The Main Thing - Part 2
Revival is a rare thing. The Word revival is not mentioned in the Bible but the idea of revival is. Psalm 85:6 “Will You not revive us again that Your people may rejoice in You?”
You could say it is Recalibrating your heart to align with His.
Somehow over time we have deviated from God’s main thing.
It may not be intentional but one day we realize I am not in love with Jesus like I use to be. I am not hearing His voice like I use to. I am not in overt sin – but rejoicing in Him like I use to. What has happened to me?
Ill. Paul visited the second time a church he started in Corinth. It was birthed out of revival like our church was 16 years ago. On his second visited he noticed “Ain’t nothing wrong – but something ain’t right!”
You don’t have the fire you once had. Ill. We must be very careful here that we don’t try to hype people or try hard to make things happen and manipulate or control people. In the history of revivals it is known that most revival die when men try to control it.
He wrote, “I am afraid that in the same way the serpent somehow deceived Eve in his subtlety, that your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Cor. 11:3
Revival brings you back to the simplicity and pure devotion to Christ. Revival call us back to “keeping the main the thing the main thing.”
Revival is the idea of re-energizing to life what appears to be dead or not operating according the Creator’s design.
Ill. God takes Ezekiel into an old battlefield covered with skeletons of warriors. By now the armor, swords and equipment has been collected by scavengers. All that is left is dry bones everywhere. It is the remnant of people who at one time were mighty warriors for God – but something happened – we don’t know what – but what once was a mighty army of God is now? Just a graveyard of hopelessness.
God show this to prophet Ezekiel to provoke something in him that needs to be provoked. Now God asks Ezekiel a question.
Can these bones live?
This is funny. Ezekiel knows God well enough that when He asks a question – He is not seeking information He does not have. So you better be VERY careful how you answer God.
Ezekiel knows he better think before he speaks. His mind swirls with, “Why is God asking me this question that He already knows the answer to?”
“Can these bones live?” Interpreted to mean:
Do you believe I can do something with what is dead and beyond human hope?
Do you believe I can bring life (hope) to what man sees as hopeless?
Is there anything too hard for the Lord?
Ezekiel is smart and he is going to play it safe, so he answers the Lord’s question – with “Thou knowest Lord.” Mark it down this is a safe answer!
Point is Ezekiel in no way is he going to put a limit on God.
- It is a dangerous thing to limit God.
Ill. Israel in the OT died in the wilderness, with their Promise land within reach because they limited God.
“Again and again they tempted God, and LIMITED the Holy One of Israel.” Psalm 78:41
What is it that makes the people of God – limit God?
What makes you lose your hunger to seek after God?
What makes a child of God hear about a revival breaking out in a church and yet they for whatever reason lay out?
Luke 14:16-24 in the Modern English Version
16Then He said to him, “A man prepared a banquet and invited many, 17and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now prepared.’
18“But they all with one mind began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go and see it. I ask you to excuse me.’
19“Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to prove them. I ask you to excuse me.’
20“Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
21“The servant came and reported this to his master. Then the master of the house in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’
22“The servant said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and yet there is room.’
23“Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’
Note their excuses were not evil things in their life.
1st excuse – I’ve got too much to do – I’ve got to work to feed my family. I’ve got to work the land.
2nd excuse – I just bought some oxen and I’ve got to train them.
3rd excuse – I just got married – I’ve got family I need to care for.
All these are legitimate excuses – they are real life. I would never condemn anyone for not attending church services. But Jesus isn’t talking about land, oxen, or spouses!
The real issue is
I prefer my life rather than the banquet God is offering.
Here me, I am not saying because you are not here every night that this is you! I don’t know your circumstances – it’s none of my business and I am not qualified to judge anyone. Only you and God know the truth. Has Satan been able to craftily get you preoccupied on good things so that you will miss the great things God has planned for you?
- I can’t answer this for you. I can only answer for me.
I have drifted away from God’s main thing and I know how easy it can happen.
I believe God is doing an unusual thing in our area now. We call it revival or Florida encounter because we don’t know what to call it. All I know is I don’t want to miss out and I don’t want you to miss out.
Ill. My previous experience has been – every time I don’t feel like going to church or I have a legitimate excuse and am tempted to use it . . . If I press on in and make myself go anyway – I get blessed in some way.
Satan’s life work is to somehow keep us from the table God has prepared for us to feast at. He stops at nothing. He will use even good things if it will keep us from the Main Thing.
Here’s the warning:
“For I tell you, none of those who were invited shall taste My banquet.” Luke 11:24
You have to be intentional about keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing. Satan already has plans to lure you away.
Jesus said there are 3 things that will choke out the Word of God in your life:
1. Worries of this life – God knows all about it. Ill. Jesus told man to follow Me – let me bury my father first. No – follow Me.
2. Deceitfulness of riches – God knows you need money. I Tim. 6:10 “those who long for it have strayed from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Your priority is never to be to make all the money you can.
3. Desire for other things – not bad things. Ambition is not wrong just don’t let it become an idol and get ahead of desire for God.
Concl: It is not coincidental that I go away for a couple days alone with God and hear Him tell me to call myself and this church back to the Main thing – at the same time revival is breaking out at 1st Assy and God planned on bringing it here for whatever season.
Revivals are messy. It messes up your routine. You have a choice. God has prepared a banquet and is inviting us to come. Revivals don’t last forever – but when God sends on you need to let go of your plow and grab onto something new HE is doing.