Revival Starts in Us

Revival services begin next week, but it must begin in our hearts today.

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Steps to Personal Revival

Psalm 51

A week from today we are kicking off a series of services dedicated to revival. This morning I want to talk about what revival is, why we need it corporately, and then how we can experience it personally.

Revive- make alive again.

It’s to resuscitate.

CPR stands for CardioPulmonary Resuscitation. If a person stops breathing, or their heart stops beating effectively, this lifesaving technique is used to restores oxygenated blood flow to the vital organs.

Revival is when there is movement that can only be classified as a special moving of God among a group of people. It’s the restoration of the vital flow of the spirit among people, churches, and communities.

During revival movements of the past, entire towns have been changed, countries have shifted, and or thousands of churches have sprung up.In 1734 Jonathan Edwards (who would become a well known preacher and writer but at the time was unknown) and his church in Northampton, Massachusetts, experienced a powerful revival movement. Half the town was converted in about a year.In 1739 George Whitfield began a tour of preaching evangelistic services throughout New England that brought on what would later be called The Great American Awakening.In 1904 Evan Roberts was moved by revival services held in New Quay, Wales and he went study for ministry. Upon completion of his studies he began preaching revival meetings and at first there was little interest, but he became catalyst in what would be called the Welsh Revival and the churches of Wales would all be filled for 20 years- most of them putting chairs in the aisles for long periods of time…

Here in America we are ripe for Revival. Alvin Reid who is a professor of Evangelism and student of the revivals in history has said there are a few factors that seem to be at play in most revivals.

  1. A general departure from interest in God and church leading to moral decay.
  2. A remnant of believers praying earnestly for revival.
  3. A precipitous event. – A natural disaster, surprising political upheaval, stock market crash or some other similar event that jars people and wakes them out of their slumber…

If you walked up to someone and attempted to do CPR on them, people would say, what are you doing?

However, if someone passed out people standing around would probably say, someone do something! Our culture, right now is saying, “Someone do something!”

Reid points out something else- in the revivals I mentioned as well as several others that Reid lists, the principal players are young leaders- under that age of 40. In each instance there were people of all ages praying and people of all ages being saved and converted, however there were young people that God used as a spark for the revival. Revival is not merely something from the 1700’s. Revival is not merely something that older generations experience. When Peter stood to deliver a message at what would be the very first revival and 3,000 people were saved, He quoted the prophet Joel’s words: Old men will see visions and young men will dream dreams. In other words, God will work in the young and old to bring about great movements in the church.

So that’s what revival is, now let me talk to a you a second about why we need it.

The number of overdoses is on the rise. According to the CDC- Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription pain killers and heroin) have quadrupled. Roughly three fourths of the United States reported increases in children placed into foster care during the years of 2014 and 2015. The larger number of children being placed into foster care, nationwide, is due much in part of an increase in parental drug usage and substance abuse, with Heroin use being the chief drug increasing among parents. Other substance abuse among parents include meth, cocaine and prescription medication abuse. Along with this, more children are also being placed into foster care due to parental neglect. Five states, in particular, stood out with the largest increases between the years of 2013-2015. These states include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, and Minnesota, with these states accounting for 65 percent of the nationwide increase. Georgia, the hardest hit, has seen it’s number of children in foster care nearly double from 7,600 to over 13,000 There has been a general departure from interest in God and an accompanying more decay in our land.

We need a great movement of God here in Chandler.

We need another great awakening in our country.

The best way to experience revival is personally 

If we will experience it in our community we experience it personally…. so that’s what I want to talk to you about this morning. I don’t think I can tell you how to ensure a nation wide movement of God or a community wide movement of God.

But I believe I can tell you how to ensure personal revival and I want us to look at a moment in Scripture when David had a major personal revival. David writes this poem or song which is also a prayer right after Nathan confronts him. To appreciate this prayer you need to know why Nathan confronted him.

David was the king of Israel. He was a good king. He had been a mighty man of valor, demonstrated great courage, and showed an immense passion for God. Even men after God’s own heart face temptation, and sadly they often fail.

Once when Israel went to battle, David didn’t go. He felt that his general could handle it, so he stayed at home in the palace. While walking about on his terrace he could see a beautiful woman bathing and he wanted her. So he sent for her and he had her. She became pregnant. So David had her husband brought in from his war deployment so that it would appear that the baby was his. However, the man refused to sleep indoors while his soldiers were sleeping in the fields of battle, so there would be no appearance that this was his child, so David had him moved to the point of the battle where the fighting was the fiercest- He used his power to have her husband killed.

Don Carson – “One must wonder what David would have done if he hadn’t been a man after God’s own heart. ”

It was a gross misuse of the power that God had given to David. David thought he had covered his tracks. He though it wasn’t known. Then Nathan comes and confronts David with his sin. He calls David out, and David breaks down and weeps. It is in this brokenness that David writes this prayer to God.

Psalm 51

In 2008 the American Heart Association released a press release detailing a hands only CPR with no “rescue breaths” or mouth to mouth breaths in between rounds of chest compressions.They now state, call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of any tune that is 100 to 120 beats per minute, such as the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive”. The recommended process of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation has changed, however the process of revival has always been the same. It has always started with repentance.

Whether you’ve never had God in your life, you’ve not walked with Him in a long time, or your someone that people would characterize as a man after God’s own heart you start at the same place. Repentance.Whether you’ve faded back in our relationship to God, neglected your quiet time, or you’ve engaged in adultery and a conspiracy to commit murder, you start at the same place: Repentance.

Whether you’re finding your way back to God for the first time or the thousandth time, you start with repentance.

  1. Repentance

David’s repentance was prompted by the confrontation with Nathan. Often our repentance only starts when we’ve been confronted with our sin. The old Revival preachers would preach against everything so then everyone felt the need to repent and turn from their sins.  Leonard Ravenhill used to preach against coffee and he even once preached against city water…We have coffee & city water – we’ve even got extra coffee on this Spring Forward Sunday….  For those who have trusted Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us to empower us to live the Christian life and to call out to us when we are not. God has called us to belong to the church so that we have Nathan’s in our lives, people who can call us out and hold us accountable.When this rebuke is given, David weeps and there begins the repentance.

You can break repentance down into 3 parts:


First, you feel regret. You feel remorse. You personally acknowledge your sin and mistakes.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and cleanse me

3 For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is ever before me.

David felt unclean. He felt dirty because he knew his transgressions and his sin was EVER before him. There have been many, many kings who have acted just as David has acted and felt no regret or remorse but rather have felt justified because of their immense power and great responsibility.

However, David’s conscience was awakened when Nathan came to him- the justifications fell away, and David felt the weight of His sin. It’s not in vogue to preach on sin, it’s not in popular to point out brokenness and corruption in the lives of others, but there must be this prodding that awakes our conscience to prick our hearts… It is scary place to get to the point that you feel no remorse or regret- If you feel guilt this morning, if you feel your conscience prodding you, I know that it is unpleasant, but thank God for it, because it is a gift.

If your sin is ever before you it feels like a curse, 

but the true curse is if your sin is never before you.

If you only live at contrition, you will eventually grow accustom to it- but thankfully David’s contrition led to confession.


Many people feel badly without owning up to their sin. The personally acknowledge their sin, but they never confess it. They never open up about it. They never own it.

v.1 blot out my transgressions.

v.4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight

In those verse he confesses what he has done,

In verse 5 he confesses what he is.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Scripture makes it clear that we are not merely good people who did a bad thing, but rather we are corrupt in our very nature. It is natural for us to do wrong. We have to be taught to do right, we don’t have to be taught to do wrong. That comes naturally to us. David confesses what he has done and who he is. When we confess our sin as merely a mistake we made that was out of character, we miss our need for God to save our corrupt nature- our very character. David knew that he not only needed forgiveness for his mistakes and his sins, he needed changing in his very nature and character.

Repentance is contrition, confession, and change.

If I feel badly for something that I’ve done to you, and I even tell you that I’m sorry and that I shouldn’t have done it, but I continue to do it, you probably won’t appreciate my apology. I might be sorry, but I haven’t really apologized. I’ve merely told you that I feel badly about what I’m doing even though I continue to do it, even though I carry on with the inappropriate behavior. But we’ve all been there, we’ve all been at a place that we know what we are doing is wrong, and we feel badly about it, we feel guilt, but we can’t seem to stop.

We can’t seem to change.

David’s confession of what he had done AND what he was leads to the prayer that follows- It’s not just a prayer for forgiveness, it’s a prayer for change. He’s asking God to forgive him and change him.

v.1 Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions.

v.2 cleanse me from my sin!

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

9 Hide your face from my sins,

and blot out all my iniquities.

All verses about the removal of sin- the cleansing of old sins and mistakes. What follow next is a refrain of renewal – it’s a call for change – to be remade- to be made new.

10 Create in me a clean heart, 

O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from your presence,

and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

Create -this is not merely a renovation, this is a re-creation. It is a replacement heart- it’s not just a cleaning of the old heart, it’s a new heart with a new heartbeat.  A new heart with new affections, new desires, new passions.

Have you ever noticed that your heart often wants all the wrong things? That your desires are misdirected and short sighted? God give me a new heart! Give me a new passion!

Recently someone pointed out to me how that people in recovery really need to wait a while into sobriety before they get into a relationship because “their picker is broken.” They might think that because the old actions are gone that they’re ready for a new life, but it is only when they have been completely rebuilt that they are ready for such- It’s not just the removal of the old actions, it’s the creation of a new heart-

God give me a new heart!
Give me a heart that is passionate about what you are passionate about. God give me a heart that breaks for the things that break your heart…

11 Cast me not away from your presence,

and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and uphold me with a willing spirit.

God, if I’m going to be different, it’s going to be because you are with me, it’s going to be because I’m with you, it’s going to be because you UPHOLD ME with your Spirit.

David was unable to do the right thing apart from the divine help of God.

When David killed a giant, that was because of God’s help.

When David was anointed as the next king of Israel, that was God’s doing.

When David faced hordes of enemies in battle and came out victorious, that was God’s doing.

That’s easy for us to see, but God does not merely enable us in the big moments and on the big stage, he enables us in the mundane moments, in the obscure times that most people will never see.

The God who gave David the victory over a giant in the Valley of Elah was the same God who was present with David in the back 40 of his father’s farm when he was watching a herd of sheep.

God is not merely want to be present in this moment when you are at church, He is present on Tuesday afternoon when you face temptation- You need him in that moment to uphold you!

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

Remember where we started with this Psalm?
David is the man who committed adultery and then conspired to kill a man to cover it up… But by verse 13 he’s talking about what he will teach to transgressors….This contrition has not only brought about confession, it is bringing about change – God enabled change.

The Steps of Contrition, Confession, and Change will revive the coldest and most lifeless of hearts.

From AHA:

As Liz Young shopped for landscaping in Jackson, Mississippi, she heard a woman screaming for someone who knew CPR. Young ran through the garden center and found Debbie Lundstrom, 59, on the ground.

Lundstrom had complained “everything is flickering,” to her husband Richard just moments before she collapsed. She had slumped to the ground, her eyes were open but unfocused and her skin was taking on a bluish cast. 

When Young reached the couple, she administered Hands-Only CPR, pushing hard and fast on the center of the woman’s chest — just as she has trained countless others to do.

two minutes passed “which seemed like forever,” Young said.  Knowing some people still need CPR even if they’re gasping, Young continued.

Finally Lundstrom gasped for air and tried to get up.

The Steps of Contrition, Confession, and Change will revive the coldest and most lifeless of hearts.

In the Alpha course that the teens went through and now we have an adult class going on Wednesdays they have testimonies from people who have been changed by it… One of those stories was Shane Taylor’s. From Alpha (

From a young age, Shane started to burgle houses and steal cars; he stabbed people and sold drugs. Soon he was on the run for kidnapping and attempted murder. “I was classed as one of Britain’s most dangerous people” Shane eventually got caught and was put in prison, but his incarceration did little to stem his rebellion. His hatred of authority saw him stab two prison officers with a broken glass after he wasn’t allowed to use the prison gym, sparking a riot. His out-of-control behaviour quickly saw him transferred to a high security prison. Even then he needed further locking up and was placed within a close supervision system. Shane says, ‘They felt I was a danger to everybody. They had to feed me through a hatch in the door, because they couldn’t have physical contact with me.’ He was then moved to another prison, where a minister invited him on Alpha. ‘I said, “Yeah, put my name down.” I was mostly interested in getting the chocolate biscuits and having debates.’

It was about half way through doing Alpha, ‘I said, “Jesus Christ, I know you died on a cross for me. Please, I don’t like who I am, please forgive me.” I started to feel tears coming into my eyes. I tried to hold it back. But it rose up, until suddenly I began crying my eyes out. I hadn’t cried in years. I cried for about five minutes and I could feel a weight being lifted off me, ‘Shane remembers. ‘In that split second I knew it was real. I knew God existed, I knew Jesus had touched me and that I was going to live for him forever.’ Shane’s behaviour changed so much that within weeks he went from being in permanent segregation to getting a trusted job in the prison chaplaincy. He no longer saw the prison officers as the enemy. When Shane was freed from prison.

He started going to church where, seven months later, he met his future wife, Sam. The couple got married, in church, on 11 October 2008, with 100 family and friends witnessing their union. They now have two little girls.

‘Jesus has changed my life,’ Shane says. ‘Jesus has shown me how to love and how to forgive. Almost all the people I’ve upset, all the people I stabbed, all the people I hurt, have forgiven me and now we talk.  I’m helping with Alpha in prisons. I didn’t think they let me because, ya know, I stabbed two prison gaurds, but now I’m able to tell other prisoners about Jesus – it’s amazing.’

  1. Renewal & Rejoicing

When you repent, you go through contrition, confession, and change, you then experience renewal and rejoicing. That’s what Revival is. That’s the resuscitation of the Spirit’s work.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

15 O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.

So how do we get there? By holding revival services and bringing in a guest speaker? Planning a big event? No. Look at verses 16 & 17

16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;

you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.