Key To Bible Revival By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the Fire came down from Heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house.” (2 Chronicles 7: 1, 2)
Almighty God stated: “If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways: Then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will HEAL their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)
Great Evangelists have called this portion of God’s Word, ‘The Blueprint to Revival.’ They were right on target. It is needed to be studied and put into practice more now than ever! My prayer is that we will all respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit and by is grace alone put His Word to work in our lives!
1. HUMBLE OURSELVES - The Bible says: "For thus saith the High and Holy One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:15)
"But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble: "and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourself therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5,6)
The Bible says: "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 8:13; 16:18)
2. PRAY - Jesus taught His disciples to pray (Luke 11:1-4). He admonished them to pray to our Heavenly Father in His name and promised that He would answer: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:23,24)
Praying is a prerequisite to receiving God's blessing: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:13)
Historically, revivals of great magnitude come only through people seeking God in fasting and prayer: "And when they had heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, Thou art God, which hath made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in then is:
"And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word, by stretching forth Thine hand to heal: and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Thy Holy Child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness." (Acts 5:29-31)
Jesus admonished: "men ought always to pray, and not to faint. And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them." (Luke 18:1,7); "Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mark. 11:24)
St. Paul declared: "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17); "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." (1 Timothy 2:8); "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Romans 8:26)
The Bible says: "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." (James 5: 14-18)
3. SEEK GOD'S FACE - In his powerful 'Mars Hill message on the 'Unknown God', St. Paul stated: "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move and have our being." (Acts 17: 27,28)
The Holy Record says: "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that seekest after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:10-12,18)
The Almighty states: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will turn hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 29: 11-14)
The prophet Daniel stated: "And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments:
"Neither have we hearkened to Thy servants, the prophets, which spake in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land." (Daniel 3:1-6). God dispatched the angel Gabriel with the answer to the prophet's request.
The Scriptures say: "For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, seek ye Me, and ye shall live. Seek good, and not evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God will be gracious." (Amos 5:4, 14,15)
Millions of people are being deceived by the 'New Age Movement', which is in fact, old-time occultism! Here is God's Word: "And when they say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits (witches, clairvoyants, fortune tellers), and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter (spiritualist mediums): should not a people SEEK unto their God? (Isaiah 8:19,20)
Jesus said: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
4. PEOPLE MUST TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS. The Bible says: "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (Isaiah 57: 6,7)
WHY DO PEOPLE NEED TO REPENT? The Bible says: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17: 9); "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." (Mark. 7: 23) St. Paul preached that people "should repent and turn to God, and do the works meet for repentance." (Acts 26: 20)
John the Baptist and our Lord preached repentance and faith. (Matthew 3: 1-3; Luke 13: 3). Jesus taught His disciples to do the same: "And they went out and preached that men should repent." (Mark. 6: 12)
St. Peter emphasized: "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2: 38); "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3: 19)
The Bible says: "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead." (Acts 17: 30,31)
Everyone should consider the great love of God that is reaching out to this sin-sick world. How could anyone turn away from such love and mercy? We were all lost in sin and rebellion - sinners by birth, nature, and choice! And then, the Creator became one of us to save us from our sins. The Bible calls that grace, unmerited favour. (Ephesians 2: 8,9).
God’s goodness leads to repentance (godly sorrow for sin) that brings forgiveness and real change in people’s lives! (Romans. 2: 4; 2 Corinthians 7: 10)
BY GRACE ALONE - THROUGH FAITH ALONE - IN CHRIST ALONE!
The Bible says: "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace. Now it was not written for his sake (Abraham) alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." (Romans 4: 16-25)
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2: 8,9)
Here is a true story that pin-points the truth of the incarnation - God the Son, True God from eternity and True Man - wrapped Himself in human flesh by being born of a virgin, so that He could suffer, bleed and die in our place, as our substitute and thereby meet the demands of Divine Justice.
THE ATHEIST & THE GOOSE STORY
"There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised her children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments. One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.
"That story nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left, and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening.
Then, he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then, another thump! He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently, they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.
The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open door and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly or didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on. Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.
"Why don't they follow me?" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud. Then he had an idea. He went into the barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn - and one by one the other geese followed it into safety. He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier: "Why would God want to become like us? That's ridiculous!"
Suddenly, it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized. As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly, he understood what Christmas was all about, and why Christ had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!" - author unknown
LET THE HEALING BEGIN IN YOUR LIFE - THERE IS HELP
HURTING PEOPLE - AND THAT HELP IS JESUS CHRIST!
Jesus said: "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11: 28) That is exactly what we all need - God's rest and peace in our spirits, minds, and bodies. Christ is the answer to this sin-sick world! My prayer is that you will cry out to our Heavenly Father in Jesus' precious name for mercy and forgiveness, peace, and healing.
MY FRIEND - MAY JESUS CHRIST SAVE, HEAL AND MAKE YOU WHOLE. Amen.