Over the last year and a half with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, rioting, election chaos, and now a gas crisis, there has been a cry raised throughout the church for revival! Dear Lord we need a revival like never before as things are such a mess that Jesus is the only one who can fix it. With that said, I have a question. Are you prepared for a revival? I didn’t ask if you want a revival. I asked if you are prepared?
Please don’t read further if you are easily offended. This article is for people who want something different than the status quo. If we want something different than what we currently have, we are going to have to do something different. Ok, you’ve been warned….
What I’ve found is many people want a revival the same way I want to have 4% body fat and washboard abs. I’ve wanted my physique to look like for years, but honestly I’ve never prepared myself for what is required to experience that reality. Take a look at this passage of scripture out of 2 Timothy 2 and I’ll explain how this applies spiritually:
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
In this passage, Paul tells Timothy that our life is like a great house. In that house there are valuable vessels of gold and silver that have great honor bestowed upon them, while other vessels made of wood and clay are vessels of dishonor. The difference between each of these vessels is the way they relate to fire. Fire removes the impurities out of gold and silver but the gold and silver remain in a refined state, while fire destroys vessels of wood and clay.
Paul is telling Timothy we must choose which vessels we want in our house. Do we want to build our lives on things that won’t withstand fire such as our reputation, money, excessive leisure, and ungodly relationships or do we want to build our lives on things that will withstand the fire like the word of God, prayer, godly relationships, and the power of the Holy Spirit? If we cleanse ourself from good things that are vessels of dishonor, then we will be prepared for every good work and be useful for the Master.
It’s important to understand the vessels of dishonor aren’t necessarily the things we typically classify as sin, but are actually the good things that we put ahead of God. Look at Luke 9:
57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” This person chose security over following Jesus.
59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” This person chose money over following Jesus (in that that culture the one who buried their father received a double portion of the inheritance. By the way, if his father was dead, he would have been in the process of burying him and not around to have this conversation with Jesus. His father was still alive so Jesus wasn’t giving a harsh command).
61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” This person chose relationships over following Jesus.
In verse 62 Jesus said that anyone who looks back isn’t fit or prepared for the kingdom of God. He isn’t saying they aren’t going to be saved. He’s saying they aren’t fit to be used. They have chosen vessels of dishonor such as security, money, and relationships over the vessels of honor which is what Jesus is telling them to do. While we are saved by grace not good our works, we are saved for good works. We have to choose to follow Jesus in order to walk in all of the good works appointed for us. Jesus has appointed each of us to be part of the next great revival in America.
I want to be clear that none of the three individuals Jesus spoke with told Him, “NO. I WON’T FOLLOW!” What they said is “LET ME FIRST…” They all had priorities they put in front of what Jesus asked them to do. When we do this, it makes us unfit for use by the master! Ouch!
This is problem with the body of Christ today. Jesus asks us to do something and people respond by saying, “Let me first…..” That’s building with wood and clay. We’ll still go to heaven because we are saved by grace through faith, but it’s hard to get a real revival going that way. Revivals require sacrifice. They require serving for days, weeks, months, and years on end. The two largest revivals of my lifetime were in Toronto from 1994-2006 and Brownsville, Florida from 1995-2000. These churches met 6 days a week and were packed. Hundreds of thousands of people were saved, healed, delivered, ministries were birthed and the world has been changed for the better.
How bad do you want it? Are you prepared to respond to Jesus when He calls. He’s calling us now! I can sense it…I can feel it with every fiber in my being….Revival is now! He’s releasing it, but we have to respond. We get to choose whether we’ll go down in history or whether we’ll be an Orpah…Who’s Orpah you ask? She’s Ruth’s sister. You know, Ruth from the Bible, who’s in the Hebrews 11 hall of fame of of faith. Ruth who is the great-grandmother of King David and in the lineage of Jesus! She seized the day and changed the world! Orpah didn’t. She didn’t pay the price to follow Naomi. She had other priorities and she missed her divine opportunity!
We have the opportunity to sell out to Jesus and lay down everything in our life that is not what He’s telling us to do. All of it. This is how we prepare for revival. We have to be ready to serve at the drop of a hat. This means when God says, “Go talk to your neighbor about me, you go right then.” This means when God says, “It’s time to have church 5 nights a week, I need you to run sound or help in Children’s Ministry” then you obey. If you aren’t willing, you aren’t prepared for revival so stop praying for it. I”m serious! Your prayers are a waste of breath.
If you think can’t go all in, I’m there with you. I can’t either, that’s why we must run to Him right now! Go boldly to the throne of grace and tell Him what’s going on in your mind and heart so He can step in with His shovel of grace and heap on all the help you need! The Lord wants to prepare our hearts; we just have to humble ourselves and go to Him:
Jeremiah 10:17 Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart.
Revivals begin when we yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to have all of us! Check out this message to learn more!