Quarter’s Theme:REVIVAL IN THE CHURCH
Unit 2 Theme: Agents Of Revival (Lessons 7-13)
STEWARDSHIP & ACCOUNTABILITY MONTH
10/8/2014 LESSON 11
WHY REVIVAL TARRIES
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 165, 168
Devotional Reading: 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8
Topic For Adults
READY TO PAY THE PRICE FOR REVIVAL
Topic For Youths
WILL GOD FIND YOU WORTHY?
MATT. 3:7-10; HOS. 10:12-13, JON. 3:6- 10; JER. 13:23; MIC. 2:1; ZECH.1:3-4;ACTS 12:20-24, DAN. 4:29-33, JN. 3:26-31
Memory Verse: …He said to them “brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance. (Matt. 3:7-8) NKJV
DAILY BIBLE READING
Lack of Right Prayer Focus
The Church has grown weak in prayer. The fire on the prayer altar in many Church has gone out. Those who pray cannot tarry in prayer; many desire instant miracles that will not cost them much. The prayer focus of many others who spend time in prayer is on how to meet pressing needs – healing, provision, protection etc. Not many will attend a prayer called to pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit or for the growth of the Church. Revival does not come to those who are not hungry and thirsty for it. God promised to fill only those who thirst and hunger after righteousness. When our prayer focus is shifted from the kingdom of God and its righteousness, the ‘all other things’ promised will not come.
Point of Emphasis: The Holy Spirit is poured only on those who long for Him.
Prayer Point: Give unto us an unquenchable thirst for You, Holy Spirit.
When we look at our spiritual lives as individuals and as a Church, we see the
dire need for a heaven sent revival but we discover the expected revival is
not forthcoming. We wonder why revivals tarry or delay. A.W. Tozer wrote, “Revivals come only to those who want them badly enough”. If you were to ask why revival tarries, whether it be our own personal revival or a corporate Church-wide or city-wide or nation-wide revival, the answer will be because we don’t want it badly enough. This week, we shall examine some of those reasons that make revivals to tarry.
NOTES ON THE LESSON
I. THERE ARE NO JOHN THE BAPTISTS – MATT. 3:7-10
Before we can experience revival, we need men of God that will act like John the Baptist. If man is God’s agent in revival, the word is God’s instrument and that word is compared to a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces. The word must be preached with passionate, personal conviction. It is the word of the Cross, the word of separation, the word of cleansing and the word of judgment. Is there not a need today to proclaim the word of judgment?
John the Baptist did not spare anyone. He did not water down the message to be acceptable to people. He declared the full counsel of God without minding the feelings of people he preached to. John’s lifestyle agreed with what he preached. He was ready to die and indeed he died for preaching the undiluted word of God. He faced a king to his face to condemn his action.
To experience true revival like the one experienced by John the Baptist when people genuinely repented and turned to God, we need people who will be fearless in their preaching, calling a spade a spade, not embellishing the word of God. Can God find us worthy to be one of them?
- WE ARE NOT READY TO PAY THE PRICE-HOS. 10:12-13; JON. 3:6-10
When we are ready to pay the price for revival, we shall experience it!
We should be willing to be righteous, break our fallow ground, repent of our sins, turn totally to God with our whole heart and begin to seek him. Paying the price goes beyond the level of spirituality we practice today where we think most things don’t matter and falsely believing that God has changed his standard of holiness.
Paying the price for revival was aptly demonstrated by the people of Nineveh when Jonah declared the judgment of God over that city just as God’s wrath is waiting to be released upon this generation.
The people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. The king left his throne to sit in ashes. There was conviction, there was humility, and they fasted and interceded for the mercy of God. Even their beasts were included in the whole exercise to show their seriousness. God looked down from heaven and decided not to bring the judgment earlier pronounced upon the city.
We cannot do less than what these people did if we are to enjoy what they enjoyed! We should be ready to pay the price; we should get serious with God.
III. WE ARE SATISFIED WITH THE STATUS QUO-JER. 13:23; MIC. 2:1; ZECH.1:3-4
The word ‘status quo’ means the ‘mess we are in’. Like the people in the time of Jeremiah, many were accustomed to doing evil and found it difficult to change. There was no longing in them to be transformed. Prophet Micah said even on their beds they imagined evil and they carried out those evils in the morning.
The truth is that until we are dissatisfied with our current situation, nothing will change. If we continue with our careless attitude towards the things of God, not desiring more of God or holiness, we shall remain where we are and will not witness any heaven-sent revival.
To bring about revival, we must demonstrate our holy anger against our present level of spirituality, our sinfulness, lukewarmness and world-liness. Until we change, nothing will change. It is time to be willing to be more like Christ, forsake our old ways and begin to please God. When we do this, the expected revival will come.
- MAN STEALING GOD’S GLORY-ACTS 12:20-24; DAN. 4:29-33; JN 3:26-31
We are not experiencing revival today because many who should be agents of revival are taking the glory that is due to God. Remember God said he would not share His glory with anyone. Herod paid dearly for this sin when people gave the glory due to God to him and he did not discourage them. Nebuchadnezzar was already humiliated for the same offence.
John the Baptist earlier mentioned in this lesson understood this very well. He refused to be accorded the honour he knew was due to the Messiah alone and in fact he said Jesus must increase while he John must decrease.
As believers today who are willing to be agents of revival, we must be humble and when God has used us to perform any signs or wonder, we should return all the glory to Him. The way we share testimonies about miracles performed through us sometimes portray us as the miracle worker and we divert attention to ourselves. We should be warned and desist from this condemnable act.
We can have a heaven-sent revival now. John Knox prayed and fasted for the salvation of Scotland, he paid the price and God sent revival. When we are serious about having revival and are ready to pay the price, revival will come.
- Why do we need men that will act like John the Baptist?
- How can we pay the price for revival like the people of Nineveh?
- What is meant by the word ‘status quo’?
- What should we do to change from our level of lukewarmness?
- Why should we not give the glory due to God to ourselves or others?
MANQUE DE PRIORITE POUR UNE PRIERE JUSTE
ACTES 13 :1-11
L’Eglise s’est affaiblie en prière. Le feu sur l’autel de prière dans beaucoup d’églises s’est éteint. Ceux qui prient ne peuvent pas passer assez de temps à prier ; d’aucuns désirent des miracles instantanés qui ne leur coûteront pas assez. L’objectif pour lequel beaucoup d’autres qui passent assez de temps à prier est de savoir comment faire face aux besoins pressants – guérison, provision, protection, etc. Pas assez de gens assisteront à une (réunion de) prière convoquée afin de prier pour le baptême du Saint-Esprit ou pour la croissance de l’Eglise. Le réveil n’a pas lieu chez ceux qui n’en sont ni assoiffés ni affamés. Dieu a promis de ne remplir que ceux qui sont assoiffés et affamés de justice. Quand la priorité de notre prière dévie du royaume et de la justice de Dieu, les ‘toutes ces choses’ promises n’arriveront pas.
Point essentiel : Le Saint-Esprit n’est répandu seulement que sur ceux qui en sont avides.
Axe de prière : Saint-Esprit, donne-nous une soif insatiable pour toi