Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Reconciliation

Leslie Basham: Are you at odds with a co-worker? Maybe you have had a falling out with a sibling or maybe it's been years since you have spoken to your mother or father. Whatever the situation God, wants to mend that broken relationship.

It's Friday, January 7, and you are listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

All this week Nancy has been talking about revival. She's told us about some of the most memorable revivals that occurred throughout the years.

She has also told us about the distinguishing characteristics of revival: the sense of God's presence, an urgency of prayer and the conviction sin.

Today we'll join Nancy as she teaches about another characteristic of revival, the reconciliation of relationships.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I'll never forget being in a church in Indiana where God was moving in a gracious season of revival in the hearts of His people. During that time of revival the people in that church became convicted about something that had taken place in the life of that church ten years earlier.

There had been a massive split and one large group got up, walked out and started a new church across town. This is not an uncommon experience at all today, unfortunately.

But in this case, as God was moving in the mother church, they became convicted about their attitudes ten years earlier and God particularly spoke to the men in leadership in that church and said to them, "You did not handle this correctly."

As those men sought the Lord and as the church body sought the Lord, it was decided that they should go across town to that other church that had been formed ten years earlier.

I was there in that service at the other church one night when 30 or 40 people from the mother church came over to the daughter church and stood before those people to talk about something that many would just as soon have swept under the carpet.

These men humbled themselves and stood before that daughter church and said, "We have sinned against you; we were wrong in how we handled this situation. Would you please forgive us?"

One of the deacons in that original church said that for all those years he had never been able to drive down Third Street in town because that's where one of the opposing deacons lived.

Now this was not a large town, and he said that he had a job that took him through a lot of parts of town, but he could never drive down Third Street.

He said after that time of humbling and repentance, he got into his vehicle and where do you think he headed? Right to Third Street. He said that he drove up and down Third Street with such freedom because he had humbled himself and been part of God's reconciling the hearts of His people back together.

In times of revival, and we're talking about what God does in times of revival, there's intense conviction and confession of sin and people are motivated to make things right with God. They want to have a clear conscience toward God.

But one of the things they soon realize is that they can't have a clear conscience with God if they don't have a clear conscience with others.

They not only have to be right with God vertically but horizontally they need to be right with their mates, with their children, with their fellow church members, with their fellow workers.

In times of revival one of the marks that characterizes genuine revival is the reconciliation of relationships and the clearing of conscience, people making restitution.

The Scripture says in Proverbs 28 [:13]

"He who covers his sin will not prosper,
But the one who confesses his sin and forsakes it
will have mercy."

In times of revival there is the lifting up of this tendency to hide, to cover our sin. And there is a willingness to step out into the light, not only with God, but also with others.

Isn't that what John says in 1 John, chapter 1 [:7], "If we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with God," but what else happens? "We have fellowship with one another." We can have right relationships with one another.

What an incredible thing it has been over the years to get glimpses of God bringing people to this point of humility where they will make right the wrongs of the past, make restitution where needed and reconcile relationships.

Sometimes God deals with people over issues that seem to be so insignificant. I remember hearing a story, for instance, about a woman who went into a supermarket where she had been over-changed and had pocketed the change. You think, not a big deal, doesn't that happen to everyone on occasion?

Well, God convicted this woman that that was stealing, so she went back to the supermarket and she shared with them that she was a Christian, that God was working in her life, and that she needed to confess to them that she had stolen from their store by taking that money when she was over-changed.

The lady she was talking to who worked at the store began to laugh and this woman said to her, "This is a serious matter to me" and wanted to know why she was laughing.

She said, "You are the seventh person who has been in here already this morning."

God was at work in the hearts of His people bringing them to make right the wrongs of their past. Can you imagine, by the way, if those of us who sit in church and sing our hymns, and pray our prayers, and listen to our messages, and take our notes on Sunday mornings, if when Monday morning came we would be out in the community making things right.

You see the people who work with us, the people in our neighborhood, the people we carpool with, we go to ball games to watch our kids with their kids, they know us. They know the way that we rake other people over the coals with a gossiping tongue. They know the bitterness, the anger that's in so many of our hearts.

Is it any wonder that they are not particularly impressed with our brand of Christianity? You see, when we begin to clear our conscience, to make right the wrongs of the past, to be reconciled in our relationships, we demonstrate the reality of the Gospel.

I think of how God has moved in reconciling so many broken relationships. I think of a woman who came to the front of an auditorium when I was speaking once and she said to me during a break, "Could you ask if so and so could come up here to the front. I can't find her, but I believe she's here."

For five years those women had had a major rift between them, but in that place there at that altar they found each other. They humbled themselves, sought forgiveness and God reconciled their hearts.

Nowhere perhaps is revival more needed than within the four walls of our own homes. So many illustrations come to mind.

I think of one church where God was moving in a time of genuine revival. During one three-week period, the pastor told us later that during that [in that]three-week period there were 50 couples in that one church who either were divorced or separated or one or both partners involved in marital infidelity that God reconciled; 50 of those marriages.

Now books and seminars and conferences alone can never accomplish all that apart from the convicting power of God's Holy Spirit.

I was in a church once (involved with a revival ministry there with a team) and there was a woman in that church whose husband had left her and had run off first with someone in the youth group and then with someone in the choir.

At this particular point, he was in jail doing time for some other offense and this woman, humanly-speaking, this was understandable, had become deeply bitter towards her husband and wanted to have nothing to do with him.

They had a teenage son who was a rebel, no surprise. He had been sent to one children's home and had run off from there and he was just incorrigible and the focus of people in that church was pretty much on how to get this teenage kid to be right with God.

But I tell you, if we want our teenagers to get right with God, it wouldn't hurt for their moms and dads to get right with God.

During that time, when God was meeting with that church in revival, that dad, that ex-husband, was released from jail and would you believe the first place he came was down to the church.

He was drawn there by the power of God's Spirit and initially he and his ex-wife sat on opposite sides of the auditorium. She didn't want to have anything to do with him.

But as I recall, the first night that he was there the Spirit of God brought conviction upon him of his lost condition and there he gave his heart to Christ. He was born again.

Quickly he realized that one of the first things he had to do was to be reconciled to his wife. Under the ministry of godly council from the pastor of that church that couple began to deal with some of the root issues that had torn them apart.

We had the privilege two weeks later of sitting in that auditorium and watching as that husband and wife came to the front of the auditorium and were reunited in marriage as husband and wife with that teenage son standing in as best man for his dad -- the power of God's spirit to reconcile hopelessly broken marriages, to make relationships new, to give us a clear conscience.

Leslie Basham: As Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been showing us, revival can have practical results. Nancy will be back in just a minute to help us apply what we have learned today.

To help you learn more about today's topic, we want to send you a free booklet called When Do We Need Revival. Call us and ask for your free copy at 1-800-569-5959. That's 1-800-569-5959.

We hope that you will pray for revival. We are praying that thousands of believers will join small groups to discuss Nancy's new workbook called Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival.

It includes a daily personal Bible study and questions for a group discussion. Would you pray about whether God would want you to lead a small group using Seeking Him? For more information you can visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Have you ever considered the way revival has influenced social change? Nancy Leigh DeMoss will give us some examples on Monday's broadcast. I hope you can be with us.

Now let's consider how we need to respond to today's call to revival as Nancy closes our time together.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Psalm 85:13 tells us,

"Righteousness goes before Him
And prepares the way for His coming."

If we want to see in our day the visitation of the Lord Jesus in revival in our churches, what will prepare the way for His coming and revival?

It's righteousness, right living, a commitment to holy lives and the willingness to make right every wrong of the past. Is there something in your life, a relationship, and an issue from the past that needs to be dealt with in preparation for the Lord to come and visit you in revival?

You say, "But it was so long ago," then how come you still remember it? You say, "But it was so small, just over-changed at the supermarket, what's the big deal? They'll think I'm nuts."

Well I'll tell you what they may think and that is that God is real and that His truth is not just something that we say in our pulpits on Sundays, but it is something that God's people live from Monday through Saturday.

What is it that you need to deal with? Some issue that you need to make right? Some relationship that needs to be reconciled? It may be that there is an ex-mate that you need to go to. Pick up the phone and call and say, "I have blamed you all these years for the breakup of our marriage."

Now I am not saying that man didn't have faults, but perhaps you need to say to him, "God has convicted me that there were issues in my life that contributed to the breakup of that marriage and I am calling to say, 'Would you please forgive me? I have sinned against you by not being the wife that God wanted me to be.'"

You may need to get in touch with a parent or a parent-in-law, a sibling, a son or daughter. Perhaps there is a broken relationship and you are waiting for them to come back and make it right, and God is saying to you, "Why don't you take the first step. You want to experience revival?

"Righteousness goes before him
And prepares the way for his coming."

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

Thank you, Pat, for preparing today's Revive Our Hearts for the Internet.

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