Are We Really Ready for Revival?
by Iverna Tompkins
As transcribed by Jane Vaughn
In Part 1 of this message, Iverna took us to a longer passage in Exodus, from chapters 19 and 20. There we read of the Israelites' awesome and dramatic encounter with God at Mt. Sinai. She then posed the question: What does it take to get us ready for Revival? She is giving us things we need to remember as we prepare: 1) Remember God's goodness; 2) Remember God's directions; and now we find three more. jv. ed.
The third thing we can note here is: Remember God’s calling. “You shall be to Me…” this scripture said, “a kingdom of priests and a holy – holy – nation.” (Ex.19:6). Do you know what the word holy means? In simple terms, it simply means “other than” – or, “set apart” – or, not like the others; separated from; something different from the rest.
And so I ask – why do you spend all your time trying to be like others when the Lord said, “No, you don’t get it! I look at you as a holy nation; a holy people. You are priests to Me! It isn’t the same as the world. I don’t want to treat you the same as they are – because you’re not the same as they are. Don’t try so hard to be just like them.”
We try to reason it out: “Oh, well, that is such an exclusivist thing. That is such – uh – that’s a separatist thing. That’s a…. Oh, you should never say that.” I didn’t. :-) I just quoted it. God said it! :-)
Basically He declared, “You’re going to swim upstream. You’re My people. You’re My – kingdom of priests. I want you to so represent Me on earth, that they can’t look at you and not see Me. They can’t hear you and not be hearing – Me. I want you to know that your voice is to be one with Mine. Your heart is to be one with My heart.”
Come on, Church. We need to hear this. We have to acquire a different view of things. We need to see things from the top down. Someone recently wrote a book: When Heaven Invades Earth (Bill Johnson). That’s what I’m talking about. When you get up above this scene or your circumstances and you look down, you see things differently. Scripture says we’re seated with Him in heavenly places (cf.Eph.2:6). We need to get His perspective.
I once told you about viewing the lights of a city and how God spoke to me at that time. I was on a high building looking down over the city-lights of Detroit. It was such an incredible sight. All kinds of lights – little tiny ones; flickering ones; big bold ones; brightly colored ones. There was even a searchlight making arcs of light over the sky. I just stood in awe looking at all this beauty when the Lord spoke to me. He said, “That’s how I see My city.” Some of you may only be flickering tonight, but you still look better than the darkness!
Number 4 – Remember your covenant. Here the people are gathered together and God makes a presentation to His servant: “Moses, tell the people. . . .”
Allow me to paraphrase the story from here. “Moses, tell the people I’ve heard their prayer (there at your church :-)). I am going to come and reveal Myself and they will know Revival. Tell them I’m on My way. But you have to know that there are some things that I want you to know that you have to do in preparation for that time. You have to keep My covenant and keep My commandments.”
And all of us said (just like they did – Ex.19:8): “We will do it – we will. Just come – just…. O, God, just come! Whatever it takes!”
That reminds me of another old song of the church: “Whatever it takes for this will to break.” I know you remember some of those oldies too. But you see – this one is a more dangerous song to sing! :-)
Have you ever been so desperate as to say, “Lord, I want You so much, I don’t care what it costs – I don’t care what You do with me – I’d even stomp on my pride. Lord, whatever it takes!” Have you ever been that desperate? Yes, I know you have! In service after service. And I too have been that desperate.
The Lord responds to those cries: “Alright. What will you do?” And all the people answered together: “All that the Lord has spoken, we will do – and we’ll even sign it.” :-) It really is a hurtful thing to God for us to break covenant.
I hate being lied to. It’s almost a phobia with me. It’s even like a hang-up I have. Do you have that too? It is so belittling to me – to be lied to. Well, God hates it too. He would rather we not make a vow than to make it and break it. That is scripture that says that (Num.30:2; Eccl.5:4). Yet here the people are – all together saying, “O Moses, yes. Yes! We will do everything God has said!” (cf.Ex.19:8a).
Now, if He’s God and He knows that I’m not going to keep my promise – why does He keep His? Think about that. God is faithful – regardless of what I think or do. “God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent” (Num.23:19). He keeps covenant even when we don’t. And He continually says, “Okay, I’ll take you at your word. I hear that – I receive that – I’ll trust it.” (Ex.19:8b).
It’s almost frightening to me to know how much God trusts me. To think that He trusts me. I mean, I trust Him. Of course I trust Him. “Jesus – Jesus – precious Jesus! Oh for grace to trust You more!” Yes, I trust Him! But He says, “I trust you.” I want to cry out to Him: “Oh, please, don’t! :-) I might not… I might… Oh, I might err in the way!”
Yes, He already knows that, and I can hear Him respond: “I know you will. I know the path that you will take, but I love you with a love everlasting!” (Jer.31:3) Hallelujah! I said, “Hallelujah!!”
Further, He declares: “And there is nothing you can do that is too great for Me to fix!” (cf.Is.63:9). Oh! Hallelujah! We ought to shout with that good news! Because He is God Almighty!
That’s why He introduces himself as I AM! (Ex.3:14). He said to Moses: “I have a job for you – go.” “Oh, God, who shall I say sent me?” “I AM.” “I am - what? What’s Your last name?” :-)
God is saying to him: “Moses, I AM anything (and everything) you need. I AM everywhere you go. I AM sufficient – for every situation and every need of every life! There is no sinner too soiled with sin that I cannot redeem. Nothing! Nothing is able to get in the way…. ‘Shall life or death or principalities or…?’ There is nothing! Nothing can separate you from Me!” (Ro.8:35-39). Whooohhh! We must shout in celebration about that!
So – we made the commitment; now we go to the promise. He says, “I am coming!” All-right!! And the Lord says, “Now, Moses, tell them to be ready! Get ready. Clean yourselves up. Focus on Me. Quit thinking so much about yourself.”
If you’re still trying to clean yourself up, I pity you – because it’s really impossible. You cannot get clean enough for God’s visitation. Oh, you can quit some habits (and should!) and put on new habits (good ones) and still not be clean enough for God’s visitation. We just can’t get there without His provision.
Everything we receive that is good, we receive from Him (Jas.1:17). The only thing in us that pleases God is Himself. The only good in me that God sees is what He sees of Himself in me. It is the righteousness of Christ (who lives in me) that qualifies me to be seen of the Father! (1Cor.1:30; 2Cor.5:21; Phil.3:9). Whatever degree of Him that lives within me – that’s the degree that Iverna is pleasing to the Father!
So, if you’re still looking in the mirror and just seeing you – what a mess! :-) And then we’re singing and begging Him – “Oh, Lord, I tried so hard. I really did. You know I did. Could you give me A for effort? B? I’ll take a C.” :-) And He declares the truth: “You don’t get it, do you? You sang it tonight: ‘I’ll never know how much it cost.’”
It’s not about you. You were in Him – then – on the cross. You were in Christ – then – on the cross. Because He said, “I died for all. I died for all! I died for all!” (Rom.14:9; Heb.10:10,12).
The only thing that’s left for you to do is accept the FACT of faith. Oh, do think about that. We have this idea that “faith” is something so intangible – even unreasonable. But – faith is. Faith has substance (cf.Heb.11:1). That’s the fact of faith. Faith is. That is what enables us to say, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.” It’s the fact of faith.
Number 5 is: Remember to be ready. “Well, you just said we can’t get ready.”
We do exactly what He said to Moses (Ex.19:10,11): consecrate ourselves; wash our clothes – and get ready for the third day. One – two – and the third day He arose. And the third day – you arose. And the third day is about to come – sooner than you know!
He’s coming again, Church. He’s coming back to this earth. Ohhhhh, yes! I mean – why do you think things are like they are? Person after person – we could all testify of the negatives hitting our lives today. That was only day two.
I love this! It’s time to rejoice! Let your joy be renewed and overflow in your God and Savior! It’s day two and a half now! :-) Yes! Let your shouts of praise and victory be heard!
I think we’ve been beaten up long enough. How many believe that with me? How many of you believe we’re right on the edge of something glorious and exciting! I mean: He is on the way!! He is coming to His people! Remember to be ready!
Point 6 – I think of it like this. . . . How many of you ever played hide-n-seek? We would count to 10 or whatever and then yell – what? “Ready or not – here I come!”
This is too good! I’m enjoying this! We even sing it: “It makes me want to shout: Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus!” What’s so good? I hear Him saying that to us! :-) “Ready or not….”
You know, I’m just a simple girl. I believe He’s saying this now: “Church – I’ve been telling you to get ready – and some of you are ready. I’m going to come for the some who are! So – Ready or not – Here I come!”
Go to Part 3