Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Preparing Ourselves

Leslie Basham: Is your love for Jesus not as strong as it once was? Do you care more about what the world thinks of you, rather than what Christ thinks? If your answer is yes, then you may be a candidate for revival.

Today is Thursday, January 13, and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

The Christian life wasn't meant to be joyless or passionless, but it will be if we neglect to feed our faith through prayer and the reading of the Word.

Today on Revive Our Hearts, Nancy Leigh DeMoss will describe some characteristics that indicate that revival for you and me is long overdue. Open your Bibles now and join Nancy as she challenges us with a word from the prophet Isaiah.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Revival is costly. It requires, on our parts, a thirst and a desperation, a willingness to be discontent with going on with business as usual, a longing for the presence of God.

Leonard Ravenhill was a man with a real heart for revival who died not too many years ago and he said, "As long as we're content to live without revival, we will."

So how do we know if we need revival and what can stir up in us a holy discontent with things as they are?

Yesterday we talked about how we know when we need revival in our churches, but I think it's important that we get a lot more personal and say, "How can I know if revival is needed in my own life? How can I know if I'm a candidate for revival?"

I shared with you yesterday a list that the Lord put on my heart as I was in my quiet time one morning just of some of the ways that we know when we need revival. Let me pick up with that list today and list some of the ways that I have seen in my own life that are evidences, signs, that I am standing in need of revival.

We need revival when we do not love Jesus as we once did, when our love for Him has grown cold.

We need revival when earthly interests and occupations are more important to us than eternal ones.

And when we have a greater appetite for television and secular books and magazines than we do for the Word of God.

We need revival when we have little or no desire for prayer, and when we would rather make money than give money.

We need revival when we know truth in our heads, but we are not practicing it in our lives.

And when we make little effort to share the Gospel to those who are without Christ.

We need revival when we have time for sports and recreation and entertainment and hobbies, but not for Bible study and prayer.

And we need revival when we no longer tremble at the Word of the Lord. The Scripture says that God meets with those who tremble at His Word.

We need revival when we seldom think thoughts of eternity, when this world has become so much our home that we're really comfortable here and not longing for something ahead.

We need revival when we're more concerned about our children's education and their athletic activities than we are about the condition of their souls.

We need revival when we tolerate "little" sins of gossip, a critical spirit, lack of love.

We need revival when our singing, our worship is half-hearted and lifeless.

And when our prayers are empty words designed to impress others. We need revival when our prayers lack fervency, when our hearts are cold and our eyes are dry.

And, by the way, I've been in full-time revival ministry for over 20 years now. You know you can be out there all the time talking about these things, promoting these things but have a cold heart and dry eyes.

And one of the things I dread is coming to the place where these truths don't freshly touch my own heart. That's the time when I have to come back to the Lord and say, "Lord, I'm talking about all this to other people, but the fact is that I need a fresh move of Your Spirit in my heart, in my life, in revival."

We need revival when we're content to live with explainable, ordinary Christianity and church services.

And when we have ceased to weep and mourn and grieve over our own sins and the sins of others.

We need revival when we're bored with worship. Think about that, to be bored with coming into the presence of God and lifting up His character. Haven't you found yourself there? I know I have.

We need revival when our lifestyles, music, dress, values, behavior, talk become patterned after the world's.

And when we don't long for the company and fellowship of God's people.

We need revival when our giving is measured and calculated rather than extravagant and sacrificial.

And when we aren't exercising faith and believing God for the impossible.

We need revival when we're more concerned about what others think about us than what God thinks about us.

And we need revival when we're unmoved by the fact that 2.5 billion people in this world have never heard the name of Jesus.

And not only that, we need revival when we're unmoved by the thought of our neighbors, business associates, fellow employees, acquaintances, who are lost and without Christ.

We need revival when we're blind to the extent of our need and when we don't realize how much we need revival, even though we may be very conscious of how much others around us need revival. I love that old spiritual that says

*Oh Lord, it's not my brother, it's not my sister,
It's not the elders, it's not the deacons,
It's not the old folks, it's not those teenagers,
It's not my mother-in-law, it's not my stepchildren,
Lord, it's me
Standing in the need of prayer,

Lord, I need you. My life has grown cold. My love for You has grown dim. I need You to come and revive my heart.

Gypsy Smith was a man who had a heart for revival. He came from poor circumstances, not the kind of person you'd ever expect to be greatly used of God in revival. But God did use him.

And the story is told that when he would go into a town to preach, he would, upon first coming to the town, he would stop on the outskirts of town. And he would get down in the dirt on the street and he would draw a circle in the dirt.

And then he would step inside that circle and he would say, "Oh God, please send a revival to this town and let it begin inside this circle, let it begin in me."

I wonder if you would be willing to let the Holy Spirit draw a circle within your own heart and to say, "Oh, Lord, I long for You to send a revival. I want to see You send a revival in my nation. I want to see You send a revival in my church. Lord, we need it there.

"And Lord, my family, my marriage, my children, we need a revival there too. And I'm asking You for that, but Lord, as I step inside this circle, would You start a revival inside this circle? Would You let it begin in me?" It's me, Oh Lord."

Your life may look pretty good, and you may look pretty spiritual compared to the people you sit with in church this coming Sunday. But as God looks at your heart, does He see a woman who needs a fresh touch of His Spirit in revival?

What do you need to do to prepare the way? We can't make revival happen. It's a work of God. But we can prepare the way for Him to have a highway on which to ride, a highway on which to come and visit our hearts.

I want to invite you in these moments to just draw that little circle in your own heart and step inside of it to say, "Oh Lord, please send a revival. Would You start it inside of me?"

As we've talked about some of the types of issues that God deals with in revival, some of the things God surfaces, issues of clearing consciences, issues of reconciliation, issues of confession and repentance, I wonder if there's something that God has brought to your mind.

[Has] The Holy Spirit reminded you that there's this person you're not right with, you've spoken evil of your pastor? You need to go and make that right.

You've hated that husband who abandoned you and your children and you've blamed him all these years. But you know in your heart that it wasn't just your husband, that there are ways that you failed to be the wife, the lover, the server, the submissive woman of God that God wanted you to be in that marriage.

You know that with your contentious ways and biting tongue, you drove him away. No one else knows that, but God's saying to you, "I want you to go and humble yourself and seek forgiveness, acknowledge where you've been wrong."

Maybe it's not an ex-mate, maybe it's a son or daughter. Maybe it's your parents; maybe it's a former pastor; maybe it's a friend and you've been estranged. It's just because of pride.

The Scripture says that only by pride comes contention [Proverbs 13:10]. Is there a matter of conscience that needs to be cleared? You may not be able to do it right this moment, but would you in your heart just say, "Yes, Lord." Wave the white flag of surrender and say, "Have Your way. I agree with You. I'll take this step. I'll prepare the highway, whatever is required."

Father, I've seen the hands here, the most important thing is that You see our hearts. And I thank You for Your presence in this place and for the work of Your spirit pointing out to us those crooked places that need to be made straight and those rough places that need to be made smooth.

Thank You, Lord, for being such a personal God. And thank You that we can experience a right relationship with You, a pure heart and clean hands, and walk before You in the joy and the sweetness of Your presence, regardless of whether anyone else around us does or not.

I know there are women in this room who are living in marriages and with children and home situations where they're kind-of alone. I thank You that they're not really alone ever, that You go with them and You will give grace for them not only to walk with You obediently but to be instruments of revival in the lives of those they love.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss explaining how much joy and freedom comes when we have a clear conscience. That's one of the topics Nancy covers in the new workbook that she wrote with Tim Grissom called Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival.

We have a unique radio series starting January 24 called, "Seeking Him" , and if you want to get the most out of this series, you'll want to get a copy of the workbook Seeking Him and follow along. Nancy, what are some of the other things people will get out of this study?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Leslie, one of the things I'm most excited about in this study is the opportunity for people to seek the Lord together with other believers.

People can go through this study individually in their 12 weeks of study (they can do), but at the end of each week there's a section for group discussion.

It's called, "Seeking Him Together" and that's an opportunity for believers who want to have their hearts revived to seek the Lord with other believers who have the same desire.

So I would encourage our listeners not only to get a copy themselves and go through this book and listen with us as we begin this 12-week series on Revive Our Hearts shortly, but to ask God who else they could go through this study with.

This is an opportunity to encourage each other, to hold each other accountable, and to pray for one another as we seek the Lord together.

Leslie Basham: To order a copy of the workbook Seeking Him visit our Web site ReviveOurHearts.com or give us a call at 1-800-569-5959.

When you call us this week, be sure to ask for the free booklet When do we Need Revival? I hope you'll ask for a copy and then pray that God will use the "Seeking Him" series in powerful ways.What would it be like for God to move again? That will be our topic tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Hope to see you then.

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

*"Standing in the Need of Prayer."

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

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