, such as Prayer Band, Precious Stone, Diamond Society, and Faith Tabernacle. A great revival started in July 1930 by the raising of a dead boy by Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola at Oke-Oye in Ilesha. People traveled from neighboring cities and countries to receive healing at Ilesha. Several people were healed through prayer. The revival lasted about 60 days and is regarded as the greatest revival ever in Nigeria. The C.A.C. believe that the spiritual power bestowed on Babalola placed him on an equal level with Biblical apostles like Peter and Paul. The Revival group went through additional name changes until they settled for Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in 1942. The Church established schools at all levels, including Joseph Ayo Babalola University. The Aladura Churches separated into two main groups: The Pentecostal and the Spiritualists churches. These are the main Aladura Nigerian Pentecostal Churches: Christ Apostolic Church, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Mountain of Fire Ministries, and Deeper Life Bible Church. These are the main Aladura Spiritualists also called ‘white Garment’ churches: Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim, Church of the Lord (Aladura), and Celestial Church of Christ.
THE SIN OF ISRAEL
“For among My people are found wicked men; They lie in wait as one who sets snares; They set a trap; They catch men. As a cage is full of birds, So, their houses are full of deceit. Therefore, they have become great and grown rich. They have grown fat, they are sleek; Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; They do not plead the cause, the cause of the fatherless; Yet they prosper, and the right of the needy they do not defend. Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the Lord. ‘Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?’ “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests, rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” (Jer 5:26-31). “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness; And from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore, they shall fall among those who fall; At the time I punish them, they shall be cast down,” says the Lord. Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it” (Jer 6:13-16)
This is a description of the corrupt and perverse church leaders. They are greedy. They deceive people. They are more wicked than the unbelievers. They don’t care for the needy. They don’t care for the wound of the people. They refuse to repent. The congregation imitates their wicked pastor. Therefore, God will punish them, the leaders, and the followers. This corrupt religion is the state when people must pray for mercy, for revival. God says: “ask for the old paths, where the good way is”. Like Isaac, who opened the wells of his father Abraham, go back to the Cross. Repent, trust, and obey! This is the unfailing royal way of the Cross that leads to revival! Halleluiah!
THE CONDITIONS PRIOR TO REVIVAL (Exodus 32 and 33)
This is the story of how the people of God chose to backslide as a nation. They abandoned God and their leader Moses, to make for themselves an idol in the form of a calf. The glory given to God who brought them out of Egypt, they now give it to this idol. Aaron was their pastor. He could speak better than Moses, but he was a weak-willed man. The congregation convinced him to make them an idol. He was afraid to reject their request. Out of their gold earrings Aaron made for them an idol looking like a calf. This was the idol the Egyptians were worshipping. The choice of this idol was no accident. It was like the Egyptian god, Hathor, a bull goddess of joy, celebration, and love. You can see that they were out of Egypt, but Egypt was not out of them. Aaron’s weak faith resulted in national idolatry and the death of thousand of people.
God became angry. He threatened Moses that He will destroy them completely and make a new nation our of Moses. Moses intercedes for them, and God relents from punishing them immediately. Moses prayed something like this: “In wrath, remember mercy!” (Hab 3:2). This is a prayer for revival! God interceded for the people for the glory to God! Have you learned to argue with God? God was delighted with Moses. Do you know how to intercede with God? God said: “Come now and let us reason together!” (Is 1:18). God loves spiritual courage!
God always judges sin. The Judgment of God may come in a form of warning. This type of judgment is soaked with mercy and grace. The purpose is for the people to repent. Other times, the judgment is final; for example, a Christian who refuses to repent may experience sorrows or untimely death. A good example is the death of Ananias and Saphira (Acts 5:1-11). Here there is no grace at all.
God then tells Moses to lead the people to the Promised Land. God said that He will not go with them anymore, but He will send an angel. Moses again intercedes that God should lead them and not an angel. God calls the people ‘stiff- necked’. The word means more than obstinate or rebellious. It means to be ‘perverse’. The word describes a stubborn horse that refuses to accept the rein on his neck and be guided by the rider. To be ‘perverse’ means a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable; opposing what is right, reasonable, or accepted; to behave strange and not what most people would expect or enjoy; to be corrupt (dishonestly using your position or power to get an advantage, especially for money).
When the people forsake God and His Law, God gets angry. This is a justified anger. God could have killed them all. Moses steps in as a Mediator. He intercedes with God pleading His glory and His promises. God has promised Abraham that out of him God will make a nation. Moses said that even with their sins, these are God’s people, made from Abraham. The enemies will mock God if He destroys them all. You see here the power of prayer, of intercession. Without a mediator, the people will die. When Moses comes down, he breaks the two tablets with the writing of God. The breaking of the tablets signifies that God has broken the covenant with them. Here you see grace when the covenant is broken. This grace is found in Christ alone. Moses has succeeded in his intercession. God will not kill them immediately. But sin has consequences. The leaders of the rebellion are killed. A plague kills some more. But the nation survives. This is grace! This is the story of revival!
The story with the golden calf is written for us as a warning.
“Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor 10:6-11)
God is holy. He always judges sin. God’s judgment manifests as death. The Levites killed 3000 people, that is all the rebellious leaders. God also sent a plague that killed more people. God also said that He will ‘blot out’ the names of the rebellious people out of His book. The people finally see how great their sin was. They stripped themselves of all ornaments and they mourned. This was a national repentance. This mourning for sin is necessary to pray for revival. At times like these, God raises great leaders! The Levites were raised at that time to serve God! They loved God more than their families. Moses becomes a great leader. He said: “God, if you do not save Your people, then let me die too”. Moses is ready to go to hell than to abandon God’s people. He is like Apostle Paul. “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh” (Rom 9:3). Do you care for God’s people? God tells Moses that He will keep His promise to give them the Promised Land, but He will not lead them over there. God will send an Angel. Moses rises to the occasion and prays again saying: “God, if you do not go with us, don’t send us from here! I don’t want blessings without You!” Then Moses gets bolder and says: “God, show me Your glory!” And God showed His glory and goodness. This is the passionate prayer that brings revival. The nation deserves to perish. We are sinners. We deserve to die. God is looking for people who know God’s heart, who know that old way of the Cross. They know that going on without God is death! They wait on God to come down, no matter how long it takes. This is the way to revival! Are you jealous for God’s revival? To see people falling in love with Jesus again! Christ died and rose again for us! This is the eternal Gospel! Its power is eternal!
For you to truly understand the Bible, you must read it from God’s point of view. If you feel sorry for the men who died, of for the weak-willed Aaron, or for the frustrated Moses, then you do not understand it well and you cannot pray for revival. You must listen to God’s heartbeat and feel God’s pain. He delivered His people from the slavery of Egypt to give them a good land, to make them worshippers. But they quickly forgot God’s kindness and wanted to go back to Egypt. They were impatient and ungrateful. This is wickedness. We are like these people. We forget God’s acts of mercy and His grace. We are commanded not to grieve the Holy Spirit. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30). It is only a Lover or a Friend that can grieve. Living in the center of God’s will is the only way not to grieve the Holy Spirit! Hallelujah!
All true revivals were preceded by times of terrible moral and spiritual decline and by a manifestation of the righteous judgment of God. God brings burden upon one or few people, the faithful remnant, to pray for revival. God uses these people to do extraordinary things. He gives them a prophetic anointing to call people to repentance. These are ‘the old paths and the good way’ There are too many ‘Aarons’ in ministry and too few Moses. In the US, in the churches there are more than 70 % unsaved people and that more 70 % of the pastors are not born-again.
What are the lessons?
1-Nothing is hidden from God’s eyes. God will hold people accountable for their sin. Especially the leaders! Repent of sin! Trust and Obey God!
2- Jesus is our Mediator! “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1Tim 2:5).
3- There is great value in passionate prayer and intercession.
4- God prepares and raises true leaders who will bring His people back to Him!
5- God delights in showing mercy. This is the great hope for revival! Pray for revival! Worship the Lord!
“Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a wise [insightful] wife is a gift from the Lord” (Proverbs 19:14)
There are two opposite women in the Bible; both were queens, and they married the same man. One was foolish and the other was wise. I am speaking about Vashti and Esther. The first was not prudent. She started the day with a party; she ended it exiled, outside of the palace. She did not see the danger of divorce and of losing her crown because of ‘a little disobedience’ to her husband. If she knew that her life would end in disgrace, she could have happily obeyed the king’s command. But Queen Esther, who replaced her, is the very opposite. She saw the danger of her people perishing. She fasted and prayed. She did not take the favor of God for granted. She did what she could to save the people of God. She is known as a godly queen and a prudent woman of God, an example, and an inspiration to many, to the end of the ages.
An excellent, prudent wife cannot be bought with money. She is a gift of grace to a man who will appreciate her. In the area of marriage, the rich are not better than the poor. What is most important is that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the home. Even the wealthy parents cannot provide their sons with gracious, wonderful, wise, and faithful wives. But they can pray that such a gift may find the correct address.
I speak from experience here… Spiritual wisdom is not an easy or cheap virtue. It took me many years to learn how to control my tongue in a way that will always glorify God. I wept often and I prayed hard for wisdom, prudence, discernment of spirits, and self-control. I asked God to help me not to be ashamed or have reasons to regret my speech, my choices, or my actions. I prayed that I will never be a liability to my husband and that he will never be tempted to regret marrying me. I refused to take our marriage for granted. I prayed to learn how to gain his trust by making wise choices as a wife and mother. I prayed that our children will not be ashamed of their mum. Please note that no unbeliever can ever do that. Their tongue is energized by demons and is ‘on fire from hell’. Even for a believer it is a long process, very difficult and painful. You must passionately desire to change the way you talk, the way you communicate. You must be ready to pay the price for that change, however big it is. But the reward is very great. God will bless you with an ever-increasing anointing and He will use you in ministry to teach, challenge and encourage many. May Christ be glorified in you! Amen!