What Does It Take To Have Revival?

Ezekiel 37 must surely be one of the most vivid and bizarre experiences in all of scripture. The Lord took Ezekiel out “in the Spirit” and set him down in the middle of a valley full of bones” (vs. 1). There were many, and they were very dry. Bleached from the sun. And he asked him a question: “Son of man, can these bones live?”

Ezekiel said: “O Lord God, you know.”

Verse 11 says, that the bones represented the whole house of Israel. Israel to the North, Judah to the South.

The bones spoke and said: “Our bones are dried up and our hope is lost.”

But God you see is in the business of restoring and reanimating dead things. So, God told Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones. What a weird preaching experience that must be. Although, I must say, as a preacher, I’ve had a few preaching experiences that have felt like that… though never at Singing Oaks!

Ezekiel 37 continues,

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them… (I think it’s important to note that a body can have sinews, flesh and skin, but not be alive – not without the breath of God – not without the Spirit of God animating it) 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Then in verse 13 God says,

13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”

What do you think it takes to have revival? Some would say, “Well, we need to discover grace.” Or, “We need to move past our legalism….or, this issue or that issue.” Other’s would say, “We need more energized, biblical preaching,” or “worship renewal,” or clarity of women’s roles, or music.

All of those things may be true. But I would suggest that none of those things will bring life to our churches in and of themselves. It has to start somewhere else. It has to be done by the Holy Spirit. And it begins with people who are broken-hearted over the things that break God’s heart. I would suggest in our churches before any of those things will have any lasting effect – we need some broken hearts, some burdened men and women, who ache over lost people… who are burdened by the disunity, by the lack of fruit in our churches, but the year-to-year steady decline, by the loss of so many young people to the faith, by the increasing immorality, by the break-up of our families and marriages, by the interest in so few to be church leaders and preachers.

Some would say: “Well, just accept the new reality.” Smaller churches, less interest in the gospel, a rejection of Christ centered morality. I’m not ready to accept it, are you? We can’t manufacture a revival in our churches ourselves by our own energy, or our own strategies. But we can call on God,

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

We need to restore the place of prayer in the body of Christ, and be a people who are utterly dependent on him, and not ourselves. Not our cleverness. Not our study. We moved years ago from having prayer meetings in the middle of the week to having Bible classes. Our motto has been, “Come, let us reason together.” We tend to think, “If we could just teach our way out of this.” Paul didn’t say, “Preach without ceasing.” He said, “Pray without ceasing.” We need the Holy Spirit to empower us and melt our hearts and energize our churches.

Here’s what I’m hoping for – I’m hoping for a movement of people that will fall before God, repent of sin and apathy and lethargy, and will seek God’s face and God’s heart and God’s strength and God’s direction above all else.

Revival begins with me – What must I repent of? I need introspection about my on life and to commit to obedience. Praying for revival will not replace humility, repentance and obedience. I can’t look at the speck in my brother’s eye if I have a log in my own. Remember what you have heard, repent.

Pray with others. Pray for others…

  • Pray for a soft and submissive heart…that we will be open to God’s leading, God’s movement.
  • Pray for our leaders, those in ministry …. That he will raise up leaders
  • Pray for a heart of love and compassion and grace … that you’ll begin to see your community, and the needs in it through the eyes of Jesus.
  • Pray for boldness and courage…don’t confuse boldness and courage with meanness. God didn’t’ call us to condemn the culture with boldness but to love and seek the good
  • Pray for your young people, College Students, Young adults
  • Pray your community, your city, and your witness to your city.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit will fill us

Other Posts You Might Like:

A Good Investment - Bob Bentley

Seasons - Beau Davis

My Impaired Imagination - Nic Dunbar

Show Up - Laurie Templeton

Unexpected Blessings - Bob Bentley



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McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209



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