Today we will choose spiritual revival. Spiritual revival is a process of renewal in the spiritual life of individuals, communities, and even nations. The world is in pretty bad shape, but you don't need me to tell you that. The evidence is all around us. The only thing that can fix it is a great spiritual revival, but how can we facilitate that?
God gives us a few clues in a powerful promise he makes. "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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14). The promise was made to the Israelites who were considered God's chosen people. They had gotten into a lot of trouble, and God was showing them the way to restoration. We can do what he told them to do.
One, we need to humble ourselves. Two, we need to pray. Three, we need to seek his face. Four, we need to turn from our wicked ways. Let's take each of these in turn.
One: Humility. How do we humble ourselves? Scripturally, fasting is one of the ways we show humility. There are several stories, but let us look at just one. When the prophet Ezra was preparing to return to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile, Scripture says: "There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions" (Ezra 8:21). The story concludes with God answering his prayer. For a better understanding of fasting, especially concerning humility, please watch my talk on the subject. The link is up there!
Two: Prayer. We need to pray. Every story in the Bible about revival or restoration speaks about the necessity of prayer. When Ezra's successor Nehemiah received news about how the walls of Jerusalem remained unbuilt, despite all efforts to build it, Nehemiah said: "When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven" (Nehemiah 1:4). Nehemiah ended up rebuilding the wall in 52 days!
Three: Seek God's face. We need to seek God's face. Seeking God's face is a metaphorical expression of seeking God's presence, intimacy, and favor. It involves developing a deep and meaningful relationship with God through prayer, worship, and obedience to his will. Moses, David, Elijah, Daniel, Mary, and Paul — to name a few — all sought God's face.
Four: Repent: There cannot be revival without repentance. In the book of Jonah, the prophet is told to go to Nineveh with the warning that God would destroy the city in forty days if they didn't repent. Scripture says, "When Jonah's warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust" (Jonah 3:6). He then issued a decree that the entire nation fast — including the animals. No food OR water! The story has a happy ending. Scripture says: "When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened" (Jonah 3:10).
Let us choose revival today, knowing that God will hear from heaven, will forgive our sins, and will heal our lands. May he bless us all.