The Way Ahead
Are we ready? Walking in total obedience and a deeper prayer mode are highlighted as Baptist minister Don Attenborough concludes a three-part series on revival
Part one: Preparing our hearts for revival
Part two: How to prepare our lives for revival
Walking in total obedience
Did you know we can walk in the second best for years through living for self and not for Jesus? I know that from personal experience, but God waits to “…restore the years the locusts have eaten.” This is his promise to us always, and this text has been much on my mind of recent. (Joel 2:25)
I have served in the Church since I was 15 years old and have preached many sermons. I have undertaken almost every leadership role that Church life requires. I have been a youth leader, worship leader, home group leader, deacon, Sunday school teacher and Sunday school superintendent, a pastor for a number of years, and more. I have seen spiritual renewal with my own eyes and God moving powerfully in many people; at times I have so felt the presence of God that I desired not to leave that moment and like Duncan Campbell during the Hebrides awakening I have prayed that I might be taken then and there to glory.
But but I now see a lot of this activity for God as second best for my life because I was not walking in total obedience, yet nonetheless by his grace that activity was blessed. I believe things could have been so different if I had lived as close to Jesus as I should have been! You may be feeling the same, yet remember the text just quoted and draw near to God so he can draw near to you and thus you can find the years restored to you for further service for the kingdom!
God wants to take you deeper and use you in ways that will amaze you
As I have said already, I believe Jesus is coming soon and because I know he loves his Church I believe God will not forget our country and will have mercy upon us before judgement day arrives; he will send the rain of spiritual revival. This is what I constantly pray for and I long to see in my lifetime.
Some years ago I had a vision along with many others from around the Christian community in this country; it was of a map of the UK with lights reflecting God’s glory in various parts of our land; suddenly those lights came together all around our coastline and God’s glory shone everywhere! Was this just a dream of revival or was it the reality of things to come? I cannot say, but God is merciful.
Many of you have been prepared by God to hear this message today. Your spirit may be leaping within you as you read these words. God wants to take you deeper and use you in ways that will amaze you! He is waiting for you to say, ‘O Lord, will you meet with me, will you bend me to your will! He wants to root out sin so that your spiritual life may advance; he wants to see your love for him, your spiritual life and your prayer life, reach new depths!
When the prayer meetings in our churches and homes become the most well attended meetings, we will probably be in the midst of revival and yet not realise it; I often think we only know revival retrospectively, when we look back and remember the great things the Holy Spirit did in those times.
I heard one dear saint say, “I think God wants us to live all the time in revival.” That person is probably right as I indicated earlier. I believe the church falls behind in its relationship with God, and that renewal and revival happen suddenly bringing us up dramatically to where we should be in our spiritual lives.
God waits to hear our cries
We need to get into a deeper prayer mode and plead with God to root out our sin, and when we have got right with the Lord and assurance of salvation has come again, plus refreshing new joy in Christ has been restored to us, we will need to go on to remind the Lord that he does not want any lost, that he promised to pour water on the dry ground.
It is time to shed tears for the nations lost, our neighbours, our friends our loved ones before God’s coming judgement on this world for its sinfulness and rejection Christ Jesus. God waits to hear our cries for our land that he might pour out his Spirit again in mighty revival!
Those of you who have faithfully prayed over the years for revival are, I believe, about to have your prayers answered, but more prayer is needed! The prayer of faith never gives up! “Call to me and I will answer you and I will tell you unsearchable things you do not know.”
The cost of revival is absolute surrender to God!
What to expect in revival
Lastly, let me say that in revival, or any move of the Spirit of God, there will be an overflow of emotions. There is always great weeping over sin and great joy over forgiveness and assurance of it during revival; there will always be many different visible signs of the Holy Spirit at work, and of course there will be the inevitable counterfeit of Satan ever present to spoil and destroy, but let God do his work as he wants to do it and be careful not to be in a hurry to speak out against what he is doing in case you find your self resisting the Spirit and being rebuked for it. (Acts 5: 39)
If God is working the devil will be working as well, therefore watch out for the counterfeit, but be understanding of the effects of a holy God working his will as he moves in the lives of the saved and unsaved. As Jesus moves afresh by his Spirit in revival some manifestations may seem strange as he deals with sin, as he deals with demonic strongholds that have been holding people captive and as he sets people free. Hearts will melt with gratitude and emotions will run wild with indescribable joy, so let God do it his way!
Revival depends on God alone, but the Lord will respond to his people’s heartfelt prayer for his Church to be renewed and revived and for the unsaved to find salvation.
God also uses those in revival who are ready and willing to be his instruments! Are we ready?
God's Will is Whatever: Elevation
Landscape: Vladimir Kudinov /Unsplash (text added with Pablo)
The full text of this three-part series can be downloaded as a PDF
Don Attenborough is a Baptist minister