by Bill Elliff
God can do whatever He desires, whenever He desires, however He desires. But for some reason He has chosen to make many of His ways known to us.
He does this so we can cooperate with Him in His activity. He invites us to join Him, and through His recognizable patterns in human history, He shows us clearly what we are to do. Every leader who longs to see revival and awakening must give attention to these ways of God so that we can join Him.
Our Sin Is Predictable
There is an oft-repeated cycle among God’s people of spiritual vitality followed by spiritual decline. Our enemies—the world, the flesh, and the devil—are powerful, and man’s flesh is weak.
It is not hard to find the church in a state of spiritual decay. Read through Christ’s seven letters to the churches in Revelation, and compare them with the American church in our day. We are far too predictable.
In every statistical measurement, the church in America is in a very needy condition. Although there are many great churches and faithful leaders, all of their work is not slowing the moral and spiritual decay of the nation.
God’s Judgment Is Predictable
God disciplines those He loves. He will not allow His church to go into such decline without reproof and discipline. History records numerous occurrences of His judgment against sin, as His people have been enticed to follow other gods.
Often God’s way is to allow our enemies to rule over us. He relaxes His protective hand so that we can feel the weight of a life in which He is not welcomed and worshiped.
These judgments are frightening in their effect but compassionate in their purpose. Our great Father is trying to open our eyes to see where we are forsaking Him.
God’s Mercy Is Predictable
When God’s people reach a point of desperation under His disciplining hand, there is an oft-repeated response: they cry out. Unable to voice much more, a deep, guttural, corporate plea comes from hurting hearts: “Oh, Lord, save us!” This cry always seems to be the tipping point with God.
God has heard this from us before, but the most amazing response comes from our merciful Father. He hears our cry and heals our land.
This is seen again and again in Scripture and throughout human history. God responds to the honest, humble, sincere cries of His children. It is completely undeserved, which makes His intervention one more majestic display of His grace.
The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:7-8b).
If we are to be in the best position to lead others toward revival, we must know these ways (and more). We must discover where we are on God’s spiritual scale and alert our people. We must call for the right responses.
And surely no one would disagree that, at this desperate moment, it is time to unite our hearts in one cry!
The Summit Church
Little Rock, AR
[Bill Elliff has been meeting for prayer with other pastors in Little Rock for over 15 years praying for Revival in their community. In the Spring of 2012, God sent mercy drops to their community where His Presence met with them in unusual remarkable ways for several weeks.]
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