Welcome to Calvary Albuquerque.
We pursue the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do this with one another through worship by the word to the world.
Good evening. There was a lady who, working at a church, went to the pastor's office and knocking on the door said, I have to put this stuff in the safe but I don't know the combination. And the pastor said, you know I don't remember it either but let's go there together. And they went into the room, and it's a little floor safe, and he kneels down, and he's spinning the dial, and he does this. And he looked down and he opened the safe and then said, wow pastor you're really a man of prayer.
And he goes combination's on the ceiling. Sometimes we can really look godly, but we're not. I'm not saying the pastor wasn't a godly man, I'm just saying he had the wrong appearance at that point. In the nation of Israel, there were many times that they thought they were godly and they many times they thought that they were doing the right thing, but they were blowing it and God brought judgment.
So tonight I want to talk about the things we need to do to stop God from bringing revival because that's what the nation Israel went through. In the Book of Judges-- this is a time of about 400 years. God, having brought them out of Egypt through conquest of the promised land, now has them there. And for this period of 400 years, it says that they would initially be worshipping God and then they would rebel, and God would bring judgment into the land and they'd realize, oh, this is not what we signed up for.
So they call out to God, God would send to deliver and deliver them. And you're all good, you're all worshipping God, this is all great and this is all great. And then pretty soon they stop worshipping God and they start rebelling against God. Seven times in the Book of Judges-- seven cycles-- repentance, revival, religion, rebellion, judgment, repentance, revival, religion, rebellion, judgment-- seven times.
They come to the end of the Book of Judges and said, you know the reason we have this problem of every man always doing what is right in his own eyes is we don't have a king. If we had a king, we'd be good like the other nations. Well there are problems with having a king, but they did get one and they rebelled. So the 10 northern tribes get wiped out in 722 BC by the Assyrians. The two southern tribes are taken into captivity in 586 BC.
And here's where we're picking up the story. It's this nation-- the two northern tribes have been lifted out of their land, everything is destroyed because they rebelled against God. They're in captivity in Babylon, and the sons of korah write psalm 85. So in psalm 85, these people who had said we used to follow God, God used to bless our nation, we rebelled against God, God allowed our nation to just go the wrong way, we're paying the consequences. How do we get it right?
And they write this psalm. In psalm 85, one through three, they begin with God has brought revival in the past. It starts like this. Lord-- verse one-- you showed you, notice the past tense, favor to your land. You restored the captivity of Jacob. How many times had they blown it? How many times in the Book of Judges had they walked away? How many times did they cry out and God restored them? And he's looking back saying, we've blown it before. We've messed up before.
But Lord, you showed favor to your land and you restored the captivity of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people, you covered their sin, you withdrew your fury, you turned away from your burning anger. So here is a group of people whose parents-- and maybe even them-- had, for the most part, forsaken God's ways. Had, for the most part, gone their own way and God let them reap the consequences of their sin, even to the point of judgement and chastisement, and they finally woke up.
Now, here's a question. How many of us at some point in life got hit by a curve ball and said, oh god? Right? How many of us came to the Lord because of a curve ball? There are some things that happen that drive our attention upward more than others. Well, captivity in Babylon was working on them. So here they are looking up. What does it take to make us look up? This made them look up.
So the first thing they did is they looked up and they said, God's delivered us in the past. Everything is really bad right now, but God's been faithful. So let's remember his faithfulness. I want to do a brief history of revivals in America because Israel can look back and say there were revivals. Did you know that in the United States, which is a nation a little over 200 years old, there have been 10 major revivals? 10. The nation, our nation, has turned its back on God before.
Our nation has faced hard times before. We can look in our history and we can point to stuff that we've done, but all of that to say 10 revivals. The first one was called the Great Awakening. It happened in 734 through 743. It lasted about nine years, you've probably heard of people like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield. Our nation was founded on we're going to worship God. Our nation left that, we were morally corrupt, the Great Awakening happens.
So people went from the rebellious to a relationship, and that's where it goes. I have a relationship with God because the one forgiven much the same loves much. The woman at Jesus' feet, wiping his feet with her hair as her tears washed the dust off. When Jesus said, the one forgiven much the same loves much and we go into this relationship. But what happens is relationship soon turns into religion.
And it's about you need to do this, you need to do this, you need to do this, you've got to stop doing this. Relationship of love turns into religion of rules. And you know what? I don't like the sign that says wet paint, don't touch. You know what I'm talking about? I don't like to sign to says speed limit, and I don't care what it says because I don't like rules. I don't like to be told what to do. You know what I'm talking about? Does anybody here relate to that?
Don't admit to speeding because they have police officers here and they'll follow you later. Maybe not. Maybe so, but when a relationship becomes religion and we have the rules, we rebel. You ever rebel against rules? Any of you-- any of you grow up in a home? You ever rebel against the rules? Got it. Rebellion has consequences.
Growing up in a home, that was usually-- I had an uncle who said I'm going to take you outside once a week and I'm going to take you to the back. We're going to get this belt, you're going to get a whooping. I have no idea what you did, but you know. And you know what? When it was done, I think that was nothing compared to what I deserved. But-- and you all know what I'm talking about, too, because rebellion has consequences.
Have you ever-- I'm going to get a weapon, I'm so sorry. I promise. OK. When the whooping comes, repentance comes. And then there's a relationship, and then there's religion, then there's rebellion. So we had the Great Awakening. The nation forsook God again. Then we had what was called the Second Great Awakening. You've heard of Charles Finney. Happened in 1800, lasted a couple of decades. And things were good-- relationship, religion, rebellion.
The next Great Awakening occurred in the 1860s. It was called the Businessmen's Revival. It started with the businesses of America. Things were good, the nation came prosperous, relationship, religion, rebellion. The next revival was in the 1860s, it was called the Civil War Revival. The next revival was in the 1870s, it was called the Urban Revivals. You've heard of Dwight L. Moody. The next revival was in the early 1900s-- 1900 and 1905. They called it the Mass Evangelism Revivals. Have you heard of Billy Sunday?
The next great revival occurred just after Billy Sunday, it was called the Azusa Street Revival in LA. It was the beginning of the Pentecostal Movement. The next great revival was 1950, it was called the Post-World War Two revival. It gave birth to the Pentecostal movement, Campus Crusade for Christ, Billy Graham, Christian Businessmen's Association. Of course, it didn't last.
In the 1950s, they had the College Revivals pretty much because of the Campus Crusade. And in the 60s and 70s, they called it the Jesus Movement. That's when your Pastor Skip, my pastor-- me. We were ushered into salvation. So the last revival in this country ended about 1975. Do you realize this country has had one revival every 25 years? Except for this time. We're a little over 30 years from the last revival. It's overdue.
So the nation Israel looked back and said, hey God's saved us in the past. Maybe. I'm saying look in our country. Every 25 years, God has stepped in because the church woke up. But it's been 30 to 35 years since the last one. What's going on? We're overdue. So back to psalm 85. He said, God has brought revival. And while they were in judgment they thought, why don't we ask him if he'll do it again. I mean, sure. It would be a good prayer.
So in verse four of psalm 85 he begins with, restore us. O God of our salvation and cause your indignation toward us to cease. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all of our generations? Will you not revive us again that your people will rejoice in you? Show us, oh God, your loving kindness. Lord grant to us your salvation. Wow.
So God has brought revival, God can still bring revival. And the characteristics of every brought revival that God brought to the nation Israel and us have always been the same-- the timing. It was a time of great moral decline in the country where it wasn't safe to walk the streets for women, marriage vows weren't being kept, it was ugly. People were fighting and putting each other down in class warfare, and ethnic warfare, and moral debauchery. Debach-- debauchery.
So that was always the backdrop of revival. Do you think we qualify? Oh, there's another. The church started saying, we need to pray for revival. And it wasn't just this church, it was the church. They said, we need to start praying for a revival. Not, let's pray for a good potluck this Sunday. It's like one person-- the teachers asked the different religious groups to bring something to represent their faith, and a Jewish boy brought the star of David and a Catholic brought the rosary, and a Baptist brought a cover dish. Why?
Oh God, I hope they like this cover dish. People started saying, let's pray for revival. Not the covered dish. The word of God started becoming primary again. People started to say, what does God say. Not, what is your opinion. People started saying, I need to walk in the spirit-- the Holy Spirit became primary. Instead of the third person step sister of the Trinity that we don't talk about, the Holy Spirit became-- if we are not spirit empowered, we have no power.
There became a great conviction over sin, and people said, I need to turn from this. It became for the glory of God, not the glory of a man and his fellowship. God, I don't care who gets the glory. You need to save us. And it always resulted in the society being changed. Massive manifestations of contemporary worship. I mean, during these revivals they always came up with new songs.
And they took bar songs and turned them into the hymns. Now we think the hymns are holy, but the Christians up here on the stage-- man, they got lights and stuff. They're all, like, bad. It's like, worship. Kick it with your generation. Except for country western. That's just wrong. They were always messy, controversial, because the established religion never liked what was going on with that other group. I can remember when Calvary was first started. They brought guitars into the church-- electric, and drums.
And these other churches were saying, this is wrong. You sleep with the devil! It's like, really? And all these young people with long hair, and hippies, and bare feet were coming into the church and saying this is awesome. And the established churches were saying, no. This is incorrect. And those guys-- one church established-- they actually kept a barber on staff so if any young person got saved, they could cut his hair.
Cause this one guy was going to college and couldn't afford a haircut, so every month he'd go up to the altar call and get saved again. Free haircut, man. Talk about Jesus, cut my hair, we're good. They were always controversial and messy, and they're always cyclical because we begin by falling in love with Jesus and then we get caught up in religion. Have you ever gotten more caught up in religion than relationship? Then we move to religion and people see the hypocrisy of religion and they rebel.
And once they rebel, they reap the consequences of that rebellion. Have you ever reaped consequences? You know, it says God loves his children and chastises them. Whoa, I love that verse. Got to underline and mail it to all my friends. So, I pray that God's love will manifest itself on you. Yeah. I know I'm not going to do that. So we've had a revival every 25 years except for this generation. It's been 35.
So I want to talk about how do we stop that revival from coming because you know we're doing pretty good at keeping it away. So how do you prevent revival? There are four things we can do to prevent revival from coming. You know want to know what they are? Cause if we do these, we can make sure that no revival comes and we're doing pretty good. But let's make sure we know what we're doing.
The four things that we can do to stop revival start in the Second Chronicles, chapter seven. Let me back up and say this is a promise to the nation of Israel, a theocratic kingdom. We are the church, a spiritual kingdom. We're different, however whenever the principles of this verse have been applied throughout church history-- from the time of the apostles on-- there has always been revival.
Though the verse is specific to Israel, the principles and the spiritual life of God's word transcends and works-- no matter what culture you put it in, or what time, and what place, and Second Chronicles chapter seven begins with, they had dedicated the temple. Solomon just completed, they spent seven days-- they're sacrificing and praying. Well, seven days purifying the temple and all of that and then offering sacrifices and praying that God shows up.
And it's like, I'm here. This is my house. I'm going to stay. Oh, but if you all rebel-- if you all decide not to obey me-- I'm going to mess you up, I'm going to judge you, you're going to get whooped. All right. That's a loose paraphrase. You can check that out. And then it says, if I've sent the pestilence among the people then-- it's an if, then-- if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then from heaven I will hear and respond.
Forgive them of their sin and heal their land. Four ifs, one and. Well, how do you prevent revival? Well the first is pride is the enemy of revival. It starts with God's people-- if my people. It's not, if those politicians, if those police, if that other denomination, if my wife, my husband. It's not if out there, it's if here. They were first called Christians in Antioch. Christian meant little Christ because they were imitating Christ.
If my people, who are called by my name. So who's responsible? Me. So as long as I make sure it's them-- it's the woman you gave me type thing. As long as I'm blaming others, we're good. I can just ignore the rest of the verse.
But if I'm going to take responsibility and be responsible for my own actions and stuff like that, like my mama used to tell me I need to do. Grow up, take responsibility. Uncle, take him outside. Well, you know. Not that that had to happen, but it was regular. The first-- you're all laughing, but there's somebody out here saying, yeah I got that uncle. Or they're saying, I'm that uncle. So, whatever it is.
Sometimes my sister would get in trouble-- you ever heard of a switch? How many of you have heard of a switch? OK. How many of you have never heard of a switch? Look around, folks. They've never heard-- that's when you go outside and you get a piece of the tree that's still green, about this long. You rip all the branches off, and it's a switch. Bap! Whenever my sister would get in trouble, I'd say, mom do you want me to go get switch. Yes. I was a helpful child.
Pride is the first. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves. See, pride is the first enemy of revival and humility is the opposite of pride. Pride is the great wave swelling up, full of itself and nothing else. I don't need to bow before God, I got this. It's all about me, anyway. And that was what the first Adam was. I'm not going to serve God, I'm going to serve me. Not thy will-- don't eat of the tree-- my will. Do what I want.
It was the second Adam in the Garden, another garden, who said not my will, but thy will. Which Adam do I want to follow? My will, thy will? Which prayer? The early church started great. It's about 30 AD, in acts two it says they devoted themselves to the teaching, the apostles, and the communal life. That's connect groups, just so you know. Let's just change that up.
They devoted themselves to teaching of the apostles and to connect groups. To the breaking of bread-- oh by the way, there's a kiosk out there on connector groups. To the breaking of bread and to prayers. Awe came upon everyone-- not just Christians, everyone. And many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believe were together, they shared all things commonly. If they had property and another had need, they would sell things that divide among others who had need.
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple and to breaking bread in their homes. This is awesome. Just a few years later, it's 90 AD and the apostle John writes a letter called the Book of Revelation. To the Church of laodicea, I have something against you. It was only 30 years ago that they were being blessed, and prospering, and growing and everyone's in awe. He says, ah, ha, ha, ha. Didn't take long.
You are saying I'm rich, and affluent, and have no need of anything. I got this. You don't realize that you're naked, and wretched, and pitiable, and poor. Saint Peter's Basilica was built, one of the greatest marvels of the Christian church. And the pope, bringing some of the saints of the time through said, look at this place. We no longer need to say silver and gold have I none. To which the response from the group was, that's true but we no longer say in the name of Jesus rise up and walk, do we. So who am I?
If I'm proud, it's all about me it's not about Him. And you know, God hates pride? There are six things the Lord hates, seven are an abomination to Him. Haughty eyes, lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that are quick to run evil, the false witness who utters lies, and the one who sows discord among his brethren. Each sin is a result of pride. God says, the fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride, arrogance. These are the evil way. They perverse the mouth.
When pride comes, disgrace comes. But with the humble, there's wisdom. Every proud heart is an abomination to the Lord. Be assured that none will go unpunished. Pride goes before disaster. A haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be humble with the poor than share the plunder with the proud. Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest fighters of his generation, and one of the things he did was he would banter with people a lot-- he was very articulate.
And he had boarded a plane along with others, he was going up and down the aisle talking to the various patients-- patients. If the plane crashed there would be, but to the other passengers. And as he's talking to them, the stewardess comes up and says, Mr. Ali we're about to take off. You need to take your seat. And he says, hey, Superman don't need no seat belt. And she said, Superman don't need no plane. You need to sit down and put on your seat belt. I like that stewardess.
How can you tell if you have a pride problem? Well, you know, there are 10 questions I can ask. I'm going to run through these. 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-- you owe me. Pride is not thankful because you just give me what you owed me anyway. Pride does not like to be corrected. Tell that to a two-year-old. Stop it. Pride does not like to follow instructions.
Pride exalts itself in the presence of others-- it brags. Pride criticizes and tries to make itself look better by putting others down. Pride will always go to its own needs first. If I say yes to any of those things, I might have an issue that I need to take before the Lord and say, uh. You know, God has a better plan because if I don't humble myself, I won't see revival. I can just stay proud and not see revival, but God's better plan is to humble yourself.
To humble is to just bend the knees and say, I am not God, you are. Humility is basically saying, I'm not God. It's not my will, it's thy will. Jonah was told to go to the Assyrians, a people he didn't like, and tell them God's going to judge and destroy your nation. Jonah didn't want to go because he wanted the nation to be destroyed. Well, God kind of had an interaction with Jonah. It involved a fish, and you know-- have you ever heard that some people get sick on seafood?
Well, the fish ate him and the seafood got sick on people. But nevertheless, Jonah-- the second time God says go, it's kind like OK. Has God ever had to tell you to do something more than once, by the way? The second time Jonah says, I think I should. Jonah shows up, he's walking through this massive city and he's not even giving hope. He's just saying, 30 days. You all are going to die. Crispy critters, judgment's coming. Ha! But think-- but he just came out of a fish.
I mean bleached white, hair's messed up, and one of the gods of the Assyrians was the fish god. So I can just see this thing swimming up and going blah, and this guy comes out saying, you're all going to die. They're going, oh no. So the king-- the king-- the people of Nineveh believed what God said. And they called a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.
When word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from the throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, sat in ashes, and issued a proclamation and a decree. Everyone-- do not let man, or beast, or flock taste anything. Do not let them eat or drink water. All must call on God earnestly and turn from their sin if He, perhaps, will not judge us. And the greatest revival in scripture happened here.
That's the only time a whole nation came to the Lord at one time, and they were the greatest wicked people in scripture at the time. Pride removal steps. They gave up everything to call on God and say, please spare us. Again, Laodicea. I'm rich, I've become wealthy, I don't need anything. She said, you need to acknowledge that you are naked, and wretched, and pitiful, and sore, and you need to get on your knees and say, God will you clothe us with your righteousness instead of my own.
Jesus said, I'm the vine, you're the branches. Apart from me, you can do nothing. It's not by might, it's not by power, but it's by my spirit. And when we get our plans, and our stuff-- and I'm not saying don't plan. I'm not saying don't organize, but it's God's spirit. Paul said, I planted, Apollos watered, God gave the increase. The humility that says, I can't be proud. God didn't save me because I was all that, God saved because He has mercy on a sinner.
Two men went to the temple to pray, one said, God I thank you that I'm not like other men. I am a religious elite. I fast, I tithe. I'm not like those sinners over there. And off in the distance was the publicant saying, oh God be merciful to me, a sinner. Jesus said, that was the man who went away justified. So who is the church today? So the first enemy of revival is pride.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves. So if we stay proud, we don't have to have a revival. OK, so that's step one. We can stay proud, don't humble ourselves. The second is prayerlessness. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray. Pray. See, prayerlessness is the cousin of pride. See, if I don't need God to do anything, why am I going to ask him.
Prayer is the acknowledging that my need is not partial to fill in the gaps, it is total because I can do nothing of myself. As Jesus said, of myself I do nothing. Prayer. Real prayer. You lust and don't have, you commit murder and do not get, you are envious and cannot obtain. Oh, James said this about Christians. Ew. So you fight and you quarrel. You don't have because you don't ask, and you ask and don't receive because you're asking from the wrong motives that you might spend it on your pleasure.
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach him how to pray he said, pray like this-- our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. He started with, submit to His kingdom before you bring your prayer list. Now we are to take everything to God. We are commanded to do that. Everything by prayer. Exemplification, let your request be made known to God. That's true, but my question is-- and this is kind of convicting to me.
When I look at my prayer list and I look in my prayer journal, how much of it is about God make my life comfortable than God your kingdom no matter what? How much is it God bless my bank account, or my health, or my relationship? How much of it is make my life comfortable, rather than God Your kingdom and whatever it takes to make me more holy rather than to make me more happy?
I don't like that holy prayer because then He's got to purge out junk. Purging junk is hard. Just bless me because I'm me. Prayer. In Nineveh, the whole nation fell into prayer. Nehemiah saw another revival. On the 24th day of the month, the sons of Israel all assembled-- fasting, sackcloth, dirt upon themselves, separating themselves from sin, stood and confessed their iniquities.
I had to ask myself what my prayer life was like, and I wasn't really happy looking at my journal because my prayers are more about me than about His kingdom. But then I thought, hey if I don't want revival I'm good. I'll just keep my journal just the way it is. If my people will humble themselves first, and pray second, and seek my face.
The third enemy of revival has to do with priorities. What is my priority in life? And seek my face. To seek is to search diligently. There was an older Christian and a younger Christian, their backyard pool, just standing in the water talking. And the younger person said, how do I know when I'm really seeking God. The older person said, come on over here. Let me show you.
So I just want you to float on your back, and I'm just going to support you like this. He says, you're on your back. OK. You got it? Feet up? Yeah, he says. OK, I'm going to show you how to seek God. He put his hand on his chest and held him underwater. And eventually, the air is coming out and he lifts him up. He says, what was that about. He says, when you want God as much as you wanted air, you're seeking Him. Don't know that I've ever wanted God that much.
And seek my face. The idea of seek my face is not just to try to find something you can look at. Seek my face is look at the things I'd look at. What is my priority? Seek my face, seek my way, seek what I want. Look at things the way I look at them. Jesus talked about these priorities-- sermon on the mount.
He says, you toil, and you labor, and you worry anxiously for your clothing and your food. Look at the lilies of the field. They do not toil, they do not spin, and yet I say to you that Solomon in all of his glory wasn't as arrayed as beautifully as these. And today they are, and tomorrow they're thrown into the fire. Look at the sparrows. They don't plant and gather into barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth more than they are?
And then, Jesus says in 6:33-- Matthew 6:33-- but seek first-- first priority-- His kingdom, and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added. See, the problem is I'm usually seeking the things and my prayer life is to dictate to God how He will give me the things I want rather than seeking Him and just let the things fall into place. And if I'm seeking His kingdom and going after Him with everything that's in me, I don't have to worry about the other stuff.
But when I'm seeking the stuff, I don't get the stuff and I miss Him too. Priorities. Seeking Him brings results, seeking results misses Him and the results. Seek the Lord while He may be found. How do I know what the number one priority of my life is because the Bible says anything that's a priority above God-- they call it a really bad name. They call it an idol. An idol is anything I place before God.
Now in the nation Israel, they'd make little idols and they'd do the little statues, and the stuff, and they'd bow down and worship them. But an idol is anything more important to me than God, and it doesn't have to be a bad thing. People say, well drugs, and alcohol, and murder, and mayhem and-- it can be a good thing. I might say, I need to work to provide for my family. And that's a good thing, but I get so busy into working to provide that I don't spend time with my family, so I've lost the very thing because my work became my idol.
Physical fitness. I might want to eat right, and diet right, and exercise right, and sleep right. That's good, we should do that, but that can become my idol. So now I spend more time about taking care of my physique than taking care of God. So it doesn't have to be a bad thing. An idol can become a good thing. I have children, and I want my children to be perfect. Well they are, of course, because they're mine, but we want them to be. You know what I'm saying?
And so we invest everything to make our kids all of that. And it's like sometimes you just, like, let them be kids. Let them play. You know, they're three years old and I've already got them in school learning how to do computer programming. Stop it. Give them a magnifying glass and show them the ant hill. Tell them if you get the red ants and put them over by the black ant hill, it's entertainment for hours. Take away their iPhone. No.
How do I find out if I've got an idol, and how do I identify it? Well, you know, there are a couple of questions. I ask myself these questions and then I felt all kinds of convicted, so I might as well ask you too. See if it has the same effect. What am I preoccupied with? What is the first thing on my mind when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing on my mind when I go to bed at night? That's my idol. I'm not going to talk about that one.
How would I answer this-- if only I had this, I would be happy and content? I don't want to answer that one either. Paul says, I have learned whatsoever state I'm in therewith to be content. Because he was-- his belongingness was in the Lord, and he was content with the circumstances. But when I'm saying the circumstances are what I need to make me content, then I'm-- I've got an idol.
What do I want to preserve or to avoid at all costs? Where do I put my trust? You've heard the old saying-- in God we trust, all others pay cash. Where is my trust? What do I call upon for deliverance? What do I fear most? I remember one time, without even going into it, there was a time in our lives-- and my wife's sitting here in the front row-- I said, you know what I really fear is this. I sure hope it doesn't happen. What happened out here, it's like God why did you do that. Were you listening?
I still fear it, but I did go through it at least once. When a certain desire is not met, do I feel frustrated, anxiety, resentment, bitterness, anger, depression? Lash out? God owes me this. I mean, I served in Sunday school. I should not be sick ever. Is there something I desire so much that I'm willing disappoint and hurt others in order to have it? You know, I had one of those conversations with my wife recently. You know one of those conversations where they talk and you listen? You guys know what I'm talking about?
And she pointed something out that had become a blind spot because it was something that had become my priority more than my family. It was a one way conversation, but it made changes. Huh, sweetie? OK. Because when you say what's wrong and they say nothing, just saying. But my wife doesn't say nothing, she says you want to know.
And one time we had one of those one way conversations and I was reading my Bible the next morning and I had left the Bible on the bathroom sink, which I never do, and I didn't know about the passages in the Bible. And I guess the passage on the page dealt directly with what-- at any rate, next day she's like, you've never left the Bible open like that before. I want to know why. I was-- proverbs 15, I think, and it was the 15th of the month and so I was reading the chapter.
It wasn't about a nagging wife, it was just the 15th. You're laughing. That's not funny. I'm like, no, honey. Honest. Why? Are you upset? It was nothing. Misplaced priorities, having an idol, whatever is number one in my life as long as I make it something other than God I can prevent revival. So so far I know as long as I don't humble myself, and I only pray for the things to make me happy, and I make other things a priority I can keep God from having revival. That's awesome. OK.
So pride is a first enemy of revival, prayerlessness is the second, priorities-- misplaced priorities-- are the third. Presumptuous-- presumption is the fourth enemy of revival, and this is probably where we tend to go wrong the most because He says, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face-- this one's hard-- and turn from their wicked ways.
Oh. You mean I got to, like, forsake sin and embrace holiness? I mean, that's hard. Israel was presumptuous for two main reasons. God, when Solomon made the temple, said this is my house. I live here They said, well God will never destroy His own house. And there was a descendant of David on the throne and God had said, there will always be a descendant of David on the throne. And they said, we got the temple and a descendant of David. It doesn't matter what we do. God will not judge us.
So they just presume that God had tied his own hands and would not judge them because we got the temple and we got David's son or descendant. I fear that the church thinks that we're OK because Jesus died on the cross and he promised forgiveness. And that is so true, and there is not a sin that has been committed that cannot be forgiven if we call on the Lord. But I want you to know that the very first message of the New Testament with John the Baptist, he started with repent. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The first message of Jesus was repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The first message of Peter was repent. And Paul said, turn from your wickedness. The early church had a problem with something called antinomianism-- anti being against, nomos being the law-- antinomianism basically meant it doesn't matter what I do because I'm forgiven. I mean, I prayed the prayer. I went forward. I said I'm sorry. And it's almost like as long as I say I'm sorry, it's OK. The Bible doesn't say, say you're sorry.
The Bible says godly sorrow works repentance. Sorrow merely says, I'm sorry I'm caught. Biblical sorrow is to repent. So presumption is just assuming God must forgive me every time I say I'm sorry. No, God wants to forgive. God wants to save. But if I say I'm sorry with no intention of changing? If I say, you must save me but I will not repent? If I say, I'm going to continue in my wickedness?
Paul said, there are those who have taught that I teach. Let us continue to do evil and sin that God's grace would abound. I can do whatever I want because the guy's going to forgive me. And Paul said-- this next line is harsh-- their damnation will be justified. Well that's pretty harsh, Paul. Let's go to someone like Jesus. I wish that you were hot all in or cold all out because if you're lukewarm, I'll spit you out. That's pretty harsh.
I fear that the church today presumes upon the grace of God and doesn't repent. James says, you believe in Jesus Christ. You do well. The devils believe, they tremble. They believed, and it made a change. The early church, of the reformers I mean, came up with a three-fold thing to define belief. They called it an notitia, assensus, and fiducia-- knowledge, agreement, and trust.
Knowledge-- Jesus died for my sins. He rose again the third day. I have knowledge of that. The devils have knowledge of that. OK. Got the part. I believe that's true. The devils believe that's true. The result in them is a trembling fear that humanity could be plucked from their grasp and saved by the Almighty God and there's not a thing they can do about it because they will face the judgment of a holy God for their own rebellion, and they tremble. But my fear is that so much of the church stops right there.
I believe, but the third aspect is trust. Repent, the kingdom of heaven. Trust is to say, I am leaving my way behind and I am going Your way instead. That's repentance. That is a change from my past to my future. Not, well you know what. Sexual immorality in the church. Divorce, affairs, are rampant. Premarital sex, please. Pornography? Drug use? Those are the biggies.
Criticalness, putting down people, ripping off our employers by spending more time on the internet surfing on social media than working on the projects before us, arguing, back biting, pride. I can list a whole bunch of ugliness that when I look in the mirror I can see. I'm not trying to rebuke you, I struggle with these. Can I really presume upon the grace of God to say it doesn't matter how I live because I believe and I can do what I want?
Paul said, if you want to live like that your damnation will be justified. That's harsh. The Lord's hand is not short that he cannot save, nor is the Lord's ear deaf that he cannot hear. But your sins have separated you from Him. And because of his sins, His face is hidden-- because of my sins, His face is hidden and He does not hear. Sin means that God does not hear me. If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear. So I'm hating my brother, but I'm asking God to do things for me.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination. The Lord is far from the wicked, but He will hear the prayers of the righteous. He who stops obeying and turns his ear from listening to the Lord, even his prayer, is an abomination. These are harsh words. I read these and I say, this is-- Jesus, you're just like all love and stuff. No, no, no, no, no. There's just two parts to God. He's a holy God. He is willing to love, and to forgive, and to bring me into his presence in spite of who I am.
But I have to be willing to turn from who I've been to become what He wants me to be. Hypocrisy in the church. No more excuses. If God is God, serve Him. If not, walk away. But if God is God, why would you serve anyone else? If God is God, sell out. No more games. It's not just my salvation, look at the world we're in. The effectual affair of a righteous man avails much. Revival will never come to a presumptuous people.
So, what are the enemies of revival? Pride, prayerlessness, priorities about me, presumptuousness about God's forgiveness for my sin. And if I keep these up-- it's been 35 years since the last time God stepped into this nation and turn it around upside down. I saw the Jesus movement. We talk about-- I was there. I saw it. I saw it change from the ground all the way through the political system. I watched our nation turn around, and then I got religious.
The results of revival. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then from heaven I will hear, respond, forgive them of their sin, and heal their land. Hearing means hearing and doing. God, make my life comfortable. God, I and my people-- we have sinned against you. Revive us, oh Lord. Whatever it takes. Heal their land means to stitch back together, put it together properly.
In psalm 85, the sons of korah talked about what it looked like when revival came because God can-- God has. God can, but what happens when God does? Lord, you have shown us Your loving kindness and granted us Your salvation. I will hear what God, the Lord, will say for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones. But don't let them turn back to their sin or their folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him that glory may dwell safely in their land.
Loving, kindness, and truth have met together. This one my favorite parts in all the scripture-- righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The holiness of God, the righteousness of God, and the peace of God kissed on the cross. And they can kiss in the land. Truth springs from the earth, righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the Lord will give what is good. Your land will yield its produce, righteousness will go before Him and make His footsteps proper. Are you a candidate for revival?
Two questions. If you don't know the Lord, this doesn't matter. If you don't know the Lord-- Jesus said that hell was made for the devil and his angels, but if you don't know the Lord that's your destination. There's no salvation, there's no hope, there's nothing. And what does it matter if you gain the whole world and lose your eternal soul? So if you don't know the Lord, that's something you need to come to grips with. You're going to sacrifice your eternal soul if you don't acknowledge Jesus as Lord. That's what he said.
When the service ends, there are going to be people up here. They can talk to you about that-- how do you come to the Lord. I'm not talking as much about that tonight as I'm talking about the church. If I'm God's people, am I willing to pay the price? No one builds without counting the cost. Am I willing to pay the price? Am I willing to humble myself before the Lord so that He can lift me up? Am I willing to pray seeking His face rather than trying to dictate how God makes me happy?
Am I willing to make the priority seeking His kingdom first, rather than seeking my own happiness? Am I willing to stop presuming on God's forgiveness and actually repent from these things that I hold onto? Am I? I was putting this together and I had to ask myself this. And I look around at the world that we're in and the direction we're going and I say, you know Lord, it just-- so and so will get an office. It's like, no. If you would just get on your knees, God will tell me.
Pastor Skip recently talked about the Christian and politicians and politics because we're in that season, and he published this card, had it handed out. It was a daily call-- a call to daily prayer and fasting. Now, it was written specifically for the 2016 election but on the other side of it it's how to pray and fast. You know, Nineveh were 30 days from absolute judgement-- like Sodom and Gomorrah-- and God brought revival and saved an entire nation. 30 days.
This is a great thing I can put my Bible, holds my place while I get my remote and watch TV. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways then from heaven will I hear, forgive them other sin, and heal their land. And Jesus said, I'm going to build my church and the gates of hell are not going to prevail against it. Are you in? I think I need to talk to God tonight about this, huh?
Father, I know You love us and I know You want what's best for us. But Lord, sometimes we can't see what's best for ourselves. It's like raising our children. They always want to eat ice cream before the vegetables. Oh God, help us. Like the man who wanted Jesus to heal his child, he said oh Jesus I believe. Help my unbelief. God, I believe and yet I fell so short. Spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. Revive me, Lord, that I might seek first the kingdom of God and Your righteousness.
And then all these other things, you'll add them. But Lord, we're 35 years out. Please God, save us. In Jesus' name.
What binds us together is devotion to worshiping our Heavenly Father, dedication to studying His word, and determination to proclaim our eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
For more teachings from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig, visit calvaryabq.org.