By Evangelist John “BJ” Hall
We live in a world that desperately needs change. In fact if we do not have an awakening in America soon, we will fall to God’s judgement.
Our Lord practically began His ministry by cleansing the temple (John 2:12-17) and His last word to the churches was, “Repent.” Spiritual awakening, like judgment, begins at the house of God. It begins with confession.
• Confession (2 Chron. 7:14).
The setting of this passage is the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. The Lord had just warned of judgement if they were disobedient to Him. He then gives this command and promise. “. . . and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
God’s command is to His people not to political leaders. Awakening comes when God’s people (believers) turn their hearts toward God and away from the things of the world. This leads us to our next point
• Separation (1 John 2:15).
John begins this paragraph with a command to separate ourselves from the things of the world. 1 John 2:15 (NASB77) “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The things of the world are, and always have been, opposed to the things of God. Satan’s greatest desire is to use whatever means possible to undermine the work of the Kingdom. That includes tempting us to compromise with the world and destroy our witness in the process.
God demands a difference between us and the world. 1 Peter 1:16 (NASB77) “because it is written, ” YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” We are to be a “peculiar people.” The differences between the world and the Church should be obvious. In order for this to happen we must be submissive to our Lord.
• Submission (Rom. 10:9).
Romans 10:9 (NASB77) “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;” Jesus was the greatest example of the submission needed for awakening. Matthew 26:39 (NASB77) “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”
When we submit to His control we take a major step toward awakening. The Lord responds to that submission by filling us with His Holy Spirit.
• Filling of the Spirit (John 7:37-39).
John 7:37-39 (NASB77) “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ” If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
The Holy Spirit not only takes up residence within us, He guides, convicts and directs us in our daily lives. Each day brings a new filling as we renew our submission.
• Continuance (John 8:31).
John 8:31 (NASB77) “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;”
The Greek word for abide is ἐπιμένω, pronounced epimenō. It means “to abide in, continue in, tarry,” sometimes indicating perseverance in continuing.
The concept is similar to when you move into a new house. If you abide there long enough it becomes your home. You are comfortable there.
It is possible for believers to abide with the Lord so closely that it is a comfortable thing to be with Him. When that happens awakening is complete.
Prayer is the life blood of renewal. And it is the only hope for our world.
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