CHANCE OF RAIN
Rain is essential to our lives. Although it can be an inconvenience when we have outdoor activities planned or dangerous floods when we get too much, there is no denying the fact that we need rain. Without it, we die.
The area where I live has been in serious drought conditions this summer. In fact, during the month of May we did not have a single day of measurable rainfall which made it the driest May in the history of keeping such records. Every day we would cling to ANY rain chances forecasted by the weatherman. Without the rain, things got dry and wildfires have burned out of control. The lack of rain also forced us into water restrictions. Even with watering the lawn, there is no substitute for rain. We always notice how the grass responds so much better to rain than watering it. No doubt rain has the right amount of nutrients in it to give the grass what it needs better than I can with a rotating sprinkler.
Our spiritual lives need rain also. We need the real thing, not something artificial. Without this spiritual rain, we become dry and unchanged. During a spiritual drought, you canít tell the difference between the church and the world. The world MUST be changed by the church ó that was the commission that Christ gave to us. When I refer to the church, I am not referring to a denomination or a building with a steeple. The church is us. When we are dry, we have no passion to reach the lost or even keeping the found. We need rain and we need it now!
RAIN OF REVIVAL
I hear it preached too often by preachers at the beginning of each year that a big revival is coming. Then that year passes without it. We sow our financial seeds into ministries but the revival never comes while those ministries get richer. No revival. No change. Many people think of revival as a series of fiery church services conducted by an evangelist but a revival doesnít come from a preacher. A true revival will come when we respond to 2 Chronicles 7:14Ö.
ďIf my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.Ē
That passage in 2 Chronicles is directed at believers Ė not sinners. Whatís that? Humble ourselves? Pray? Turn from OUR wicked ways?
This is the only way we are going to experience a true revival not with hype or loud praise and worship music. To humble ourselves, we must admit our dependency upon God. We donít do that -- especially in America. We pray but when God doesnít do what we ask, we go ahead with our plans anyway. Our plans and programs can function just fine if God is in it or not. We display no need for God other than an obligatory prayer to make our plans look like they are Gods plans.
For revival to occur, there needs to be a return to fervent prayer and a renewed reverence for God. When was the last time we were involved in REAL fervent prayer? It seems to be a struggle for the church to pray longer than 10 minutes! Iím also amazed how people are so oblivious to reverence. Even with services that are reverent services, you still have to quiet people from carrying on conversations or correct children from running in church. So why is it a mystery that we arenít seeing revival.
We also must turn from our wicked ways in the church. Wickedness in the church?? Sadly, there is wickedness in the church which is causing the lack of spiritual rain. This wickedness is in the form of unforgiveness in the pews and at home, bitterness toward others and an epidemic of other hidden sins keeping people in bondage. If we canít clean up the wickedness in our churches then how do we expect to reach the lost? If we are no different from them, then what incentive do they have?
RAIN OF HEALING
People are hurting. They are hurting physically, mentally and emotionally. We canít just pray a loud prayer while laying hands on people and expect that to work. There needs to be some substance to it. God cares about hurting people.
People are not only hurting in the world but also in the church. Every Sunday we are surrounded by people who are hurting but afraid to show it. Many come with a smile on the outside but a deep scar on the inside. They come to church each week with hope for healing but often leave disappointed.
In my years of attending church, nothing troubles me more than this. If we pray earnestly in faith, shouldnít God do His part in it? Shouldnít we see more people being healed and delivered? If God is not the problem then it is obvious that we are the problem. Whatever we are doing is not working. Itís time to change it.
Iím tired of seeing people who are hurting. I want to see them healed! I am also tired of hurting. We need a rain of healing in our lives. I know God doesnít always heal everyone but SOMEONE should be getting healed donít you think?
If we align ourselves up to God, we know that He is going to come to us like the rain. (Hosea 6:3) He will not dwell where this is sin. We build our insignificant kingdoms we call denominations and mega churches where many only entertain and put on a God show rather than preach against sin and make a way where the Spirit can draw people to God. This is an urgent time for all believers and itís time to look at our faith as more than just a hobby. Being a believer is not like being a member of the Rotary Club or some football booster club. Being a believer is a way of life, not just a way that people can see that we are good citizens.
Letís prepare for rain. Nothing else will revive us like the rain of the Holy Spirit. Rain will bring dead things back to life! When the rain comes, the environment which was previously unproductive, comes alive again. When the Holy Spirit penetrates the heart, a transformation begins. Like the rain that changes the dry soil and grass, the same is true to the person who receives a heavenly shower.
Revival is getting back on the right path with God and getting our priorities in view again and pursuing with a renewed passion the One who can make our lives more than weíd ever dreamed. Revival is genuinely having God at the center of our lives, experiencing Him and enjoying His presence.