Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Revival in Iraq

One of the greatest revivals in the history of the world took place in the region that we now call Iraq. Back then, the place was called Assyria and the capital was Ninevah. Jonah brought God’s message of revival, and it is the same message needed for revival today. Jonah 1:2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me."

Nobody in Ninevah was seeking revival, but because He is a “gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.” God brought revival to these one million people. Jonah 3:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.

Without a hatred for and turning from sin, there will be no revival. There is no revival in American churches because there is not hatred for sin. People are content with the filth of Hollywood, internet, all manner of sexual sins, and have no hunger and thirst for holiness.

Another feature of revival is prayer. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; When was the last time we even paid attention to what was being prayed let alone, “Cried mightily to God?” When we sense His closeness and corresponding overwhelming holiness we will be made aware of our sinfulness and will cry out as Isaiah did "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts." Isa 6:5

Great revival was brought about when “God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.” Jonah 3:10

God used one man to bring about revival in Ninevah. That one man wanted no part of it and tried to kill himself rather than preach revival to a people he hated. Jonah wanted justice and not mercy for the Assyrians. There is a balance somewhere between God sovereignly bringing revival and our sensing our sinfulness, crying out to God for forgiveness, turning from all filthiness of our flesh and hungering and thirsting after righteousness. May we diligently seek God to meet with us to fill up our churches with His presence and for us to respond with a contrite heart and true repentance.

The kingdom of God is not going to advance by our churches becoming filled with men, but by men in our churches becoming filled with God. -Howard Spring.

This article appears in our April Newsletter. If you would like a copy or know someone who would, please e-mail me at mrvondo@hotmail.com

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