Revivals in History 6

Amos 8:11 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12 “People will stagger from sea to sea And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it.

Wilmington, Delaware 1815
He heard their prayers; frustrated the calculated removal of Mr. Dodge, poured out his spirit among them; settled the church again in her glory, and crowded their house of worship with souls, who trembled at the word and cried for mercy. Mr. Dodge was soon so deeply impressed with this singular display of divine power, that he was constrained to alter his former arrangements about leaving the place… Every event seemed to augment the concern of multitudes…Their impressions were so great, that many were scarcely able to leave the house where weeping, and sighs and prayers abounded. Meetings were frequent. Preaching, singing, praying, and exhorting became very pleasant work. The children of God were refreshed, and engaged in the revival with increasing ardour…The Rev. Messrs. Blackburn and Patterson, of the Presbyterian denomination were greatly blessed in this place. The Spirit descended, and every cheek appeared bathed in tears, and many cried, what shall we do to be saved?

The pastor, Mr. Dodge, looked at the effects of what was going on and did not conclude that he was a wonderful preacher or that the people had worked hard and became spiritual. What started with a few praying became a crowded house of worship and those there trembled at His word and cried for mercy. According to Isaiah 66, God loves it when people are humble, contrite, and tremble at His Word. The living God does not look for men to work these things in their own hearts, but instead He has to work that in them. He alone is self-sufficient and He alone can make a heart that loves Him and His Word. He alone can work something in the heart of man that pleases Him.

Instead of looking at spiritual effects and concluding that men must have been doing something, we need to look at spiritual effects and conclude that God was doing something. It is true that man-centeredness can produce religious effects and there can be spurious revivals, but true brokenness and a true God-centeredness can only come as a result of God working among His people. During a spiritual famine there will be those who go forth from sea to sea and there will be strange fire and things worked up by the flesh of men, but where the true things of God are and true spirituality is the only One who can produce those things is God Himself.

This is also a great lesson that we are not to think that our fleshly prayers that we have worked up to produce a revival of the religious and fleshly self will produce anything but the flesh. Much religion is worked up in the flesh and it has some of the same outward things, but the root of fleshly religion is the self which is really Satan who loves religious fervor as long as it does not come from the Spirit of God. The wiles of Satan are many and he is constantly sowing seeds of division and false religion. Unbelievers can also be caught up in large numbers by a false religion and they can be deceived into making decisions that they think are decisions for Christ. But divine power can only come from God and there are distinctives of the work of the Spirit of God that the true children of God will be able to see and behold His glory.

Some of the true signs of the work of God are set out in the writings of the author above, but what we should first note is that the church is returned to a state of glory. God created all things for His glory and yet the Church has a peculiar glory. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of glory and is the shining forth of the glory of God (Heb 1:3). The Church is the body of Christ and it is united to Him and is to shine forth His glory as He is the shining forth of the glory of God. The true Church is to be Christ in the world (as such) and is not a social institution and is not be focused on men as the primary issue. The Church is all about God and His glory. The Church is settled in Her glory when the true churches are full of His glory and seeking Him and His glory.

Each church should seek the Lord for His presence and His work of power in their hearts to turn them from the world and from trusting in themselves and their own devices. Each church should know that only God can turn hearts to Himself and only God can give people true desires after Himself. Only God can fill a house of worship with people are truly trembling and pleading for Him to show mercy. When men seek God in our day they think that they can simply pray a prayer and He will show them mercy. However, when men are broken in heart they will seek Him in their weakness and inability asking Him to show them mercy. Then men understand that mercy is a sovereign act granted to them by grace alone and that they should seek it rather than demand it or dream that they can do something to move Him to show it to them.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: