Where Revival Begins

Ezra 10:7
“And they issued a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the descendants of the captivity, that they must gather at Jerusalem”

Imagine a scene where the leaders of the nation call its citizens to gather at the capital with the purpose of repenting from evil and seeking the Lord. Imagine the National mall filled, not with people outraged because they feel somehow neglected or mistreated by the government but because they have realized they are guilty before God and are there to plead with Him for forgiveness. Imagine what a powerful impact a revival of that magnitude would have upon the very fabric of society. That is exactly what happened in Ezra’s day. The people realized they had turned from God and were ready to make whatever changes necessary in their lives and families to restore right relationship with God.

What strikes me about this is how it started. We read that Ezra saw the condition of the nation, fell on his face, fasted, prayed, confessed his sin and sought the Lord to bring revival to the land. He prayed, “give us a measure of revival in our bondage.” All that followed stemmed from one man crying out to God and making the necessary changes in his own life. Before a family, nation, society or culture can experience revival it must begin in the heart of an individual. It has been said if we want to see revival we need to draw a circle on the ground, step into the circle and pray for God to revive the heart of the person within the circle. When that heart is revived and that person’s life begins to honor God we are well on our way to seeing revival break out across our land.

One man wrapped in the garments of sorrow over personal sin, crying out God for forgiveness can spark a work of God that will transform the face of a nation



Revive Me

Psalms 80:18
“…Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.”

The Psalmists describes Israel as a vine that was taken from Egypt and planted in a garden by the Lord. Unfortunately, the walls that protected it had deteriorated and the wild beasts began to devour the vine. This psalm is a prayer for God to restore Israel to its former glory. To do so, Asaph pleads with the Lord to revive the nation. The word revive means to be made alive, and to have that life sustained. It is illustrated over and over again in Scripture when the dead are raised, the sick healed, or the demoniacs delivered. It is applied here to the spiritual condition of the nation of Israel. We need the same work to take place in the church today. We need God to pour His Spirit out once again upon His people, that we might have a greater desire for God and be empowered to share the Gospel with a needy world.

Years ago I read a statement by Leonard Ravenhill. He wrote, “If you want revival, draw a circle on the ground, get in the circle and pray for revival to come to everyone in the circle.” The basic idea is,  for the church to be revived we must allow God to revive our hearts. I don’t know about you, but I certainly need God to light a new fire within me. I need to have the joy of my salvation restored, and I need a fresh and continual outpouring of His Spirit in my life. I want to see God work in my family, church, and community, so I need Him to work in my life.

Will you join me in praying for God to revive the man in the circle?

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 80

  1. “Restore us” is repeated in this psalm. What does restoration mean to you?
  2. “Cause Your face to shine upon us.” God’s face is shining on you, are you acknowledging it? How would your life be different if every moment, every word spoken, every though you have went through the filter of God’s face shining on you?
  3. “And we shall be saved.” Do you understand being saved by the Almighty God? If you do not, ask Jesus to live in your heart. Let God be the Lord of your life. Confess your sins and ask the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in your life. God draws all of us to Him, when we get close to Him, we must change to stay in His presence.


Cry Out

Psalms 61:1-2
“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You. When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I .”

We cannot be certain of the occasion that stirred David to write this psalm. It may have been a time of great difficulty, opposition or trial. He may have been facing severe attacks from Saul, the Philistines or one of the neighboring kingdoms. It is also possible the struggles he faced were not external. It may have been that David was engaged in that great inner struggle between his desire to do what is right in the eyes of God, and his own human weaknesses. Whatever caused the dilemma, he concluded that the only solution was to cry out to the Lord. Crying out to God should include at least three things.

First, we cry out for deliverance from whatever it is that is attacking us. We need to realize,  no matter what the cause, Jesus is the solution. If you are being plagued by consequences to your own actions, cry out to God. If you are being unfairly attacked because you have chosen to live for Christ, cry out to God. If you are under the stress of inward turmoil or temptation, cry out to God. He alone has the strength to deliver us from all things.

Second, cry out to God for forgiveness. Often the hardships we face are allowed by God to expose things that are amiss within us. We learn to justify sinful behavior or cover it up, as if we could hide it from the Lord. During times of great opposition, our own sinfulness is often exposed. Those things are brought to the surface so we can cry out to God for forgiveness. Sometimes, this can be done privately by dropping to your knees and confessing your sin to our Heavenly Father, who delights to forgive us. Other times, there is value in making your way forward at church and treating the stage as an altar, where you can cry out to God and confess your sin and recommit your life to Him.

Finally, we should cry out to God for more of Him. Difficulty reveals weakness and weakness should reveal our need for God. Our needs can be met when He pours His Spirit out upon us. Individually and corporately, the greatest need the Christian has is for a fresh and deeper work of the Spirit. Looking at the current condition of the world, as well as most Christians individually, I would say we are in need of revival. We need God to pour out, from heaven, a larger measure of His Spirit upon His church. Join with me as we cry out to God to be filled again with Holy Spirit.

Pastor Jim



2 Kings 24:3
“Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done.”

The final chapters of 2 Kings tell the story of the death of a nation. After having a glorious beginning, and being miraculously sustained for a thousand years, the nation of Judah is defeated, the Temple destroyed, and the people taken as prisoners of war. These chapters record their collapse from heaven’s perspective. It was not caused by economic failure, a weak foreign policy, or because Babylon was a superior foe. Judah’s demise was simply a consequence of national sin, “…because of the sins of Manasseh…”

Certainly our nation is facing some very trying times. While the economists, sociologists and politicians dispense reasons for the social calamities we are facing, heaven sees the same symptoms, with an entirely different diagnosis. The problem is not the economy, our foreign policy, or the weakness of our borders. Our problem is sin. We, as a people, have left the ways of God and are reaping the consequences. The solution for any person, family, or nation is to turn back to the Lord.

This does not mean we go back in time. To become a godly people in no way implies technology or advances in science are wrong. It means we stop redefining sin and righteousness, and live according to the of the Word of God.

The place to start is in our personal lives, and in our homes. If we want to see a nation transformed, it will begin with you examining your own life, and being sure you are living to please the Lord. Instead of bickering about all that is wrong in the world, take some time to examine yourself, in light of the Word of God, and make any changes that are necessary. As your life is transformed, you will find God uses you to impact others for the kingdom of heaven.

What we need in America today is a revival, and it starts with the believers turning their lives over to the Lord.

Pastor Jim


It’s Time 

1 Kings 15:12-13
“And he banished the perverted persons from the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. Also he removed Maachah his grandmother from being queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of Asherah. And Asa cut down her obscene image and burned it by the Brook Kidron.”

We recently had a friend visiting who we had not seen in a number of years. One of his first comments was how much our children had grown. When he last saw them, they were pre-teens, now they are young men. He was shocked at how they had changed, in what seemed to be such a brief period of time. For us, the changes do not seem quite as drastic, because we are watching what happens from day to day. It is only when we bring up a photo or video that we see how much things have really changed.

This same thing was true of the moral condition of Israel and Judah. Gradually, over the reigns of Solomon and Rehoboam, the nation drifted from the precepts of God’s Word, and became more and more like the surrounding nations. Morality slipped, and what was once considered obscene, was now commonplace. While these changes may have come gradually, they needed to be addressed quickly and decisively. As Asa came to the throne, he began to immediately address the sins of the nation. We read that idolatry, perversion and obscenity were removed from the landscape of the nation.

It is high time that we, the church of Jesus Christ, pray fervently that those who rise to power would have the courage to stand against the rising tide of immorality. We are living in the times that Isaiah described, where people are calling evil good and good evil. We need to see God raise up men and women who will stand for what is holy, godly and right. That being said, I suggest, of equal and perhaps even greater importance, is that each of us would take the Word of God seriously in our personal lives. Instead of always looking outward at what is wrong with the world today, we would take a look inward, and allow the Word of God to operate on our personal lives.

A move of God, that stirs revival, is always the greatest deterrent to the flood of immorality that spreads across a nation. Revivals have always begun when individuals are moved by the Spirit and the Word of God, to commit themselves completely to Christ. The question that remains is, “Will you be an Asa. Will you be willing to commit yourself and your home to live devoted to Christ?” It is high time we remove the perversion and obscenity from our own lives.

Pastor Jim


When Leaders Lead

Judges 5:2
“When leaders lead in Israel,
When the people willingly offer themselves,
Bless the Lord!”

After defeating the enemies of Israel, Deborah and Barak led the people in a song celebrating the Lord’s victory. This song gives insight into how things are accomplished within the Kingdom of God. It is clear, it was a work of God. We read, “The Lord went out from Seir, . . .” It is also clear, the works of God are accomplished when people are willing to step out in the service of God. The key to Israel’s victory was leaders who led, and people who willingly offered themselves. We know Barak was a bit reluctant to lead; he would not go unless Deborah joined him. None the less, he went. As these two stepped out in faith, countless others rose to the challenge, devoting themselves to the service of the Lord.

Things within the Kingdom of God have not changed. God’s method to accomplish His work has always been through those who willingly offer themselves to Him. If we look back and study the revivals in history, we always find they started with an individual, or small group, who devoted themselves more fully to the Lord. As they stepped out in service, others were impacted. The band “Leeland” put a poem from the Great Awakening to music, the chorus says,

“One man wakes, awakens another
Second one wakes his next door brother
Three awake can rouse a town
And turn the whole place upside down”

We will never know what God may want to do through our lives, until we surrender ourselves to His service. We may be on the verge of another great move of God, but it will only be revealed, as we share Christ with the world around us.

Pastor Jim