Introduction: As much as I have a dislike for the phrase "follow your heart," your heart does have a great deal to do with revival. Often, when people follow their hearts, their revival is short-lived. Truly, this proves Jeremiah 17:9 where the prophet said that the heart is deceitful and beyond repair. However, the heart does play a large part in revival. Notice with me again Isaiah 57:15, "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
Isaiah tells us partly what causes God to desire closeness with His people. Notice he first of all mentions that God is interested in a contrite spirit. Contrition has to do with brokenness. Then, he mentions a humble spirit, and this speaks of a will surrendered to the will of God. When these two conditions are met, God makes a promise that He will bring revival. God says He will revive:
- The spirit of the humble.
- The heart of the contrite.
David, the man after God's own heart, spoke of these two things in Psalm 51, his great Psalm of repentance, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Psalms 51:17) Before David could have revival, there had to be a brokenness over his personal failures.
Starting next Sunday, Evangelist Darrell Murphy will begin a week of revival meetings here at Timberline. This year marks the twelfth year he's been with us. Every year, I ask God to bring a special blessing to Timberline and to revive the work that He has here in Manitou Springs. Oh, that God would send a great revival to our church! We are in need of revival.
- Christians have become complacent.
- Christians have become inflammatory.
- Christians have become volatile.
- Christians have become lethargic.
- Christians have become self-righteous.
- Christians have become lazy.
- Christians have become apathetic.
- Christians have become self-centered.
- Christians have become accusatory.
Some Christians have become outright sinful and couldn't care less about it. Much of this has happened in the last 12 months, though there were signs of it before then. It is my desire, and I trust it is your desire as well, that God send a great revival to our souls.
Contrition is key in revival. Without a true brokenness for personal sin, revival will never be possible. While it is true only God brings revival, it is equally true that only we can hinder it. When Brother Murphy comes next Sunday, I want the Timberline Baptist Church to be able to receive the revival God wants to send. Notice with me, please, these two requirements for revival.
1. A humble spirit.
- The spirit of man is his attitude. It is the energy and motivation with which he does what he does.
- This is certainly not the Spirit of God but rather the spirit of man. When Elijah was taken out of this world by way of a whirlwind, his assistant wanted only one thing. He wanted to have a double portion of Elijah's spirit.
- At salvation, you get all of the Holy Spirit you will ever get. One cannot have a double-portion of God's Holy Spirit. However, one can have twice the personality and attitude of another.
- Such was the case with Elisha. There was something special about Elijah that Elisha admired and wanted. Elijah approached life and ministry with a unique attitude, and Elisha wanted it. In fact, Elisha wanted twice as much of it as Elijah had. He figured if a little was good, double was better; and he was right.
- A humble spirit is an attitude brought under the control of the Holy Spirit.
- When Christians get backslidden, they develop bad attitudes; thus, proving the need for personal revival.
* Their attitude shows when it's time for church.
* Their attitude shows when it's time for the invitation.
* Their attitude shows when it's time for service to the Lord.
* Their attitude shows when it's time for sacrificial giving.
* Their attitude shows when it's time for volunteer help.
- Truthfully, the attitude of an individual is displayed in every area of his life. If his attitude is good, it will show up everywhere. The same is true when his attitude is bad.
- When a child's attitude is bad at home, he is certainly not humble, for he has not willingly submitted to the authority of his parents.
- In order for revival to come to Timberline Baptist Church, the people of Timberline Baptist Church must first be humble in their attitudes.
2. A contrite heart.
- The heart of man is the seat of his emotions. It is with his heart he feels.
- Christians have a feel for everything these days but the things of God.
- Before revival can be given by God, there must be Christians with contrite hearts. According to Psalm 51, a contrite heart is something God will not despise.
- If a Christian is to truly confess sin and get right with God, he must do so with a broken heart. Confession is not just words on our lips, nor is it good intentions. Confession involves a broken heart.
- When we come to the place where we see our sins as God sees them and His Word convicts us from within; when we come to the place where we realize that from head to toes we're nothing but dust and our hearts are broken, then and only then can we truly confess our sins to God.
- What it takes to break your heart reveals what kind of Christian you are.
- Christians treat sins in such a whimsical way. Perhaps we Baptists have left being Baptist when it comes to the matter of sin. It is nothing for us to live like the Devil all week and then "have a little talk with Jesus" when Sunday rolls around.
- When was the last time your heart was truly broken over your own sin?
- It is much easier for us to have a broken heart over someone else's sins than it is over our own. Perhaps it is because we've become so self-righteous that we don't see our sin as "all that bad." I'm reminded of the Apostle Peter when he had sinned against the Lord. This story is found in Luke 22. All it took was for Jesus to simply look at Peter, and the Bible says that he went out and wept bitterly.
- For many of us, a look is simply not enough. For us, it has to be some great loss or tragedy before our hearts become broken.
Conclusion: Isaiah 57:15 makes it very clear what God will revive in us, "...to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Two questions and then we're done with this message.
- Are you truly humbled under the mighty hand of God?
- Is your heart truly contrite over your sins?
When these two conditions are met, God promises to revive the humbled spirit and the contrite heart.