Are We Really Ready for Revival?
by Iverna Tompkins
As transcribed by Jane Vaughn
3 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." 7 So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. 8 Then all the people answered together and said, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do." So Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.
9 And the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever." So Moses told the words of the people to the Lord. 10 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11 And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. 20 Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. 19 Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." 20 And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin." 21 So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.
When this portion of the scripture is read aloud, I love to listen to the responses from the audience – when they are truly listening. :-) I trust you have paid attention in the reading and were imagining the action that had to accompany this divine and supernatural event as it was originally presented by God to the Israelites in the wilderness. Extraordinary happenings! Undeniably God!
We’re going to walk through these scripture verses together, and I want to help you answer the question I’m about to ask. Here’s the question: Are we really ready for Revival?
It’s one thing for us to get together in the church as we do time after time and listen as a pastor speaks on the subject of Revival. Our heart’s response usually is: “Oh, Lord, send Revival! Send Revival!”
I remember growing up in my Daddy’s church where we used to sing: “Lord send a revival – and let it begin in me.” And we meant that with all our hearts. Yet, I suppose each one of us had and has today a different concept of that word – Revival.
It’s quite another thing when we are actually confronted with the power and awesome presence of God! So – What is Revival? I mean, exactly, what is it?
If you look up the word in a dictionary, you would find mentioned “re-igniting, or bringing back to life something that was lifeless.” But I believe Revival might be defined more accurately like this: Revival is the Holy Spirit – showing off God – His way. Isn’t that good? :-) You think about it.
The next question has to be: What does it take to get us ready for Revival?
The First thing that I note from our passage and its context would be: Remember God’s goodness.
When God began to talk to the people through Moses, He said, “Moses, I want you to tell the people – Remember. You saw the things I did to the Egyptians, and how I made a way for you through the Sea. Now, remember that” (cf.Ex.19:4).
Oh, Church – if I took this microphone and roamed among this congregation and said, “Just tell me, Sir, Lady, one thing God has done for you. Can you remember your path? How did He pick you up? How did He make a way for you?” Each one of us has a story.
I know we each have a story to tell, but unfortunately we tend to forget “The story.” We forget the times that the enemy was right on our heels and there was no other way to go and God just absolutely stopped him in his tracks, opened the path before us, we walked on through – and then took the credit for it! Oh, so sad. “I did this and this and this and the victory was mine!”
God says, “I did that! I’m the One that gave you that job. I’m the One that gave you that mate. I’m the One that made a way for you. I’m the One that destroyed your enemy. You need to remember Me,” says God. It’s important that we remember the good things God has done for us.
I miss testimonies. Do some of you miss those times in the services? In the old days, someone would just pop up from the pew and testify to something wonderful God had done in their lives. We used to call them popcorn testimonies – until we had so many “old maids.” :-) You know what those are… duds. :-)
The idea was good, however – because we would be encouraged by one another as each would stand and report, “Oh, just this week, the Lord did a miracle for me!” Then someone else would stand and say, “I was healed this morning as I read the Word.” And so, on went the testimony time. Sometimes we were thrilled like that for the whole service – just one testimony after another. We need to do that to ourselves! Remember – and rejoice.
That’s part of what David did when he “encouraged himself in the Lord” (1Sam.30:6). Things weren’t so good for David at that time. In fact, they were bad for him. But he began to remember: “Oh, yes, my Lord. You have brought me a long way! Oh, yeah. I remember the days in the cave and You got me out of that! Oh, Lord! I know You’re not going to fail me now!” That’s encouraging self-talk – and we need to remember – to remind ourselves. We need to learn to do that, Church, if we’re going to get ready for Revival!
The Second point I want to make is to: Remember God’s directions. He says, “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you’ll be a special treasure to Me” (Ex.19:5). If you will indeed obey.
Now, I looked at that verse and thought, “God, why’d You say it like that?” I wondered because these people… Well, they’re like us when we answer our altar calls. “Whatever You want, Lord! Hallelujah!” They could even sing with us: “I’m Yours, Lord! Everything I am…” Their response – and ours – was: “Take over Holy Spirit – have Your own way! Do whatever….” And we really mean that – then – at the moment!
But when we get in the car to go home and the Lord says, “If you will indeed….” Or, may I say it like this? “If you’ll really do what you just said….”
That’s what God is saying to us today: “If you will indeed – obey My Word and keep My covenant. If you’ll really follow My direction…. You have no idea how that will pan out – but you will be a special treasure to Me” – listen now – “above all people.”
How glibly we declare: “We’re the head and not the tail” (Dt.28:13). How glibly we say, “We’re the people of God. We are praying for His Kingdom to come. We – we have power.” Or, “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world” (cf.1Jn.4:4).
We’re so quick to quote scriptures that boost our ego for the moment. And yet God says, “I’m looking for a people who will really do it – who’ll really keep what they say they’ll do!”
Go to Part 2