Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Can These Bones Live?

Leslie Basham: If God decided to visit you today, would you be ready?

It's Friday, January 14, and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

When company's coming you do all sorts of things to prepare for their arrival. You clean the house, whip up a special dinner, maybe even put fresh flowers on the table. But suppose it was God who wanted to visit. What would you need to do to get ready?

Today Nancy will tell us how we can prepare for revival.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: As some of you have heard me share before, I had the privilege of growing up in a godly Christian home. My parents were first generation believers and they had a strong passion for sharing Christ with those who didn't know Christ (as they had come out of a background themselves where they had not come to know Christ until they were young adults).

And you couldn't grow up in my home and see the atmosphere that my parents created by their love for sharing the Gospel and not have something of that heart yourself.

But then as I was growing up as a second generation believer, and with the blessing of being in evangelical, Bible-preaching churches and in Christian school, for which I thank the Lord, it became apparent to me as a young girl that not everyone who called themselves a Christian was enjoying the kind of Christian life that I was seeing lived out so vibrantly in our home.

In fact, I began to realize that a lot of people who call themselves Christians were pretty miserable and were not enjoying Christianity at all.

And somewhere as a young pre-teenager 12, 13 years of age, I came across some writings of some of the accounts we've been talking about over the last days of how God had moved in times past in our nation's history and in other parts of the world to bring spiritual awakening and revival to the hearts of His people.

And I would read some of these accounts about the great awakenings, about God moving in the nation of Wales and here in this country, and then I would read in the Scripture, in the Book of Acts for example, and I would see what it was like when the whole church was filled with the power of God and when Jesus was really being given His rightful place of Lord over His church.

And I saw the vitality of that kind of faith and the great power and cleansing and freedom that God gave within the church and then how God used His people to touch and impact the lives of those in the surrounding culture who did not know Christ.

And as I read these stories I found I was hooked. I was captured by the thought of what it would be like for God to move again in a similar way in our day.

I realized as I looked around that something was very wrong with the kind of Christianity that we were experiencing in many of our churches and lives and in our Christian culture.

And I knew God hadn't changed, but [I] realized that we had a need for God to revive us. And my heart began to cry out, even as a young girl, "Lord, You've done it before, would You do it again?" I knew that He could.

The Scripture says that eyes have never seen, ears have never heard the things that the Lord has prepared for those who wait for Him.

I began to picture, as it were, God just standing on the front porch of heaven leaning over the balcony (if I could say that without any irreverence) and waiting to pour out in our day, in our churches, in our lives, a revival, an awakening that is greater than anything our world has ever experienced and just waiting for us to wait for Him, to long for Him, to cry out to Him, to ask Him for that blessing. And knowing that it will be one of these days that God will, I believe, send the kind of revival that will prepare the Bride for the return of Christ and usher in ultimately the return of Christ in His eternal kingdom.

So I began to study the Scripture to learn what I could about revival. And God planted, at that early age, seeds in my heart that have only gotten stronger and gone deeper and developed as I've had a longing for all these years for God to come and revive His people again.

Now we've said over these last days that revival is a work of God; it's a sovereign work of God.

As one writer said in the last generation, he said, "We cannot make revival happen, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

We can put ourselves in a place of receptivity and readiness and eagerness for God to move and we can do what believers of all generations have been prompted to do in light of the hope of God visiting us with a fresh outpouring of His Spirit -- and that is to cry out to Him in prayer and in desperation saying, "Lord, we long for You. We're not content to keep going on with business as usual.

"I'm not content to live this floundering, frustrated, overwhelmed spiritual life. I want to live life in the fullness of Your Holy Spirit and under Your lordship and Your control.

"And I want to see You exercise Your right to rule over Your Church and to be the Lord of Your people and to revive our hearts in such a way that the world will know and will see that You have done great things for us and they will be drawn to know You."

You know, this desperate heart cry is something that you read about in believers across the centuries, across the generations and even in some parts of our world today.

In fact, there's a group of pastors and believers in St. Croix of the U.S. Virgin Islands who in recent years have been praying and pleading with God for this kind of spiritual awakening.

Those pastors sent a letter to our ministry and they said, "Our hearts' bleed, not for the usual but for the unusual, for a mighty outpouring of God in our island. Never has the hour been darker and the need greater. We desperately need a fresh encounter with God.

"Our hearts grieve as we see the island of St. Croix sink farther and farther into the quicksand of sin. We cry and beg God to come to our aid. What we need," these pastors said, "is a heaven-born and God-sent revival. We long to see God in our midst, working in an extraordinary way."

And then here's what makes my heart glad when I read this letter. They say, "Many have prayed and fasted for an outpouring." You see the longing and the desperation finds its way into the expression of fervent prayer.

And they said, "We hear of small groups of saints on the island who have been praying for years and God is bringing them together, voicing the same concern."

Whenever you see a great river of revival in the history books, you can be sure that there have been many feeder streams of praying, burdened, desperate-hearted believers crying out to God to pour out His Spirit in a fresh way.

Some of you were here last week when we were starting this series and you remember how one day we talked about the power of the presence of God and what it's like when God visits people with an extraordinary sense of His presence.

And you may remember that it was some time before we were able to move on to the next session for our radio recording because God just moved our hearts in this very room to go to our knees and we spent some extended time there with women just weeping, crying out to the Lord, pleading with Him to send a revival in our day. And it'll be a long time before I forget that sight.

I remember as I knelt here with you and I looked around this room and saw women pouring out their hearts to the Lord, I thought to myself, This is what Revive Our Hearts radio ministry is all about--believing God to raise up an army of praying, believing, earnest-hearted, persevering women who will lay hold of God and will not let go until He comes and He visits our lives, our homes, our churches, our nation with His glory once again.

Some of you in this room are older women, and I don't know if you've ever wondered what your purpose is? What you are doing here? Why does God still have you here?

Let me say to you, some of you women with gray hair, some of you whose children are grown, you're grandmas, maybe even a great-grandmother. Let me say, "God has an incredibly important purpose for you at this moment in the life of His people. And God's purpose is not for you to sit at home and do crossword puzzles and play card games and go touring the country and just fritter your life away."

Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with enjoying those things, but I'm saying that God has a purpose for you that is bigger than maybe anything you've ever imagined or dreamed of.

One of the things, I believe, through this radio ministry, is that He would use it to raise up hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of women just like us, just like you, who would say, "Lord, You've done it before, would You do it again?"

I think of Anna, the 84-year-old widow in the temple who, day and night, gave herself to fasting and prayer. And she was one of the very first ones to see the glory of God when He sent His Son Jesus to this earth.

Listen, if you're frittering your life away with things that don't count, you may miss seeing with your own eyes what Anna longed to see, that you long to see. And history books may never record your name as having any great significant role in the revival I believe God's going to send.

But I believe when the story is told in eternity that we will be the ones, by God's grace, who will have been able to have a part, and will then, with our own eyes, perhaps in God's timing, be able to see that great revival.

Leslie Basham: Wouldn't it be amazing to help usher in the type of revival Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been talking about? All this week we have learned that repentance and prayer come before revival.

We hope you'll learn more by getting a free copy of the booklet How to Pray for Revival.

To get your free copy, you need to ask for it when you call Revive Our Hearts at 1-800-569-5959. On January 24, which is ten days from now, Nancy will begin a new series called, "Seeking Him."

If you just listen to the series like you normally do, you'll get a lot out of it. But we're inviting you to get even more out of it by studying along with Nancy. You can order a new workbook called Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival.

Nancy wrote it along with Tim Grissom to lead you through the major characteristics of a revived heart.

To participate in Seeking Him just visit ReviveOurHearts.com or give us a call at 1-800-569-5959.

Now at the end of December, you heard us talking about the year-end matching gift opportunity.

We have good news! Our listeners met the challenge and we are able to head into a new year with the full amount.

Nancy and the Revive Our Hearts team wanted me to say a big thank you for praying so faithfully and giving so generously.

We were daily watching the total and it was a faith enlarger for us.

So again, thank you for rallying behind us. It will help us continue speaking into women's lives with the truth of God's Word just like we'll do next week. You'll hear how to teach daughters about modesty and purity.

Please join us for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a an outreach of Life Action Ministries.  

Thank you, Holly and Paula, for preparing today's Revive Our Hearts for the Internet.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.