October 14, 2012
Surely, there has never been a more critical time for a Christ-honoring, soul-saving fire from heaven revival! In the book of 1 Kings, we learn of a time similar to what we are experiencing today and it gives us application for how we can approach our need for the revival fire of God.
The people of that day had forgotten God and were worshipping an idol named Baal. Elijah called the people to Mount Carmel and built an altar and put a sacrifice upon it. He then told the people that they would pray and the god that answers by fire will be the one true God. Now, let's see what application we can make from this story for our lives today.
Revival has many enemies, including compromisers like Obadiah (see I Kings 18:3-6), corrupt people like Ahab and Jezebel (see 1 Kings 18:17-18), confused people like the crowd (see 1 Kings 18:19-21), and competitors represented by the priests of Baal (see 1 Kings 18:22-29).
What is there about your life that is different from the world? Are you a compromiser? Have you "sold out" to the world and the flesh like Obadiah? Where is your fire today? Has your prayer life become pitiful and weak? Did you love Jesus more yesterday than you love Him today? I believe there are multitudes out there who are confused—they haven’t seen enough difference between the world and God’s people to make a difference. Is there enough that is different in you to convict and convince the confused?
For revival to take place, there needs to be solidarity of God's people (see 1 Kings 18:30-31). The unity of Israel had fallen apart. The enemy divides us but the altar unites us. When we return to corporate prayer for our world, we will be inviting Him to revive us again.
The second element of revival is that we are to be separate from the world (see 1 Kings 18:32). Elijah dug a trench around the altar of God to represent a line of demarcation between the people of God and the idol worshippers. Have you come out from among the world and surrendered yourself separate unto God? God wants a holy people.
Thirdly, there is the sacrifice of Jesus (see 1 Kings 18:33). Every Old Testament sacrifice was a prophetic picture of the sacrificial work of Christ on Calvary. When you read about the Old Testament blood sacrifices, think of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that was shed for you.
Our fourth element is the supernatural power of God (see 1 Kings 13:33-35). When Elijah instructed the people to keep pouring the water on the wood, he wanted the people to understand fully that the fire from heaven would be a demonstration of the mighty power of Almighty God Jehovah.
The strength of the believing prayer is the fifth element of revival (see 1 Kings 18:36-37). This prayer was precise containing only 63 words in English. It was powerful. The basis of the prayer was a bloody sacrifice (see Hebrews 10:19). And it was purposeful. His zeal was for the glory of God.
Many people ask, how we will know when revival comes? Will there be a spasm of excitement or perhaps more church attendance? I don't know, but these things I do know -- the Holy Ghost fire will consume, convict, and convert souls.
We need a holy fire that consumes. The fire didn't just consume the sacrifice, it consumed everything. The sacrifice was their substitute to take the fire of God's wrath ─ just as Jesus.
Second, we need a fire that convicts. The people didn't know God. We need Holy Spirit fire to convince the fence straddlers and shut the mouths of the cynics. We need something the world cannot explain away with a personality, propaganda, promotion, or program. Only God's Spirit can bring conviction upon a lost soul.
The third evidence of Holy Ghost fire is that the fire converts. Millions will be swept into the kingdom when the fire truly falls. Most of us have a furnace that is out but the blower is still going. Don't miss this. The fire will fall. The question is, will we experience the fire of revival or endure the fire of judgment?
Would you pray...Dear God, begin in my heart. Don’t let me be a compromiser. Don’t let me be like the world where no one can see the difference. May Your mighty power be demonstrated in my life. I pray this for Your glory. In Jesus name. Amen.