The Sin that Hinders Revival

Posted: January 16, 2014 in Personal Evangelism

Recently, a pastor friend forwarded to me a blog article by a leading Evangelical Convention entity. As I read the article I couldn’t help but think that this denomination havs gotten away from the Great Commission Mandate in our hearts first, in our churches second, and in our denomination third.

Isn’t that how a person loses his or her way, and sin creeps into a person’s life? It begins with a thought or denial that a problem exists, then the thought or problem begins to consume the mind, eventually the consuming idea or problem becomes an action, the action becomes a lifestyle or way of life. I have heard and read on the internet all about the need to return to the Great Commission. Instead what has become evident is a further distancing from Jesus Great Commission mandate over the years.

Before we see a revival in our churches, each person needs to be broken over his or her sin. The statement is ever so true, “Confession is good for the soul.” Psalms 3:5 ESV says, “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”                  

God is willing to forgive our sin, but we must take the first step by acknowledging our sinfulness. If we continue to conceal our sin and not confess it to God and seek His forgiveness, we as individuals, our churches, and our denomination will not be successful. But far more serious than success, we will be out of the will of God. Proverbs, 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”  

I attended a Christian leadership training this past week. I was reminded that “no one leader is more important than God.” But every individual in a ministry leadership position will be accountable to God one day, 2 Corinthians 5:10. So what we say, what we do, and how we live is in plain view of God. Our motivation for leading and implementing strategies, and change best be for the glory of God and not our kingdom.

Revival needs to begin with each person before we see God’s Spirit move. When reading the Old Testament we see that when God removed His hand from a disobedient generation it was years before God sent a “redeemer”, an individual or country to release them from captivity. In the Old Testament, when the priests and leaders of Israel strayed from following God, the nation soon followed in their footsteps.

Our denomination has been in decline since about the mid 70’s and it is still in decline. We know what we need to do. The question is are we willing to do it. Confess our sins to Almighty God and seek His forgiveness. We need to get back to basics, praying for God’s will to be done and not ours. We must stop making plans and then asking God to bless them. We must begin praying that God bless us and give us His plans!

We must pray and ask God to once again give us a heart for evangelizing and making disciples who evangelize. We must teach the basics of the early church New Testament, Jesus is Lord and Savior, and that He has commanded us to go make disciples of peoples. He will build and add to His Church. We must make, mark, and mature disciples. Evangelism is making disciples. When we communicate the Gospel people are in the process of becoming a disciple of Jesus, they just do not know it at the time. We pray God opens their minds and they choose to follow Jesus.

God’s plan for advancing the Gospel through the early church included taking the gospel over a span of 1,500 miles by sea, solely by word of mouth. The early church did not have Gospel tracts, internet, television, Bibles, bill boards, or mail outs or established churches. What God did use was the lives, and the mouths of men and women like the Apostles Paul and Peter, Silas, Barnabas, Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila, and the many martyrs who are not named in the Bible to spread the Gospel. God’s plan was a thirty year strategy to get the Gospel from the city of Jerusalem where it began, and to the capital city of the known world at that time, Rome.

We must ask ourselves, “What would it take us today to spread the gospel from the Atlanta, Georgia to Los Angeles, California in thirty years?” The distance is 2,200 miles, and we have over 40,000 churches. As mentioned earlier, the Apostle Paul had to first establish the churches along the way.

Brokenness if the first step to moving toward a closer walk with God. The question is are we willing to set aside our pride and admit we have a problem. Confession is the first step toward seeing God’s Spirit move and bring revival and a spiritual awakening. God’s Word say, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9.

We must pray. We do not all have the same sin, but we must admit the sins are many. Revival will only begin with prayer. What are some sins that maybe you may be trapped in and you need to confess?  This is not an exhaustive list:

Pride, bitterness, telling lies, gossip, selfishness, arrogance, greed, and lust. Forgive me for my lack of evangelism, my lack of praying, and my lack of reading Your Word. Forgive me for not making You a priority, and forsaking to worship You. Father, give me a burden for lost people, and a passion to tell others about Jesus Christ.

Would you pray and ask God’s forgiveness and to restore you?

Father God, I have sinned against You. Please forgive me for my sin of (you fill in the blank) _____. I want to return to you in total obedience and humbly ask for Your Spirit to fill me this day. In Jesus Name. Amen.

I have already prayed and confessed in a similar prayer. I will continue to pray that God would pour out His Spirit in and through us so His people and churches get right with Him. And through our brokenness, confession and restoration that we see tens of thousands of lost people come to faith in Jesus Christ.

NOTE:

By the way, I did not plan to bold in red the sections are in red. When I cut a pasted these sections from Word into wordpress.com they automatically popped up that way. I tried several times to change them. But then I figured God wanted it this way.

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