The modern professing Church is not even remotely close to the older version of the Church much less determined by the character of God as set forth in Scripture. The modern external church relies on methods and man-centered means. The modern version of the professing church has a god (small g on purpose) that is focused on man and is doing all he can to help man. The God of the Bible is God-centered, that is, He does all for HIs own glory and out of love for Himself as triune. The biblical God will save sinners as He is pleased to do so and is sovereign over all creation at each and every point for each and every moment. The biblical God hardens sinners as He is pleased to do. The modern version has God begging sinners to choose Him, but the biblical God and only Him can make sinners alive at His good pleasure. He hardens individuals and nations according to His good pleasure. He turns the hearts of kings and all the rulers, not to mention the people as well, as He pleases.

It seems that many people think of revival in some way, but they think of revival in ways that are parallel to the supreme love of their hearts. A person may desire something s/he calls revival for nothing more than selfish and self-centered motives, though there may be a spiritual veneer over the selfish reasons. This type of thing has pervaded seemingly the vast majority of those who think of themselves as Christian. Men want a god. like themselves to do what they want to do in the ways they want to do them. But that is not true revival. For there to be a true revival men must be turned from their selfish hearts and selfish ways by the power of God and turn them to be lovers of God and desire His glory in revival. True revival is centered upon God as God and not centered upon man at all. Sure enough some or even many human beings will benefit from a true revival when God comes down among His people, but they are not focused on themselves. Instead, they are turned to focus on Him and love Him with all of their beings.

When God comes down and manifests Himself in HIs glory, He does as He is pleased to do and His true people that He dwells in desire Him above all. The same God that will save some will also harden others. He does as He is pleased to do and His true people love Him and know that He is right and holy in all He does. True revival is all about God and His glory and His true people will cry out to Him the same that the Psalmist prayed in Psalm 115. “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”

Now if God does all for His own glory and out of grace for His sovereign and glorious good pleasure, then the modern and professing Church must repent of their methods and methodologies and seek His face in truth and love. God is not impressed with the self-centered religion of man as it seeks a self-centered god of their own making. They seek that self-centered god of their imagination in ways that are according to their own selfish hearts. The whole of their religion appears to be of self, that is, from self and for self. They evangelize for the sake of self and leave people in the sins of self my their methods of evangelism. They seek a god that they imagine seeks them in ways according to their selfish hearts as well.

The whole heart of a people like that seek self and their god of self in all they do and all their religious doings, though they imagine that they are serving God in some way. If so, what kind of a revival are these kind of people seeking? They are seeking more of self and more of the god of their selfish imaginations. They may have some form of deceptive feelings in those seeking, but they are not even seeking the true God and so are not seeking a true revival of the true God. Instead, they have erected the god of self and in seeking what they call a revival they are doing nothing but polishing the old idol of self.

Until God turns the hearts of a people to where they truly love Him as Himself, people will evangelize, seek revival, and in reality have nothing but a religion of the idol of self. They may even see something of this and try to reform themselves with more religious things, but the reality of the matter is that they will always do all they do for the idol of self until the true God changes their hearts.

There will be no true revival where God does not change hearts from a selfish religion with selfish idols even if that religion has Him in name there. God must move our hearts and turn us from self, though we can have a lot of morality, legalism, and forms of religion that flow from sinful self. There can be people seeking Him in the externals as they are conservative and Reformed or whatever. But until men are turned from the love of self to the love of God, at best they are but selfish men doing things for the idol of self.

Revival is just another way for selfish men who are religious to seek the idol of self until God changes the hearts of men by His power and dwells in them by the life of Christ and the power of the Spirit of Christ. Men must be broken and deeply humbled to be converted from self to love for Christ. We can think we love Christ if we think He loves us, but we are really just loving ourselves apart from a true conversion. We should cry out to God to deliver us from self that we can seek Him and true revival.


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