Pastor Ian shares a word today titled ‘IF’ based on 2 Chronicles 7:14 that begins ‘If my people…’
Additional Text: Jonah 3:1-8
The verse in 2 Chronicles is God’s promise that those who turn from their sins; call on Him and walk in His ways will experience a revival of the presence and blessing of the Lord.
Those who meet the conditions detailed in this verse will experience the promises set out in this verse.
The context of Chronicles, is the returning exiles needing to know who they were. In the preceding book of Kings, the people needed an explanation as to why they had been sent into exile.
But in Chronicles they knew why, they just needed to be encouraged and sent back to the land to reinstate the walls of the city and rebuild the temple.
The statements found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 are conditional, it begins with ‘If’ that word introduces a conditional clause to whatever follows.
’God was speaking specifically to the returning Jewish people, a people who were a people of covenant promise, a called/chosen people and probably most of us watching are not ‘Jews’ means ‘Praise’
Romans 11:11-24 Paul speaks at length about this grafting ‘…you. although a wild Olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root (richness) of the Olive tree.’ 17
Ephesians 3:6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
God gave four conditions and assured us that He will visit us, if we fulfil these conditions. So what are the four conditions of this invitation to revival?
1.Will humble themselves…
This phrase deals with the area of our pride. It speaks of a people thinking more of themselves and their abilities than they do of Yahweh (Name of Covenant) God.
How can you tell if you have a pride problem?
- Pride refuses to listen, it always interrupts others.
- Pride likes to talk about itself all the time.
- Pride has an intense desire to be noticed.
- Pride believes that it deserves everything it gets.
- Pride is not thankful.
- Pride cannot be corrected.
- Pride does not like to follow instructions.
- Pride exalts itself in the presence of others; it brags.
- Pride criticises and tries to make itself look better by putting others down.
- Pride thinks of its own needs first.
God has a better plan a better way to live. He calls on His people to ‘humble themselves’. The word ‘humble’ means ‘to bend the knee; to bring down; to place self under another.’
You know we can pray and not have revival but we will never have a revival apart from prayer!
Prayer acknowledges a personal, profound dependence upon God. We do not have revival because we do not pray! And, we do not have revival because we do not pray as we should. James 4:2-3
The Holy Spirit works things to happen.
3.Seek His Face…
We are told to “seek His face”. This little phrase is a call for God’s people to stop looking for help and purpose in every other thing in life. They are called upon to make God their primary focus and their first priority.
Revival does not come to people who seek revival; but to people who seek God!
Far too many people are caught up in what God can do for them. But, seeking His face means that we hunger for Him more than for what He can do
The essence of genuine revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again, Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8;
When anything but God is the number one priority in your life, you are out of balance and you are not a candidate for revival.
It’s Jesus for Jesus sake, having Him for no other reason other than He is Jesus and He alone is the Gospel. It all begins with Jesus.
John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
When our focus moves from ourselves to Him, our world immediately becomes brighter.
4.Turn from Their Wicked Ways
Lastly, God’s people are told to “turn from their wicked ways.” That is, they are to forsake their sins and embrace holiness.
Repent – Greek word is metaoeō and means to ‘Change one’s mind.’
Word used in Chronicles is the word Shuwb and means to ‘Turn back, Return.’
Revival will come when God’s people adopt the attitude that gripped the hearts of the people of Nineveh. They dealt with their sin problem and God moved in a great revival.
God promised Israel that He would ‘hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ That is a description of divine visitation: God hearing; God cleansing and God working.
The first thing we are to do humble ourselves, first way God will respond is to ‘hear from heaven’ It is significant that the first promise God has made is one of access.
‘I will forgive their sin.’ The word forgive means to lift and remove a heavy load.
‘I will heal their land’ God has told us what we are to do which will result in healing in the land. Let’s do it one by one, person by person, believer by believer.
Take time to understand carefully what God has to say in this time and do whatever we need to do, so that the obstacles to revival do not hinder us.
Jesus told his disciples Apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Let’s should stop being so full of ourselves and realise that whatever we have, we have because of God and not of ourselves.
God will visit when His people reach a point of desperation.
When we surrender that pride, the idea that we can do pretty well on our own and we get down on our knees and admit things are not as they should be, then God will come to His people in fresh revival power.