An obscure monk and professor in a city of 3000 souls became the Devid of religious reformation. On this night 504 years ago, Martin Luther posted 95 theses on the door of the Wittenburg Church. He challenged the doctrines and authority of the Roman Catholic Church (granting indulgences for people to buy their salvation) declaring that you are justified by grace and faith alone and not good works. Luther attacked the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin. His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds—was to spark the Protestant Reformation. Although these ideas had been advanced before, Martin Luther codified them at a moment in history ripe for religious reformation. The Catholic Church was ever after divided, and the Protestantism that soon emerged was shaped by Luther’s ideas. His writings changed the course of history.
The 95 Theses, which would later become the foundation of the Protestant Reformation, were written in a remarkably humble and academic tone, questioning rather than accusing. The overall thrust of the document was nonetheless quite provocative. The first two of the theses contained Luther’s central idea, that God intended believers to seek repentance and that faith alone, and not deeds, would lead to salvation. The other 93 theses, a number of them directly criticizing the practice of indulgences, supported these first two. This led to the Pope Leo excommunicating Martin Luther from the Catholic Church. On April 17, 1521 Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms in Germany. Refusing again to recant, Luther concluded his testimony with the defiant statement: “Here I stand. God help me. I can do no other.” On May 25, the Holy Roman emperor Charles V signed an edict against Luther, ordering his writings to be burned. The Protestant Reformation had begun.
On the other end of the spectrum, October 31st is also the celebration of Halloween, the second biggest, most celebrated holiday in America other than Christmas. What does the Bible say about Halloween? Is the holiday just harmless fun or does it have a Satanic agenda behind it? Why do almost all Christians celebrate and partake in it with delight? According to the National Retail Federation, seven in ten Americans (who live in a country that still marginally believes in the Bible) now celebrate Halloween. Retailers also rejoice as they warm up their cash registers to receive an average of $79.82 per household in decorations, costumes, candy, and greeting cards. Halloween will bring in approximately $8 billion this year.
How important is Halloween in the Satanic realm? Let’s look at a witchcraft website: “Halloween is such a magical time for all Witches – regardless their spiritual path. It’s this time of the year when the Veil faints and we are able to cross the worlds and receive valuable wisdom and magical powers. Halloween is associated with the passing of the living and celebrating the dead.” Modern celebrations of Halloween may seem to be quite harmless, but the spiritual implications of dabbling with the spirit world are extremely serious.
History: The Celts worshiped the lord of the dead, on Samhain (pronounced “SOW-wen” by Wiccans), October 31. Human sacrifice was offered. The Celts taught that on their New Year’s Eve (our Halloween) ghosts, evil spirits, and witches roamed the earth. Samhain was also a festival of the dead, whose spirits at this season were thought of as scouring the countryside, causing dread to the folk at large. Divinations for the fate of the individual throughout the new year were engaged in. On this night, evil or frustrated ghosts were also believed to play tricks on humans and cause supernatural manifestations, just like poltergeists today. In addition, food was put out to make the ghosts or souls of the good dead Samhain had released, feel welcomed and at home. Because Samhain marked the beginning of a new year, an interest in divination (the magic art of interpreting the unknown by interpreting random patterns or symbols), fortune-telling, communication with the dead and other occult practices became an important part of this holiday. The Celts believed the curtain dividing the living and the dead lifted during Samhain to allow the spirits of the dead to walk among the living—ghosts haunting the earth. Celts believed spirts were earthbound until they received a proper sendoff with treats-possessions, food, wealth and drink. Spirits who were not suitably treated would “trick” those who neglected them. Some traditions developed, which believed wearing a costume to look like a spirit would fool the wandering spirits.
The Encyclopedia of Religion continues: “On this occasion, it was believed that a gathering of supernatural forces occurred as during no other period of the year. The eve and day of Samhain were characterized as a time when the barriers between the human and supernatural worlds were broken. Otherworldly entities, such as the souls of the dead, were able to visit earthly inhabitants, and humans could take the opportunity to penetrate the domains of the gods and supernatural creatures. “Fiery tributes and sacrifices of animals, crops, and possibly human beings were made to appease supernatural powers who controlled the fertility of the land … The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favourable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Micropaedia, Vol. 4, p. 862, “Halloween”).
As a loving Father, God commands us to avoid things that can harm us. Concerning the spirit world, notice what God says to His people: “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:31). In addition to this command to avoid practices that pertain to evil spirits, God warned ancient Israel to avoid any kind of occult practices: “There shall not be found among you anyone who … practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord ” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). God has called His people to a different standard. Instead of superstitions and myths, God tells us to look to Him for our blessings, direction and future.
Modern celebrations of Halloween may appear on the surface to be quite harmless, but the spiritual implications of dabbling with the spirit world are extremely serious. Fortune-telling, Ouija boards, astrology, voodoo, clairvoyance, black magic and the like can all be related to occult, satanic forces or the worship of natural phenomena and are forbidden in Scripture. Jesus Christ tells us that “the first and greatest commandment” is to love our Creator “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37-38). God alone is the giver of life and all good things. To give recognition to false gods, and to imitate practices that honored them, is unacceptable and idolatrous. Setting aside a day to celebrate evil, darkness, witchcraft, fear, death and the demonic brings disdain to God.
No doubt there has been a severe decline in the spiritual health of this nation and the spiritual health of the church around the world. So many churches have gone astray from the path of truth, they no longer stand for true justice and righteousness. Ravenhill: The tragedy of this late hour is that we have too many dead men in the pulpits giving out too many dead sermons to too many dead people.
Isaiah 59:14-16a: Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.15 Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
Voice: We took You for nothing, and did just the opposite of Your commands. We broke our promises to You, ignored and rejected You. We hatched up schemes to oppress others and rebel, to twist the truth for our gain while presenting it as honest-to-God fact. When justice calls, we turn it away. Righteousness knows to keep its distance, For truth stumbles in the public square, and honesty is not allowed to enter. There is no truth-telling anymore, and anyone who tries to do right finds he is the next target. It’s true. The Eternal One saw it all and was understandably perturbed at the absence of justice. God looked long and hard, but there wasn’t a single person who tried to put a stop to the injustice and lies. This is what the Eternal One declares. Eternal One: 21 This is My covenant promise to them: My Spirit, which rests on and moves in you, and My words, which I have placed within you, will continue to be spoken among you and move you to action. And not only you, but so it will be for your children and their children too. And so on through the generations for all time.
These verses describe the status of truth, justice and righteousness in America according to God’s eyes. We have entered into a marriage, a covenant with the world and it has severely hindered the growth of the church. The world system is fastened to our culture and we cannot let it push us in its direction. Never let the world or culture define your terms. The world has no idea what social justice is yet we allow it to define the term. The world has no idea what love or tolerance is, but we let it define this term. The world has no idea what it is to be awake, but we allow it to define this term. The world has no idea what good is, yet we allow it to define this term. Who will intercede today; who will stand up for truth; who will stand in the gap?
Leonard Ravenhill: An unprecedented tidal wave of commandment-breaking, God-defying, soul-destroying iniquity sweeps the ocean of human affairs. Never before have men in the masses sold their souls to the devil at such bargain prices. “There is none…that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee.”
What will it take to bring revival and reformation to the church today?
We need to call the Church back to its roots as revealed in the Book of Acts. The Christian church is losing ground in the world, and we need to call people back to authentic faith in Jesus Christ. The church is becoming mixed, contaminated by the evil of this world as they embrace it to make their voice in the world more respected, followed and adhered to. The world defines our terms, introduces us to words, and sets the boundaries and frameworks of our beliefs. This is a dangerous exercise in unbelief and an ill-fated marriage with the world. George Orwell’s famous book 1984 illustrated the power of words is enough to control an entire nation. Language was the ultimate form of power. In 1984 the Party, the ruling force over all of Oceania, has dominion over its citizens mainly through the manipulation of language. If you control language, you can control thought. Language is what structures power. Party controls and manipulates language, history, books, literature all to get people to think the same thing and to severely penalize anyone who thinks differently. This is exactly what is happening today, especially in our schools and colleges. You either conform to our accepted baptized thought or pay the consequences. Do not ever let the world define your terms, but let God’s Word, from His heart, enlighten our eyes to the meaning He has placed on words.
The Bible does not stutter when it comes to this world.
John 14:30: I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,
Ruler-chief, commander, first in rank, supreme leader
World-kosmos: The Greek word for “world” is kosmos and in this verse means: the satanic system of world order with its seductive evil system of values, priorities, and beliefs that excludes and actively opposes God. It is interesting that the word kosmos also has the meaning of an ornament, decoration, or dress, as at its root is the word meaning “to polish, to cut or to carve into a perfect arrangement.” The devil’s world system of evil is very ornate and polished and looks so perfect to the human eye. Its polished presentation can be mesmerizing. This is part of the subtle attraction that deceives people and pulls them into its snare. But if you peel away the layers, this system is dark, empty, evil and totally devoid of the goodness of God. Wuest, in his Word Studies of the Greek New Testament, defines kosmos as follows:
The word kosmos is used to refer to the world
system, wicked and alienated from God, yet
cultured, educated, powerful, outwardly moral
at times, the system of which Satan is the head,
the fallen angels and the demons are his servants,
and all mankind other than the saved, are his
subjects. This includes those people, pursuits,
pleasures, purposes, and places where God is
Kosmos is what binds together the unbelieving world. It is unified against God. This world system of evil continually attempts to squeeze people into its mold of godlessness so they will live and act in accordance with it. Preceptaustin’s Greek Word Studies states: “The unsaved either consciously or unconsciously are controlled by the values and attitudes of this world system and behave according.” The devil has the authority, dominion, command, and power of this world system over the entire earth. He has the control of the world for now.
Claim: Nothing, not even one; not even a sliver. In me: fixed, rests upon.
John 15:18: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you; Matthew 10:22: hated by all for my name’s sake
That is true hate speech. The world system hates Jesus Christ and everyone one of his followers; They despise the gospel. They hate the words of the Living God. Then why does the church embrace it and welcome it into its holy sanctuary?
John 15:23-25: Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ The world also hates the Heavenly Father and all is this hate is without a cause, without justification. Can you imagine this? The hate for the Heavenly Father can only be understood as spiritual, birthed in heart of Lucifer himself. John 17:14: I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
John 18:36: My kingdom is not of this world…
The Word of God, the Church, his Body, the Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the gift of holy spirit are not of this world. There can never be a mix. “Of” is the Greek “ek” and means “out of”; it is a preposition denoting origin. It is to be surrounded with a completely close connection.Hate: to pursue with hatred, to detest
I John 3:13: Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
The number one hindrance to revival and reformation on the church of Jesus Christ is that we love the world and the tings in the world. The world has become a part of the church of so many. This will never lead to reformation but regression, weakness, deterioration and corruption. As long as the world and the church mix, and intertwine, there can be no revival or reformation.
I John 2:15-17: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
2 Corinthians 4:4,5a: In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord,
The devil is the god of this world, and he wants leadership in the church to proclaim themselves rather than the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants the church to follow the model and inspiration of the world.
I Corinthians 2:12: Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
Ephesians 2:2: in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
James 4:4: You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Enmity: Active hostility, opposition, hatred; Wishes: will, want, desire, choosing one thing over another, preference. Makes himself: Present (CONTINUOUS ACTION, HABITUAL ACTION, OFTEN REFLECTS A LIFESTYLE; Indicative (MOOD of CERTAINTY = simply states a thing as being a FACT. There is no doubt that the action occurred. If an action really occurs or has occurred or will occur, it will be rendered in the indicative mood.) Passive: The passive voice conveys the idea that the SUBJECT is being ACTED UPON by an OUTSIDE force or power. If you make yourself a habitual friend of the world, Satan will bring his oppression and chaos into your life and you will be an enemy of God.
To be a friend of the world is to be idolatrous. To be a friend of the world is to serve a god other than YHWH. It doesn’t require debauchery, treachery or megalomania. It only requires asserting that God’s instructions don’t matter.
1 John 5:19: “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” The world is in the helpless snare of the evil one.
Galatians 6:14: But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Do you want a revival, a reformation in the church? It can only start if we are crucified to the world.
Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.
Eric Ludy: To be willing to be contra mundum, to be against the world, is not the cool thing to do, but it is the very essence of historic, Biblical Christianity. To be willing to stand like William Wilberforce against slavery when all of Parliament barks with fury to drown out your singular voice is the stuff of the bravehearted. To be willing to stand like John Knox and proclaim in the midst of the fiercest persecution, “I fear not the tyranny of man, neither what the devil can invent against me” is the type of boldness that Satan doesn’t know how to handle. To be willing to stand like Luther when Pope Leo is screaming in your face that you will be consigned to hell if you don’t recant-now that’s the manly stuff…
Tragically our rendition of Christianity makes no demands, expects no sacrifice and yields no eternal rewards. The Lion of Judah has been anesthetized, declawed and tamed. We have reduced the Almighty to a harmless icon we passively honor in our busy lives…We have inoculated Christianity to such a degree that we treat God as though He were our aging family dog who we let into church once a week, pat on the head and send him back into the yard with a dog to chew on…We cling to a form of godliness but there is no power. We honor Him with our mouths, but our hearts are from Him.
We are being fed a steady, unwholesome diet of spiritual mush in America; kosmos junk food, and we have become so satisfied with its substitute gospel that people no longer hunger for the real thing. We live on spiritual junk food and don’t think we have need of anything.
Ludy: The world will do whatever it can to refute the idea of Jesus Christ, the idea of faith and the idea of the gospel…Our God does not seek to be cool. He does not attempt to curry favor with the world like the politicians of our day. He does not pander after the good opinion of people like an attention-starved puppy. Our God deeply longs for the people of this work to know Him and entrust their lives to Him. But He will not compromise His truth, in even the slightest way, in order to win His bride. Our God is contra mundum. He isn’t in vogue with the world, rather He is detested by it. Our God may be beautiful to those of us who know Him, but we must realize He isn’t beautiful to those in rebellion against His rule and reign…God doesn’t cry out, “Please like me!” He doesn’t offer the kings and rulers gifts to try to win their vote. He doesn’t bribe them with beer and brats on the church’s front lawn. The Bible says He that sits in the heaven shall laugh and the Lord shall hold them in derision. The bravehearted path is not about comfort and ease, but a kingdom and a glory. It’s not about capitulation, but stalwart conviction. It’s about carrying our King’s good favor while fully recognizing the fact that the world will hate us as a result. The Bible reminds us to be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God. He would well remember to be friends with God is to be an enemy of the world. May we choose our friends wisely!
The world will suffocate and choke the word out of you. The word cannot produce fruit when we allow the world to suffocate us.
James 1:27: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Unstained: without blemish, unspotted, free from contamination: Found in Him
Maintaining a love affair with the world is kindred to having a mistress. The modern-day church has fallen head over heels in love with the world. Christians derive far more excitement from their interaction with the world then their relationship with Christ. The spirit of this world is a powerful and cunning seductress that few seem able to discern and fewer seem able to disengage themselves. It is systematized rebellion, a national mindset unifying men and women in their rebellion against God and His Word. It has own set of guidelines determining what is right and what is acceptable. It is an alternative to the kingdom of God. The world is Satan’s unified system which lies outside the kingdom of God. The peril lies in the subtlety of the powers at work within the Church and within our individual lives. Like a cancer the spirit of the world quietly, steadily and methodically attacks one cell at a time, infiltrating our churches, our families and our lives largely supplanting God’s value system with a new hybrid. Deception: People are only vulnerable to being deceived when they want what is being offered to them. It has produced an impotent blend of Christianity and the world.
Revelation 3:14,15: “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.5 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” The world turns us lukewarm for God.
2 Corinthians 6:14-17: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
“Go out”-means to depart of your own accord, come forth, GET OUT! Separate: to mark off from others with boundaries; to exclude as disreputable. “Touch”: to fasten to, to adhere to; set on fire
Revelation 18:2-5: And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons,a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.3 For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.” 4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues; 5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
God is limited in His fathership of us when we embrace the darkness of this world. Our fellowship with God is tainted, distant, dead, when we allow the world to stain our soul.
Ephesians 5:11: “ Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Take no part-means to participate, to become a partaker with, to have fellowship with. No good, spiritual fruit produced with our fellowship with the world. Expose: refute, reproof, convict, admonish
I Thessalonians 4:3a: For this is the will of God your sanctification.
First key: reformation is the work of God alone. He is the prime mover, the source, the origin of all reformation.
Isaiah 43:19: Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
I Chronicles 29:11: Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
It was no secret to the Reformers. They knew that no man could produce such radical reform. It had to be the work of God himself. Luther understood this well. “The church has need of reform, but it cannot be the work of one man . . . nor of many . . . rather it must be the work of God alone.” Indeed, no one man, nor any army of men, could confront the Roman Catholic Church and the power and influence it wielded. It had to be the work of God himself. It required the will and action of the sovereign God of the universe. The gospel was at stake, and so God went to work in a radical way to reclaim his word and his authority. The same happened in the times of Joshua, Asa, Hezekiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the apostles. It is what God has been doing throughout history, and it is what happened during the Reformation. God intervened to reclaim what was his. The Reformation “was not a mere conflict between people and ideas, but between God and the Devil himself.” He is the true “Reformer.” Their greatness is not to be found in their intellectual brilliance nor their theological acumen. Their greatness is revealed in their humility in recognizing the greatness of God and his hand at work to change history.
Real reformation is the work and intervention of God himself in history, in the church, and in the heart of man. Reformation dethrones man, and puts God back in his rightful place of supremacy over all things. It is a matter of affirming, and embracing, the supremacy of God. It is about pursuing a relationship with God himself made possible through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus Christ is the true reformer and the end of all true reformation. He shared the fate of all reformers — “He was despised and rejected of men,” Your true Reformer is no demagogue; he does not flatter the people: he tells them the truth. His aim was not that of most reformers. He did not seek in the first place to make men happy, but to make them holy. Our Lord took people as He met them, singly, and got hold of their wills, and changed and converted them. This is the reform which alone can make other reforms beneficial.
Revelation 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Psalm 85:6: “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?”
Habakkuk 3:2, “O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.”
Isaiah 57:15, “Thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”
To be much for God, we must be much with God. My life is His stage, not mine
“And man became a living being” Genesis 2:7: The Mishnah uses a synonym for nephesh with its root meaning prayer. The Talmud defines man as a creature who prayers. We are human only insofar as we are engaged with the Creator. What is prayer, but the essential me in contact with Him. Prayer is the necessary ingredient for being what God intended. The systems of this world are designed to remove your humanity because they are designed to remove you from a relationship with your Creator. Being human means being connected to the source of life. Being human means you are fully engaged in prayer.
Leonard Ravenhill: Poverty-stricken as the church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers, many players and payers, but few pray-ers; many singers, but few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors, many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.
James 5:16-18: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
Luke 6:12: In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
When is the last time we prayed all night to God. We have to increase our 60 second a day prayer life.
Act 6:4: But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word
Colossians 4:2: Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Continue steadfastly is in the present imperative: Continually, habitually follow this command! The Present Imperative is often a call to a long-term commitment and calls for the attitude or action to be one’s continual way of life (lifestyle).
Matthew 26:37-41: Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The weakness of the flesh will challenge you to pray, but we must pray in the might of the Spirit. Sleep, busyness, time management, lack of desire all arise out of the flesh to keep us from prayer. We must become prayer warriors, watching and praying diligently. All revivals in history were preceded by fervent, hourly daily prayer. The church has been called to pray and must pray, pray and pray. It cannot be a minute of a few-faint hearted prayers. Pledge to our God-start with at least one hour in undisturbed wrestling prayer. We need to pray bold audacious prayers and see what God does.
David Brainerd: Give yourself to prayer, to reading and meditation on divine truths: strive to penetrate to the bottom of them and never be content with a superficial knowledge.” “As long as I see anything to be done for God, life is worth having; but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!”
Give yourself to prayer. It must be our number-one priority.
When you read the prayers of Paul in his letters, they read just like prayers that would be made for churches that are drifting into lifelessness. There are few prayers in the Bible that have had a reviving, challenging, awakening, renewing effect on me like Ephesians 3, where Paul prays like this:
Ephesians 3:16-20: [I pray] that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.
Verse 20 is our prayer verse-“God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Challenge God to bring this verse into fruition in your radical, audacious prayer life. Without prayer there is no revival.
Thirdly, revival requires radical faith.
Ludy: Christianity is built on one basic thing: faith. Without faith there isn’t much left in the whole operation, because everything in Christianity that matters operates with it…Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” If faith is absent then the gospel is rendered powerless in a human life…It is a faith like the Jacob variety, the kind that says, :This is what God said He would do, so I am going to wrestle in prayer until it becomes a reality.” It is a faith that holds God to His Word and says “You promised!”…Such a faith thunders “God said it, and it will be done-I’ll stake my life on it!” Faith, in all its fullness, will persist, knock, beg, ask and wrestle through the night until the realities of the cross are fully evidenced in the natural world. Why have we become a bunch of weak-willed nerfs. And why are we rolling over and accepting such defeat. Let’s rise up with prayer and fasting and wrestle through the night until we lay hold of God and all that He has promised. According to the Bible, faith is absolute, unwavering, all-out confident, die-hard assurance, and die to prove certainty in the person of Jesus Christ and His Word. The long and short is that if God says He will do something, you can take it the bank and placed unreserved confidence that it will be done!
Faith is trusting with a radical confidence that your commander sees more clearly than you do and that he knows what is best in this and every situation…Our commander in heaven has spoken, and he did not stutter…Faith is the forsaking of my natural reasoning as the means I filter though and judge my life…It an abandonment to God’s thoughts, God’s ways, God’s agenda…This is why the first action taken by faith, as the ruing principal of the human soul, is to the hush the voice of doubt and to stick spiritual duct tape over its mouth. Doubt is the voice of the natural man-it is heavily biased towards self and its agenda, and is naturally antagonistic to the Spirit of God. Faith is wholly given to the opinion of God and trust s it implicitly. Faith has the gall to actually believe God is who He says He is and is perfectly faithful to take care of his children when we entrust ourselves to Him. Faith is fiercely loyal to the Word of God and even at the risk of public ridicule it is will to put all its chips on God and live accordingly.
Isaiah 7:9: If you are not firm in faith, you are not firm at all.
Romans 4:20: No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
2 Corinthians 5:7 Walk by faith not by sight.2 Corinthians 8:7: we are to excel in faith
Ephesians 6:16: In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
I Timothy 1:19: We cannot allow the world to shipwreck our faith. We must hold onto our faith with tenacity.
Prayer of Ephesians for the manifestation of radical faith: Ephesians 1:19-23: and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Ezekiel 37:1-6: The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley;[a] it was full of bones. 2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath[b] to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
Yahweh can take the dry bones of Christianity in the world today and breathe into it new life. Only Yahweh can cause the church to live.
We cannot let the world define us; cannot let the world lead us; cannot let the world control us. If we mix with the world there will be no revival, there will be no reformation. We must come out from among the world and live sanctified in our thinking and in our actions.
Let us stand like Martin Luther against the church panting after the world. Let us come back to the authority of the Word and the truth of the Scriptures. Let us say with all boldness: “Here I stand. God help me. I can do no other.”