This post is the third in a four part series exploring the message that fueled the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905. During this short period of time, revival swept through nearly every town on the Island of Wales and over 100,000 people came to faith in Christ.
A young preacher, Evan Roberts, stressed the following four tenets to his companions. As they began to personally do these, God used this group to help spread revival all over Wales. There is much to be learned from these tenets as we prepare for revival today.
Confess all known sin, receiving forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
Remove anything in your life that you are in doubt or feel unsure about.
Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly.
Publicly confess the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today let’s focus on the third tenet:
Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly
“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late — and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work.”
Prayer, consecration and humbling of oneself are essential steps for revival. But we must also respond and obey the Holy Spirit's direction and promptings.
As we study Scripture, beginning with God giving Adam and Eve the mandate to rule and subdue the earth, all the way through Jesus giving His church the mandate to preach the Gospel and make disciples in all the world, we realize the role that obedience plays in the fulfillment of God’s Will.
God desires to accomplish His purposes, but He also desires a “people” to partner with to accomplish those purposes.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…
2 Chronicles 16:9
Does this mean that God cannot accomplish His purposes without us?
Absolutely not! God is God and He can anything. But God desires a relationship with us. He desires to respond to the faith and trust of His people. He wants to share the adventure of partnering with Him with us. This part of why He created you. He designed you to desire and share meaningful mission with Him.
But understand, if you reject God’s mission, He will find someone to partner with and there are consequences to suffer. Notice this directive given to Queen Esther from her uncle.
For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 NKJV
When we disobey-we suffer. Notice he said that God would accomplish His purpose, but she and her family would suffer. (Her whole nation was facing genocide, and she played a role in stopping it.)
When we disobey- others suffer. It’s not just about us. Our disobedience can result in the destruction of other people. The people we are to warn. The people with whom we are to share the message of spiritual rebirth and salvation from sins. Notice that Esther’s whole family was “on the line” here. Others would be blessed or suffer consequences based on her obedience.
Obey Instantly. Timing is everything. God is strategically planning someone’s help and salvation. If you have a role to play in it and He asks you to do something and you wait, you can miss the opportunity.
But also be careful to not run ahead of God. Usually, if God gives you an assignment without a timeframe, act on it immediately. But listen carefully, if He says, “Wait” or “I’ll tell you when” then respond to that as well. However, be careful not to confuse your fear or insecurity with God telling you to wait!
Disobedience is rebellion. We don’t like to see it as that severe, but if God asks us to do something and we go the other direction, we are being rebellious against Him. Scripture says rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is like idol worship
Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” I Samuel 15:23
Witchcraft is rejecting God’s power for demonic power. Rebellion is rejecting God’s desires for our own desires. Idol worship is giving God’s authority to idols. Stubbornness is giving God’s authority to ourselves.
All of these are attempts to replace God. (Many people live in spiritual rebellion and stubbornness and never quit attending or serving in a church, but upon careful examination of their lives, the fruit of rebellion becomes evident.)
I am not suggesting that you can never be saved if you stubbornly rebel and reject God’s will at any point in your life. I am saying that when you rebel against God’s will you are rebelling against Him and that has consequences. Both for yourself as well as others.
If at some point you return to Him and surrender to Him. He will save you and even partner with you. But you will have missed the opportunity He had for you and you or others may still have to suffer the consequences of your rebellion.
A lot is at stake with our obedience as well as our disobedience.
Obedience costs time. Revival does not fit into our schedules. It is very intrusive. Discipling new believers and caring for the harvest will intrude into our lives and schedules as well.
If our lives are so full of the cares of the world, passion for the Kingdom will be choked out. Obedience will be choked out.
Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19 NIV
We must declutter our lives so we can be in the position to obey the Lord. We must make the Kingdom of God our main priority. Investing our energy and resources is what turns a good intention to a priority!
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 NASB
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 NASB
Ask the Lord what He desires from you. Listen for the little things and the big things. Write them down.
If in doubt talk to a more mature believer about a direction you are receiving from the Lord. Over time, you will be able to more clearly discern the voice of God. Spending time reading His written word–the Bible– will help with this.
What things are cluttering your life, keeping you from being in a postion to hear and respond to the Lord?
How can you change this?
If you sense to encourage someone toward God, to speak God’s Word to someone who is suffering, obey! Take courage and act right now. Obey Him today unless He has given you the direction to wait. (Don’t confuse your fear or insecurity with God telling you to wait!)
Lord use us to bring revival!