What Is Revival? (Habakkuk 3:2)

March 12, 2023 | Brandon Cooper


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good morning church. Go ahead grab your Bibles open up the Habakkuk chapter three Habakkuk chapter three near the end of the Old Testament, if you’re struggling to find it, we will just be in verse two this morning. Habakkuk Three, two, as you’re turning there, the year is 1903. We are in walls non Korea, were medical missionary named are a hardy has been battling doubt. He’s been struggling in his faith. And yet he’s been asked to speak to a group of missionaries who are gathered for prayer, etc. on prayer, specifically on Luke chapter 11, verse 13, where Jesus promises to give His Spirit to those who asked for him. And so as he gets up to speak, he’s he’s convicted looking at this passage and confesses to the group that he has relied on himself instead of on the spirit. This is not a huge confession or anything like it was pretty common, I would guess. And yet, his example moved to the other missionaries, who had not seen this sort of confession before. And so they began to confess, they took the spirit of confession back to their congregations Hardy shared with his congregation about it. And the Korean churches were strengthened and encouraged by this example from the missionaries as well. And they began to confess to in this movement of confessions spreads, still spreading a few years later when Japan annexes Korea in 1905, similar to what Russia is trying to do in Ukraine. And so this, this desperate situation calls for us for a deeper prayer. All this climax is in 1907 in Pyongyang, when a Korean leader Graham Lee, speaking at a conference with a few 1000 present asks for some people to lead in prayer. And three or four people stand up and they all keep praying. This has happened before in group prayer, right? You’ve had that where two people start and what do we do here? One of us stops. Now they don’t get kept praying. And so Pastor Lee was like, you know, that’s fine. If this is how you want to pray, then go ahead and pray and about 1500 started praying. Presbyterian missionary William Blair was there he writes this he says the prayer sounded to me like the falling of many waters, and ocean of prayer beating against God’s throne. It was not many, but one born of one spirit lifted to one Father above. Just as on the day of Pentecost, they were all together in one place of one accord praying. God is not always in the whirlwind. Neither does he always speak in a still small voice. He came to us in Pyongyang that night with the sound of weeping as the prayer continue to spirit of heaviness and sorrow for sin came down upon the audience. If you were to look at the about five year period, from when this kind of got going to about 1910 or so in Korea, they saw some 80,000 conversions, which is equal to all the conversions they’ve seen in Korea in the previous 80 years combined. Do you look at a situation like that? And yeah, ask what happened? What happened? And why did it happen? Why is Zen and why in that way? No, these are not questions that we can fully answer it on think but surely we want to ponder these questions because we’d like to see something like that in our own day. So what happened in a word it was revival, revival, the sudden and spectacular outpouring of God’s power and grace, leading to renewal inside the church and conversions outside the church. According to Jonathan Edwards, who knew a thing or two about revival, true revival does four things kind of simultaneously it exalts Jesus provoked Satan prioritizes the word and inspires love exalts, Jesus provokes Satan, ponders the word prioritizes the word and inspires love. Well, that seems important to me to remember, because I’m trying to think of when we wouldn’t want to be doing those things. That just sounds normal for the Christian life. And that’s just what we should be about. So when we’re talking about revival, we’re talking about the difference between, say, the ordinary Christian life and extraordinary revival is just a difference of degree, not of chi, the degree the pace, even of conversion and renewal. I want us to have that in mind because as we dig into revival in the next month, first of all, we’re not scheduling one. I’ve always been shocked by that. We’re having a revival here next week. You’re doing what now? Exactly. I’m gonna want to check your theology. I think we’re not scheduling one. We’re not even necessarily expecting one although I certainly would hope we’re one Oh, What are we doing? We are reviving our commitment to God’s ordinary means, we are recommitting to doing what we should always be doing that with a renewed passion. Or maybe another way of putting it is that we are trying to put the church in a position where revival can happen. I’m gonna give you an example from everyday life, if you want to sleep, you do certain things, you turn off the lights, you turn off your phone and the TV, you lie down, usually in a comfortable place. That does not guarantee that sleep will come. We’ve all had restless nights, certainly. But you got a much better chance of sleep coming doing that than you would by going out to play basketball for a few hours. For sure you’re not falling asleep then. So we’re just trying to put ourselves in a position where that sort of experience could happen. The rest is then up to God. Of course, we don’t get to create revival, that is his work. But as we think about this, there are opposite dangers. You probably came in here feeling one of these this morning. That’d be a good time for some self examination. Just go okay, which side do I lean toward? And be aware of it? As we go through this series, you gotta know yourself. The opposite dangers are that we would doubt that God can or demand that God must. I’m guessing the majority of us are on the first side that we doubt that God can. And so we come into this series going well, we know what can’t or won’t happen. But on the flip side, there may be that sense of if we do this, then we’re obligating God, he better make it happen. This series is meant to encourage us that our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He can easily do it whenever he pleases, and we should always seek it. But at the same time, the Lord may continue to work in ordinary ways. Among us, we may never see in our lifetimes, an extraordinary outpouring of God’s power and grace. But if we were to commit to these ordinary means we were to see 1015 20 conversions a year for decades upon decades. Okay. Okay. At the same time, we thirst for this, we always long to see it come. Martyn Lloyd Jones, the great Welsh preacher said this, he said the inevitable and constant preliminary to revival has always been a thirst for God, a living thirst for knowledge of the living God, and a longing and a burning to see him acting, manifesting Himself and His power rising and scattering his enemies. And Martyn Lloyd Jones, if you know anything about his life, he never stopped pleading he always wanted to see revival, especially in Wales, his home country, which has been home to a number of really impressive revivals. He never stopped pleading and praying and professing and proclaiming, and yet he never saw it. He never saw it in his ministry. So. So he had a wonderfully fruitful ministry still. But my goal here in this series is to make you thirsty. I want to see the Lord stir up in you a passionate belief that God can revive us in a passionate commitment to the ordinary means of revival, passionate belief, and a passionate commitment. That’s what we’re after. Because you look around and you see that we are in desperate need of revival, there is a palpable feeling of decline in the American church. But we’re not the first to feel that way. I guarantee you, most churches, and most places throughout most of history have felt that way. In fact, that’s exactly where the prophet Habakkuk was. What are we going to learn as we just look at this one verse, this one prayer of his this, the main idea we’re going to look at this morning, because it is the Lord’s work, he can revive it in our day. It’s that simple, because it is the Lord’s work, not ours. Because it is the Lord’s work, he can revive it in our day. We’ll see what that looks like. Because what is revival, it’s when God repeats and reveals and remembers, and that’ll be our three points as we go through the sermon, we’re then going to take some time at the end to look at what our response should be in light of that. So let’s dig in here starting with when God repeats. We just the first part of verse two again, Habakkuk three, verse two, Lord, I ever heard of your fame, I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord, repeat them in our day.
So a little context here, because we have not been in the first several chapters of Habakkuk, although we did just do a series in Habakkuk back in 2020, right as the pandemic hit great words for us in that time. So if you your curiosity is piqued during the sermon, great, go back, listen to the series. It’s online. But what’s the context Habakkuk is looking around and he sees the spiritual decline in Judah, his country And he questions God, how long Lord? Are you just gonna tolerate wrongdoing forever? I mean, look at your people who look at what they’re doing and do something about it, Lord, and the Lord answers him, chapter one, verse five, he says, I’m going to do something in your day that you would not believe even if you were told. This is a really cool verse. A lot of people like this verse, it’s kind of verse, they talk about missions, conferences, nobody reads verse six, that’s why so in verse six, he tells us what he’s going to do in that day, and so he’s gonna bring the nation of Babylon to invade Judah to punish them for their wickedness and sin. That’s the amazing thing he’s about to do, and it would amaze Habakkuk it does amaze Habakkuk he spends the next few verses going. No, hang on. Now, Lord, what? I’m sorry, have you seen Babylon? You know that there’s even greater wickedness there. Right. So what are you doing? This raises even more questions for him? He asked these questions the Lord answers. He’s very patient with him. As Habakkuk listens to God’s answers, he humbles himself. And now as we turn to chapter three, he submits himself in prayer. He says at the beginning, I’ve listened. I’ve heard your report, what you are doing, I’ve heard the reports of what you are doing your your fame, and I stand in all, all is a weak word for us at this point, you know, we use awesome to describe like soda flavors or something. Or maybe the word fear is better, like struck dumb, because this is so intense. So I even fear your work, what you are doing your deeds. And in fact, that word for deeds there, it’s the same word that he uses back in chapter one, verse five, I’m about to do something. I’ve heard what you’re doing. And he says, I’m trembling, you know. And all as I listen to what you’re about, I see your sovereign hand at work in history. But then he asks something of the Lord, he says, Now, I ask that you do it again. Would you repeat your work? Or you might be looking at a different translation that even says, Would you revive your work? Would you make it alive? In other words, do what you always do, Lord? In fact, it’s possible that word revive, make your deeds live again, it’s a little bit like Ezekiel, the valley of dry bones, would you make them live? It’s playing off maybe Habakkuk is most famous verse Habakkuk, two, verse four, which Caitlin helpfully read for us. It’s quoted in Romans one there, the righteous will live by faith will live, will live would you make them live Lord, so that by faith, meaning we cling to the promises of God, the knowledge of what he’s doing, we then live in light of that a steadfastness and pursuing God, because we know who he is, what he’s done, and what he will do, what an encouragement that is, in difficult times. When you look around and you see spiritual decline, or you hear that the Lord is about to bring judgment on your land, because of that wickedness. We have the promises of God, we trust them. We live in light of them, what does God promise He promises that He will set things right in the end? He promises that, God will God promises that He will raise up and preserve his people. And this is what we see throughout Israel’s history. You can almost see how backups mind working as he’s praying this Would you repeat this Lord, repeat? What would you would you do what you did before? Would you deliver your people like you did back in the Exodus? Or even chasing them like you did at Kadesh Barnea? Would you? Would you purify them like you did under Josiah? When we saw that renewal? And revival? Would you do it again, Lord. And so Habakkuk makes peace with what God plans to do. And Judah had been distraught for a while, but now he makes peace with it because he says it’s needed. And I know I can trust you. Because I see what you’ve done in the past. I know you can do it again. Because it is the Lord’s work, he can repeat it in our day, he will keep doing what he has always done, which is to save His people. Before we press on the next point, I gotta say a quick word of warning here. The word repeat could be dangerous for us. We just got to clarify what we don’t mean by it. We by repeat we mean that God is going to do those same wondrous deeds but in a fresh way. Because as humans we get really practical so we assumed God’s gonna work in the same way always. So you can see this I mentioned that waterfall prayer idea and create which I believe you guys seemed to this morning and then nine o’clock hour. So what happens of course as we go look the last time we all started praying at the same time God brought revival. So the key to revival is still the Lord just pouring out grace and power and not the specific mechanism of prayer. We saw this just recently again this series been scheduled for about a year and all of that but then we had a little mini revival awakening breakout at Asbury wooded colleges around Asbury start doing well Alright, so what happened at Asbury was there’s a chapel session that never ended. We should do a chapel session that never ends. Because that’s the key to revival. No, no, no, no. Okay, let me quote a David prior here in a commentary on Habakkuk. I think he says it nicely brings out the meaning of this verse, as well as the word of warning that we need, God may never repeat himself. But he can be expected to do in a new way, when he’s in the habit of doing bringing life. When today we read of God’s work in previous days or other places, the temptation is to want him to repeat it for us. And with us, when he is committed to doing something altogether new, something which breathes new life, in the midst of our years. So that’s when God repeats. Second thing revival is when God reveals what’s the next depart, repeat them in our day, in our time, make them known your wondrous deeds make them known. So Habakkuk is basically saying, I don’t want to hand me down faith. I don’t want the faith of my ancestors who experienced these great things, we would like to see your wondrous deeds for our selves, we need a personal experience of your power and goodness and grace, we need it in our time. And that phrase, in our time, literally reads in the midst of yours, actually, same in the previous section, repeat them in our day, repeat them in the midst of yours, in the midst of yours, make them known. So in the midst of a what yours is our time
Habakkuk here he’s getting at the the idea of a time between a time between, when you’re kind of hanging, it’s like a kid who’s going off a high dive for the first time and you jump. And there’s that moment where you’re just there, then you plunge into the water. Right? So there’s that time between when you’re on the diving board, and when you’re plunged into the water. That’s the moment that Habakkuk is speaking of. What is that hanging, though, for Habakkuk for Habakkuk. It’s the time between God punishing Judah’s sin by bringing Babylon to invade them. And then God punishing those who persecute his people, and giving final victory over Israel’s enemies over Babylon specifically. Well, this seems really relevant, doesn’t it? Because we also live in a time between, in fact really the same time, the time between when God punished our sin, and when God will bring final victory over our enemies. In other words, we live in the time between the cross when by God’s grace, He punished our sin in Christ, and the second coming of Christ when He will set all things right. That is that hanging sort of time, though, isn’t it? It’s a time when God’s purposes aren’t always clear. Where there’s persecution and martyrdom, where there’s suffering and evil where we see spiritual decline, moral collapse, it is a time when people are desperate for knowledge as a result, what are you doing? God? Why? And so we need God to reveal himself afresh to us. Here’s the thing. We don’t really need new information, though, do we? Know we need the reminder of the information we already possess. As God reveals Himself to us we rehearse the great stories of the faith. And that’s exactly what Habakkuk does, actually. He says, God, would you make them known in our time and then he thinks through this is what it’s looked like, look ahead and chapter three, but verse three, he says, God came. I mean, those are big words right there, aren’t they? Sometimes that’s just a reminder we need God came, verse six, he stood and shook the earth he looked and made the nations tremble. God’s doing something by verse 13. We get to you came out. Why to deliver your people, to save your Anointed One. This is what God that’s the new information we need is the old information understood in new ways. We want God to reveal himself. Of course, that means we look at the Bible that you want to God reveal himself, you open the Word and you hear him speak to you directly. But this helps us when we’re asking these questions. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? As we look back, we remember who God is what he always does, it helps us in turn but not God, in light of our circumstances, that’s always the temptation. Well, this is happening, this is happening to me is happening to someone I love. Therefore, God must not care must not be paying attention must not have the power, whatever it is no one we we rehearse these truths, we begin to interpret our circumstances in light of God, I know what is true. I know who God is the very things Kyle read for us from Psalm 96, even a moment ago, we know this is true. And so then we know that this must be what’s happening here because it’s the Lord’s work, he can reveal himself in our day. This is who I am. This is what I’m doing. This is how you respond. And then third, revival is when God remembers. What does the backup say in wrath? Remember mercy, and wrath, remember mercy in the midst of judgment? In other words, the outpouring of God’s wrath is righteous anger at our sin. Habakkuk says, Don’t forget mercy. Would you temper your judgment and leave room for repentance? Would you have that that moment where people can turn just a little bit like when the parent says quite loudly in the hallway, I’m coming in in a moment and the room better be clean? Pause. Give them a moment to scramble. And then you come in. The Lord is coming. The Lord will do what he needs to do, of course, but have that moment of Mercy where we can turn and repent. Habakkuk understands the need for punishment, but he prays that God’s chastening work in Judah would lead to revival so that the righteous are saved, as they live by faith. Because here’s the thing, if it were up to us, there would be no hope. If we were to pray, Lord in Wrath, remember our performance. Remember how hard we tried? There is no hope at all. Because our performance is not up to snuff. In wrath, we need mercy. In other words, we’re praying Lord, would you treat us not according to what we deserve? But according to your mercy, and grace? Would you come not punishing solely but delivering us from our sin? as well? Look, this is not our favorite message today, I get that you may be sitting there, even right now going I’m not sure I like this week, so hard to hear that we deserve wrath. That is our just punishment because of what we do. But it is true. And we know it because you can look at the world around us very easily see that it is filled with evil. That evil comes from somewhere. And it comes from us. It’s the product of humans. Nobody’s blaming the birds for this right? It comes from humans, including you. And you may look and go we I’m not like those people. Sure. But we’re talking again, differences degree, not kind. The same selfishness that leads people to traffic and humans the same selfishness that leads you to cut people off in traffic. That’s the reality. So yes, we deserve wrath. So in Wrath remember, Mercy literally, in trembling. Remember, Mercy trembling that is that it’s this time of disturbance and agitations that you’re actually shaking, maybe shaking because God is shaking the Earth. We read that in verse six. He stood and shook the earth that means God is doing something to see what has foundations when God shakes the earth in that moment of trembling. It says though, we’re praying, don’t forget your saving purposes. Don’t forget your saving purposes. Lord, you still love the world. You send your only son to save us. Would you do that? Would you do that? It encourages me because things are shaken up here a bit now, aren’t they? We just went through COVID That was a pretty big deal. We’ve got cultural political, societal strife and division all over the place. Even religiously we’re thing seeing things shaken up with the rise of the so called nuns, that’s n o n e s naught and U N s, the nuns, the people who claim it no religious affiliation, they’re leaving the church in droves. Of course, there’s a cultural Christianity that they’re leaving, but they are and so in the midst of all that shaking, we’re praying God, would you remember mercy? Would you remember mercy still, in the midst of unease? In the midst of God doing something dramatic like that it is entirely proper to pray that the Lord would add to the number of the righteous as Babylon is coming in, you’re going to the Lord, that’s gonna mess with some people. Would you use that moment to save them? Would God use this moment to save money? By the way when we pray, Lord, remember, it’s not because God’s in danger of forgetting. We know that right? God knows everything. He doesn’t forget anything ever. We pray Remember, as an encouragement to ourselves, it encourages us as we pray. As CS Lewis reminds us, prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us. We don’t want to change God, He’s perfect. But we do need the encouragement that comes. This is like the little kid going, mom, dad, you remember you said we could get ice cream after the game. Remember, it’s an encouragement, the parent might have forgotten. We’re not God, of course, but because it is the Lord’s work, he will remember it. In our day, he has not forgotten mercy, or grace, or his people. So what is revival? Revival is when God remembers his gracious purposes, reveals himself afresh, and repeat his awesome deeds. And because that is the Lord’s work, he can revive it in our day. But it doesn’t mean there’s nothing for us to do. In fact, as I look at those three points, I see that there is an ordinary means to which we can devote ourselves for each one of them. Because we want the passionate belief that God can bring about revival, but we also want a passionate commitment to the ordinary means of revival. And so let’s look at those three, we’re going to take them in reverse order. But let me warn you upfront, these are truly ordinary. I am not going to blow your mind right here. I’m not I’m gonna say things like, of course. So. So what?
What’s wrong with the ordinary means during the Second Great Awakening in Philadelphia began in New York, but in Philadelphia, she was after a prayer meeting where they’d seen 1000s converted revival is happening. They handed out little booklets afterwards. And it said this by conversing with a friend, inviting him to a service getting him a book, above all, by making him the special subject of prayer in secret, simple as these means appear, they have been all powerful through the blessing of God to produce the desired result. That’s what we’re going to talk about simple means that are all powerful to the blessing of God to produce the results we long to see. So let’s look at these ordinary means, again, reverse order for what I just did. So as God remembers, remembers mercy even in the midst of wrath as God remembers, we profess, what do we profess? Specifically, we profess our sin, because that’s what’s being talked about in wrath. Right? The reminder that we deserve God’s judgment at that moment, as we’re asking God to remember mercy, we remember our sin, and the judgment that it deserves. Revival always begins with confession. I cannot think of an exception to that rule. I’m sure revivals have happened that I know nothing about my knowledge of church history isn’t perfect by any means. But I do not know of any revival that has ever started with atheists. That is, it doesn’t ever begin with non Christians coming to Christ. It always begins in the church, when the church experiences revival, and the church is ordinarily filled with nominal Christians, with people who have got kind of I liked Jesus, but you know, not all in necessarily, it is filled with hypocrites. Of course, like we know that this is not breaking news or anything like that. So begins in the church, when God shakes the church, and we begin to tremble. We confess our sin. There’s a revival in Uganda and Kenya. And the most famous preacher of that time was called the Billy Graham of Uganda was Festo Keivan. Jury, and he says this, he says revival doesn’t come to respectable Christians. This is bad news for us. By the way, I got news for you, Elmhurst very respectable, where Christians put those two together, we’re in trouble. Revival doesn’t come to respectable Christians. If you think that because you’re a good church member, because you belong to such and such an organization, you’re going to be revived, you had better forget it. He goes on. He says, the basis of revival is men and women shattered by their failures, aware that all is not well helpless to do anything about it. That’s what we profess, what we confess to each other, all is not well, all was not well in my life, and I can’t do anything to fix it. I need God to move. He then goes on to share an example, by the way from a service he was at in Kenya during this revival. Confession is happening. It’s breaking out there in the church, as it always does. And a taxi driver stands up and he had previously been a terrorist. And so he confesses to the murder of six people and he says, I’ve confessed this before the Lord, I’ve received forgiveness but one thing weighs on my mind. What if there’s a woman here even tonight, and she’s a woman who’s a husband I hanged in front of her. Could a woman like that? And forgive me. And you know how the story is gonna go, the woman is there in the crowd stands up, comes up to him and says, I forgave you that night, even as my husband prayed for you. That’s a powerful story. That’s not a respectable story isn’t. That’s not the kind of stuff we talk about here. And you go, Well, I don’t think we got murderers here. I don’t think we do either. But I’m wondering if there are sins that were unwilling to discuss here. I’m wondering if what holds us back from revival in this congregation is an unwillingness to talk about the mess within us. Even in the places we’ve created for this, like Journey groups and community groups, lots of good things that happen there. Sure, I’ve seen powerful confession. But I also know that as Christians, we can be guilty of a calculated confession. That is, there’s a way to speak about our sins, usually the respectable sins, to confess to humble ourselves before others in such a way that we are actually exalting ourselves in the eyes of others. Because we are know that they are going to be impressed with our humility, and our willingness to talk about hard things, I have seen that tendency in my own heart, even if we’re going to see true revival. We need to truly profess our sinfulness and not falsely profess our innocence or perfection, we’ve got to own it, and enter into the mass. I think that’s keeping us back. I think there’s another piece to it that’s holding us back from revival as well. Which is that I don’t think we really want revival. And you may feel that as I’m talking about this, because we don’t want the mess that comes with a revival. Because in revivals, messy people get saved. We don’t want the messy people here in this room. Because we liked the way Cityview is now it’s very respectable. After all, we all fit in here. And if messy people come in, that’s going to take time and energy and it’s going to mess with all sorts of aspects of our church life. A lot of us we can confess this, a lot of us just want the Christian life to be easy. We do. We got saved. So that was a good choice we made which is a terrible understanding of salvation anyway. And we’re gonna commit to live, you know, pretty good lives here because again, respectable Christianity. So we’re not gonna get drunk, I’m gonna sleep around none of those sorts of sins, of course. But we want no work and no mess and no change, which means no revival. And so maybe our confession begins by confessing that right there. Lord, I don’t revival because I just want this to be easy. My Plate is already too full. I got no time for Jesus to do something amazing in our day. As God remembers, we profess. Second, as God reveals. We proclaim as God reveals we proclaim His gospel think, how does God reveal himself? I already said it. In fact, God reveals Himself through His Word, primarily. It’s why we devote ourselves to His word when we gather for corporate worship. So we devote ourselves to His Word in community groups and journey groups. And God speaks to us and family worship and private worship. So that’s how God reveals Himself. All right, that’s great. So how are the unchurched going to encounter him then? Because they’re not in corporate worship, family worship or private worship? And I don’t think a 32nd Super Bowl ads gonna do it. How is God going to reveal himself to the loss is when we proclaim Him to the laws so that they can encounter Him through His Word. So we pray, God, would you reveal yourself to so and so and then we go and present God to so and so. We are His ambassadors. And we are not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. It is a remarkable statement. Paul does not say the gospel was powerful. Paul says the gospel is God’s power that brings salvation. You and I are here this morning because the gospel worked in our hearts to bring us to faith by His grace. We have lost confidence in the power of the gospel to transform lives. Which is remarkable because it’s the only reason you’re here. What a weird thing to think. I don’t know if the gospel can actually transform people. Look at yourself. Do you think you’d be here without the gospel? No. Think about where you’d be without the gospel. Some of you got a clearer understanding of this than others. Because some of you grew up in the church. Some of us did not, and saw the trajectory we were on. The Gospel is powerful, and we are the proof of its power. There’s a story during the first Great Awakening, back in the early 18th century, guys like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, a story came out in the weekly history in Boston though. first Great Awakening was interesting because it spread through slaves in many ways, in the south, at least, and for understandable reasons. So what happens is slaves are being converted in tremendous numbers while a slave owner in Boston, you know, opens the door to a room and catches his slave
delivering a sermon, you know, to himself in the style of George Whitfield. And this slave owner just thinks this is a hoot. And so what does he do he invites his friends over, you know, pours them all a whiskey gives them all a pipe, and and makes the slave do what he was doing before so they can all mark this, you know, ignorant on learned full of a man. And what happens, they’re all laughing at him as he starts, until he warned them against blaspheming the Holy Spirit and spoke to them the necessity of the new birth, and quote, the weekly history at this point, it says he spoke with such authority, it struck the gentleman to heart to their hosts dismay, the men began to listen intently. And many as a result of that day’s entertainment became pious, sober men, they believed why, because the Gospel is powerful. It is powerful enough to convert people who came to mock the ones delivering it, you worried people are gonna mock you, when you proclaim the gospel, you should be they might you know what else might happen? God might do what he always does. That’s what has God changed since the first Great Awakening? Is he different today? That was weak. Is he different today? Is the gospel a different message today than it was back then? No. That means it can happen today. That God might convert the very people who are mocking you for your faith as you proclaim it. And that will encourage us Jonathan Edwards said, There’s nothing I know of which God has made such a means of promoting his work among us as news of others conversions. Why? Because that’s when we remember how powerful the gospel is. May God grant us those first few conversions. And I believe he has, by the way, and I think we’ll get to hear those stories in the coming weeks. May He grant us those first few conversions so that we can regain our confidence in the power of the gospel, and then proclaim that gospel with the winsome boldness expected of us. As God remembers, we profess as God reveals we proclaim. And then third, and really this is everything put together as God repeats his work in our day we pray, we pray, we pray for those first few conversions. And I hope you’ll join me in pleading for them. But look at Habakkuk when Habakkuk saw the need, he didn’t set to work, he first set to prayer. And that’s where we begin to the urgency of the moment. And when you may be thinking of specific loved ones. When I talk about things like the urgency of the moment, the urgency of the moment should lead us to faithful prayer, like Habakkuk prayer that God would empower the ordinary means, as we employ them. This is why we’ve got the explore our going on and we got going on right now. We need to talk about why we need to be praying for revival. We pray for the other two points as well. We pray for a spirit of a Humble Confession, to break out among us pray, even confessing that we don’t want revival, at least we’re not so sure about it. We pray for God to reveal Himself to us in new ways, and to the people around us as we speak the gospel message. And by the way, this is where we begin even for skeptics. I’m aware of the fact that there may be people in this room right now who do not believe in Christianity. And maybe you’re here because you’re checking it out. And maybe you’re here because your parents make you come or something. This is where you begin. Even when you don’t believe you pray. I can tell you a number of conversations I’ve had with people who will say things like, I want to believe like I like what you have, but I just can’t which is completely true, by the way. So what do you do? Seek the Lord who can give you the face so that you believe you pray for God to open your heart. You come before God and you say God, I don’t even know if you’re there. I may just be talking to myself right now, which is fine. My family already thinks I’m crazy. No big deal. But God if you are there, if you are there. Would you reveal Yourself to me? Would you open my eyes and my heart so that I can see you? Clear? You To begin this series, we are going to leave you with a takeaway, because we want this to be intensely practical as we pursue these ordinary means. They all start with I like to help you remember them. It’s also because we’re Baptists. So it has to be alliterated. It’s in our doctrinal statement. They all start with I this week is easy to catch, of course, this week, what is your takeaway? What do you do as you go from here this week? The takeaway is intercede. intercede. Pray, pray, pray some more. As believers, we intercede for the last. We have specific people who come to mind as we pray. We pray that God will give us the compassion and the boldness that we need that God would create opportunities for us to advance conversations. We pray that God would open our eyes to see people we hadn’t noticed before. We pray as families we pray, I hope you do family worship in your home. And I hope that it’s the focus of your prayers, at least some of the time is on the last. We talk a lot about an oil cost list here oil cost the Greek word for household, your your sphere of influence, who are the people that God has put in your life? Does your family have no way costless. Your kids know that you’re reaching out to your friends and neighbors and loved ones? Are they joining you in prayer? Church, we pray, we pray for revival to come in us first and foremost. And then through us, when it comes in us to quote Martyn Lloyd Jones as we close, he says this is what God can do. This is what God has done. So let us decide together to beseech Him, to plead with him to do this again. Not that we may have the experience or the excitement, but that His mighty hand may be known in his great naming me glorified and magnified among the people because it is the Lord’s work, he can revive it in our day. And so we passionately believe that and in believing that we passionately commit ourselves to profess our sin and proclaim the gospel and pray for revival, let’s pray even now. Lord, we begin by confessing. First we confess who you are, Lord, who we know you to be powerful, sovereign, good, wise, gracious and loving, even in Wrath remembering mercy. No one of us deserves your grace. And yet you have poured it out lavishly on us. We believe that you will pour it out lavishly on others as well. This is who you are. This is who you always are. Lord, we confess how often we forget that how little we believe that and how little we act like we believe that’s true. We confess that we don’t always want revival because people are messy. And we’re not sure how many more messy people we can handle in our lives as though you wouldn’t give us the grace to sustain us in our ministry to them. We confess that we like the way church is we like our easy Christian lives. And so we’re not sure we’re open to your work. But Lord, we also confess a desire, a hunger and a thirst that you would change us first and foremost, you would bring revival in our lives and then bringing it in our lives that you would bring it through our lives as well. Lord, would you revive your marvelous deeds in our day, in the midst of these years, and in the midst of this community? We devote ourselves to you passionately believe in you can passionately committed to doing those things that you have given us to do. In the meantime we pray through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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