Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Henry Blackaby: There are times I grieve through the night . . .

Leslie Basham: Here’s Henry Blackaby.

Dr. Blackaby: . . . when God says, “Henry, don’t talk about your sin from your perspective. You’re going to justify it. You’re going to let it be okay. It’s not going to be too bad if you see it from your point of view. Henry, I want you to see it from My point of view.”

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Thursday, October 4. We’re in a series called Seeking Him, all about the joy of personal revival. A couple of weeks ago we studied humility. Then Nancy led us through a discussion of honesty. This week Nancy’s helped us understand repentance. If you missed any of the Seeking Him messages so far, you can hear them at ReviveOurHearts.com. Now here’s Nancy to tell us what to expect today.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I suspect that at this point in the Seeking Him series we probably have some listeners who are thinking this is really heavy. When can we get to something more refreshing? Something easier to listen to than all this talk of humility and brokenness and honesty and repentance?

Well, we’re going to spend all of next week talking about the amazing, incredible grace of God, but you know the whole concept of God’s grace is even more rich and precious to us when we see it against the backdrop of our own sinfulness and neediness. The heart that has never seen its sin for what it is and truly repented of that sin cannot thoroughly experience and enjoy the fullness of God’s grace.

So we want to share today the second half of a message that was preached back in 1995 by my friend, Dr. Henry Blackaby. He was speaking to a group of about 4,000 Christian workers who were in the midst of experiencing a deep work of God’s Spirit. There had been hours of confession of sin and Dr. Blackaby challenged them to see their sin the way God sees it.

O Father, how I pray that as we listen to these words, You would open our hearts, You’d give us tender, responsive hearts. Grant us deep, heartfelt contrition and brokenness over our sin. Grant us the gift of repentance that Your grace may flow in new ways into and through our lives. I pray it in Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s listen now to Dr. Henry Blackaby.

Dr. Blackaby: Would you turn in your Bibles back to 2 Samuel, chapter 12. Beginning at verse 7 of 2 Samuel 12. “Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel.’” Then God begins to say . . . Let me give you it in my translation as I’ve tried to interpret it, and then I’ll read it.

God said, “David, your sin was done in the midst of My grace. David, if you had not known what I had done, your sin would have been much different. But, David, you sinned against the backdrop of My grace to you. David, let me tell you the context of your sin. David, I anointed you King over Israel. David, you were a shepherd boy. I made you King, and you sinned against that backdrop of My grace.”

Then He says, “I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!” (verse 8).

“David, your sin was against the backdrop of My goodness and My grace. It makes your sin much more grievous, David. I did for you what I’ve not done for others, and you sinned against that. I told you more than I told others. I did more for you.”

That’s why the sin of a leader is much more grievous to God than one who has never been through the process of the grace of God doing marvelous, wonderful things, taking us when we were a nobody and saving us and then putting us in a place of ministry and then giving us responsibility and then entrusting to us the people of God. For us to sin is much more grievous to God.

As a matter of fact, in a moment, it’s going to surprise you if you’re not already familiar with it. God said, “David, for you to sin against the backdrop of My love, it means that you despise My law and you despise My Word and you despise Me.”

“O Lord, I didn’t despise you. I just fell into sin.” God said, “You don’t fall into sin. You choose to sin. There’s no such thing as falling into sin. Sin is a choice, and David, you chose with all the information that I gave you.”

That puts my sin in a completely different category. It is not a slip. It is not a personal turning aside. It is an offense where I have despised the goodness of the Lord and the Word of the Lord. He says, “David, you have despised Me when you did your sin.”

Then God has become what to me? Has become a statement that I can hardly deal with. There are times I grieve through the night when God says, “Henry, don’t talk about your sin from your perspective. You’re going to justify it. You’re going to let it be okay. It’s not going to be too bad if you see it from your point of view. But, Henry, I want you to see it from My point of view.”

I want you to read it with me. There is nothing that has caused pain in my heart over my sin like what he says to David. Listen to me while I read it.

He says, “‘For you did it secretly, but I’ll do this thing [what I do in judging you] before all Israel, before the sun.’ So David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die’” (verses 12-13).

However, could I suggest to you that in your great movement of God there are some of you who, when you sin, it has far-reaching implications, and you’re going to need the counsel and the help of godly people to know how God can give you grace and strength to carry the consequences of your sin. And He will and the victory will be even more amazing to the watching world.

But listen to this very, very painful statement from the heart of God. It says you will not die. “However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die” (verse 14).

I’ve said, “Lord, if I’m a leader among your people and I sin, I give great occasion to the enemies of my Lord to blaspheme Him.” I said, “Lord, I don’t want that to happen.” He said, “Then quit sinning.”

You know that there are the enemies of God that would give anything in the world if I would sin because they want to blaspheme my Lord. It’s one thing to say, “Lord, I love you with all of my heart. It’s another to say, “O God, keep me from sin lest I give great occasion to your enemies to blaspheme Your Holy Name.”

You see David saw it from one perspective. God said, “Do you know what you’ve done, David? My enemies were waiting to blaspheme My Name and you gave them the occasion to do it. Because of that, David, that little child will not live.”

If you know the heart of David, described as a heart like unto the Master’s, David knew that God was a God of mercy. He had heard the voice of God saying the child will not live. David proceeded with an unusual practice. He immediately took off all of his regal robes and he put on sackcloth and put ashes on his head. He tore his garments, and he wept. He fasted and he fasted and he fasted and he prayed all the time that the child was still alive.

You find later that they said, “David, while the child was alive you acted in an unusual way of repentance and brokenness. Now that the child has died, we thought you’d be in greater mourning, but now you’ve taken off all of that. David, why did you do that?”

He said, “Oh, let me tell you why. Because I know my God is full of mercy and I just thought, even though I knew what the judgment was, that maybe, maybe my God of mercy would hear my cry and spare the child. Now that I know the child has died, now I can get up and serve my Lord.”

I understand now that He said, “David, don’t talk about that again. Your sin is as serious as I’m telling you it is.” Don’t ever take sin lightly. All sin is against You and You only, O Lord, and my sin gives occasion for the enemies that are Yours to blaspheme Your Son and to blaspheme Your Name. O Lord, give me a holy hatred of sin. Give me a brokenness because of my sin.

I found myself when I read this and I realized what I was doing, I said, “O God, what have I done to my Lord? Do You mean that when I sin, it has far-reaching implications in Your purposes through my life but also in the enemies of God?” “Oh, yes," He said. "It’s that serious. Henry, do you not understand what it cost Me to forgive you your sin? Have you taken it lightly? It is not to be taken lightly.”

These are crucial hours and I believe that God is about to bring the greatest revival the world has ever known. I’m so convinced that we’re on the front edge of that and what we’re experiencing here is God’s invitation not only to begin the process, but to complete it. If He convinces you of your sin, that’s the first step in a process of dealing with your sin.

Now you need to implement it. Now you need to take the grace of God and apply it. Now you need that resurrection power to keep you from sin. Now you need the reigning Christ to reign in you.

Now you need to put those God put around you like Jesus had around Him to help you through the tough times. When the burden is heavy, as Jesus came to the end of His life, He took three friends and said, “I’ve got to have you with me now because I’m going to the cross where God will bring redemption.”

Could I suggest for those of you who have a burdened heart for revival that the closer we get to a moment when God may bring revival, the burden will become so heavy that you need to have around you several that you say let’s go aside and let’s go into that little retreat center on the top of that little hill and let’s pour out our heart to God and find out what He’s about to do in a great deliverance, as He talked to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Could I say to you that there will never come revival until many of us come to our Gethsemane. Many of us don’t want Gethsemane. We want all pain to be removed and the first sign of pain we complain to God and say, “O God, remove this. I don’t want it.” And He said, “Then you’re of no use to me. Let My Son take you into your Gethsemane because out of Gethsemane comes the redemption of the world.”

If God’s about to bring a great revival, it is birthed in the birth pangs and somebody has to carry the birth pangs until revival comes. We have a tendency to say let me celebrate on the coming revival, and God says there will be no revival. There’s no child born until the completeness of the birth pangs have run their course. No revival comes to be unless somebody carries the pain that brings it to birth.

I pray some of you leaders that your heart will be burdened by the Lord for your campus and that when others are watching football and baseball and basketball, you’re found in your little retreat center crying unto the Lord, “O God, give me this campus or I die. O God, they’re going out into eternity. O God, what is it that’s on Your heart for my campus? Don’t let me miss it. O God, let me stay here until You tell me about the exodus, the great deliverance You’re about to bring to my campus.”

Those who have paid that price have lived to stand in the middle of their campus when the power of God is known and infidels and atheists cry out to God to forgive them of their sin. Blasphemers fall on their faces under the awesome presence of a holy God. History is full of that.

Edwin Orr, who wrote Campus Aflame that has become almost a part of my life as I read that book, said, “O God, would You in Your kindness, would You not intervene in our nation and touch our campuses one more time?”

Could it be that God has orchestrated this very hour to say, “I came to My own and My own received Me, and to those who believed Me, I gave them power and authority to function as my children. I worked through them and made Myself known from one end of the land to the other.

So I come to simply share with all of my heart that God touched us yesterday and He exposed our sin. He’s saying now, “Let that conviction of sin go on to repentance.” Could I suggest that unless confession is followed by repentance, then you only add to your sin. Confession is not repentance. Confession is the first step toward repentance.

Paul says godly sorrow leads to repentance. That’s why when someone is feeling godly sorrow over their sin, I never, ever comfort them. I never comfort a person in whose life the Spirit of God is bringing conviction of their sin. I let that sorrow for sin bring full, total repentance because it is in full repentance that forgiveness comes. When forgiveness comes, freedom comes. Joy and power in the Lord.

So we have together said, “Lord, You have convicted me of my sin. I have acknowledged and confessed it before men. But O God, would You make certain in my heart, knowing my heart, that that which You began will come to full fruit in my life, that the fruit of my repentance will be absolute forgiveness and cleansing and then the fruit of Your presence will be known and read by all men.”

Now, I believe that we need to help one another. I believe it is important that when we see one of our close friends under great conviction because of their sin and now you hold the stewardship of their lives in your hand, it is an awesome thing for a friend of yours to tell you that God is convincing them of their sin. It is an awful stewardship.

What would you do now? Would you just comfort them and say it’s all right? Or will you say, “Oh, let me stay with you until the full agony of that is presented in the throne of God and you hear from God, not from me, but from God, ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee. Get up and serve.’ I’ll stay with you until you know that the victory has been won. I cannot win the victory for you, but I can do what Jesus asked the three friends to do. ‘Would you stay here and watch with me and pray so that God can bring a victory in me and through me so a world could come to know.’”

Oh, you’re most fortunate if some of your friends have entrusted to you the convicting work of God. Do you know how tender that is? Do you know that you could crush that? Do you know that you could abuse that? But do you know what would happen if God set that dear friend of yours free and then worked through that life to do things that only God could do?

He put you as the friend alongside of them at that moment when they were turning their hearts back to God. They did because you stood with them and you encouraged them. You gave them Scripture and you put your arm around them. You wept with them and you carried their load until they had repented, been forgiven, set free.

Many of you want to be free. It can happen just like that. We need each other. We desperately need each other. I think Satan’s great weapon is to isolate us and get us serving all on our own. Let’s defeat him and say we will not let our brother walk alone. We will not let our dear sister who’s trying to serve her Lord, we will not let her walk alone. We will not let her go through the turmoil of her desire to be God’s servant fully and do it all alone. We’ll walk with them.

Hebrews 10:26 and following says, “If we continue to sin after we have the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin but a fearful looking to the judgment of God” (paraphrased). Then he says, “Let me tell you how God looks on a Christian who continues to sin.” He says, “God says that if a Christian knowing the truth continues to sin, you’re trampling underfoot the Son of God. You’re treating as common the blood of the covenant that sets you apart for God and you’re despising the Spirit of grace” (verse 29, paraphrased).

That is how serious sin is with God. It affects His Son. It affects the covenant of love He’s made, and it affects the working of the Holy Spirit within us. Now we come to say, “O God, don’t leave any remnant of sin in my life. I come, and in my mind and in my heart with the knowledge of the truth, I forsake it and ask You to deal with it and cleanse me and remove it and restore unto me the joy of Your salvation so that my life is a highway where sinners can be converted and the unrighteous can be instructed. Lord, that’s what I want.”

Father, it is an awesome thing to know You. Most of the world has never encountered You like we have. Most of our world has never known the wonderful grace that You’ve given through Jesus Your Son. Many have never heard that there has been a cross where in love you bore the sin of the world in Your Son. Most have never known about a Holy Spirit who would keep us convicted of our sin, would show us Your righteousness and free us from the judgment.

O God. O God. We have so much. Now, Lord, against the backdrop of Your grace and Your goodness, against the backdrop of the cross and the resurrection, against the backdrop of Your reigning, ever interceding for us, and against the backdrop of the outpouring of Your Spirit at Pentecost to enable us, Lord, against all of that we now come and acknowledge our sin and ask for forgiveness and a restoration that we might be Your people in these marvelous days.

Nancy: Well, I’m so thankful for the ministry of Dr. Henry Blackaby and how he has called us to embrace a deeper level of true repentance over our sin. I believe your heart has been challenged as has mine to say, “Oh, Lord, don’t leave any remnant of sin in my life.”

That prayer is what will open the door in our lives to the mercy and the grace of Jesus Christ. That’s how we’ll experience the power of His cleansing blood in our lives and then be able to experience the fullness of His indwelling Holy Spirit. As God’s people begin to demonstrate the meaning of true repentance, I believe the impact on the lost world around us will be enormous.

Leslie: You know, there’s a difference between feeling sad about something you’ve done wrong and repenting. Find out more tomorrow when we’re back with another Revive Our Hearts.

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

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