The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 5/27

Posted on | May 27, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 5/27

Scripture reading: I Kings 18:1–40

You Know You Need
a Revival When . . .

Then the fire of the Lord fell . . . and all the people fell on their faces  and said, “The Lord, he is God;The Lord, he is God.”(I Kings 18:38–39)

One of the greatest illustrations of revival in the Old Testament is seen in that dramatic confrontation that occurs on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18). King Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel had lead the nation of Israel into apostasy, and God had sent Elijah the prophet to warn the people of the consequences of idolatry and call them to repentance. Inviting the entire nation to meet him on Mount Carmel, Elijah orchestrated a public confrontation with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah. The contest would determine once and for all who was God and who wasn’t.

When the day began, Elijah stood alone. The false prophets were all against him, and the people of Israel were passive and silent. But before the day ended the entire congregation was on its face shouting in unison, The Lord, he is God! The Lord, he is God! (v. 39). Revival had come. It may not have been as deep or as long-lasting as Elijah ultimately hoped, but the record is clear that on that day the glory of God was seen by all, and the nation responded with worship. How do you know when revival is needed? This story reminds us of what characterizes a nation when it is obvious that the only thing that can make a difference is a mighty movement of God. You know you need a revival when . . .

_ There is drought and famine in the land. For over three years there had been no rain (vv. 1–2). Crops were failing, flocks were dying and the people were very thirsty. The drought in the land was illustrative of the dehydration in their souls.

_ There is evil on the throne. Ahab and Jezebel had opened the gates so that immorality, idolatry and corruption could come in like a flood.

_ There is apostasy in the church. There were 850 clergymen who enjoyed official recognition and the support of the state. Yet they were wolves in sheep’s clothing, leading the nation astray.

_ There is double-mindedness in the heart. It wasn’t that the nation had turned its back on God. They wanted God in their lives . . . but they wanted Baal too. So Elijah pled with them: “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?” (v. 21). Stop sitting on the fence! Make a decision.

_ There is no fire on the altar. Elijah knew there was one sure way to make it clear for everyone to see who was the true God and who wasn’t. “You call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God” (v. 24).

Sound familiar? The situation of Israel in Elijah’s day is similar to the situation in America today. Revival is the only answer.

Oh—one more thing needs to be added. You know you need a revival when . . .you think this message is for someone else!

Some people do not like to hear much of repentance;
but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the
pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and
if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it.
—Matthew Henry

point to ponder • What hinders revival from coming?

prayer focus • Revival in your heart, in your church, and in our nation.

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