Are We Really Ready for Revival?
by Iverna Tompkins
As transcribed by Jane Vaughn
Iverna has been talking about how we, today, can get ready for the Revival God has promised and is about to pour out in abundance. In Part 3, she concluded by reminding us about the fear of the Lord. We pick up form there... jv. ed.
There are such incredible promises in the Word to those who will fear the Lord. He says, “Your soul will dwell at ease” (Ps.25:12,13). Then again, “The secret of the Lord is with you that fear Him” (vs.14).
Do you know what the fear of the Lord is? It’s like this: “I love Him so much that I fear to hurt Him.”
Lately I’ve been noticing, more and more, the times when I miss the nudging of the Holy Spirit. Does that make sense to you? I hope it does to all of you. It’s when you get a hunch to do something – a little feeling – a gentle nudge. It’s when you just get a feeling that you ought to say something to the guy next to you, or you ought to do something specific, or go to a certain place. And you simply don’t do it – you let it pass – for whatever reason. I’m sure I have done that more times than I could ever count.
Lately, the Holy Spirit is reminding me – drawing my attention back to it – every time I miss His gentle nudge. As I go to bed at night (I suppose those are just about the only quiet moments in my whole day :-)) but while I’m lying there before the last little twilight thing that lingers before sleep, He says to me, “You really missed it. Remember this? And when I suggested that? And My other nudge?” I find myself, lying in bed, repenting every night! “I’m sorry, Lord! I’m so sorry. Oh, Lord, make me more sensitive to Your Holy Spirit whisperings - Your gentle nudges - so that I move at that very moment!”
Moses and the Mount. "That’s all Old Testament stuff, Iverna. What about the New Testament?” I knew you’d ask about that so I have already picked out a God-fearing New Testament man for an example. :-) In Acts 10, verse 2, it says it like this: “Cornelius, a devout man and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people and prayed to God always.” If you want to know what it is to fear God, New Testament style – there you have a pattern.
Acts 10:2. “One that feared God with all his house.” He brought his family into it! Can you remember what Joshua said? “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh.24:15).
Some of you need to clean out your homes. You have some stuff in your house – because your young people want it or the kids want it or someone does. Entertainment stuff – games or videos or music. Or reading stuff. Or just stuff stuff. You know – some of you need to go through your house again and give it back to God. Hello? I just think we need to get ready – for when He comes on the scene.
“Oh, well, there we are; back to legalism.” That’s not legalism, Church – that’s the fear of the Lord. I don’t want Him to pass-over my house because there are things in there He doesn’t want for me. I know you can’t make a teenager serve the Lord. But you can make ‘em want to! There’s a vast difference. Think it through. Yes, we pray in our closets for them – but we also demand some things. You’re the grown-up – standing before the Lord Whom you serve.
My father’s demand was: “As long as you put your feet under my table and eat from my table, you will serve my God.” And it didn’t matter to him if I faked it or not. If I threatened that, he’d say: “Then fake it – but you’ll go to my church and you’ll serve my God.” :-) Oh, Hallelujah! I’m so thankful that I had that influence in my life! I didn’t much appreciate it then, but I have been so glad for it.
The fear of the Lord promises the kinds of blessings that come to no one else! They prompt within the God-fearing person an incredible desire to give. Honestly, that’s true. It isn’t a matter of: “I’ve got to pay tithes” or “I have to give a little here….” But when you’re a God-fearing person, you just sort of look for a place to give. This church is a giving church and I so appreciate that. We give – and give – and give – and give. And God blesses – and blesses – and blesses.
The fear of the Lord says it is “to hate evil” (Pr.8:13) – not people – but evil. Now, it’s one thing for me to hate evil generally – it’s another thing to hate evil – in me! Because instead of getting rid of the things that displease the Lord by killing them, we. . . .
There’s a contrast we need to note here. That was the Old Testament way – every time the Lord wanted to bless His people, He had them kill somebody – one of their enemies. True or false? “You must kill the enemy and take over. Kill the enemy and take over.” And people today wonder: “What kind of a loving God is that?”
That is a God Who loves purity. Do you get the principle of it? He says, “Iverna, if you’re going to move to another spot from where you are in Me – if you’re going to grow up – you have to kill the enemy operating in you so you can take over.”
Now, instead of killing the enemy – here’s that contrast – I just “cage” it. Did you understand that? You see – I put him – I put those habits – those desires – those things that vex me – in a cage and shut the door. Then I say, “You will not have control of me.” But I keep it around (caged) in case I want to play with it later.
Well, I used to get by with that kind of “warfare.” I don’t know why that was. I guess I was so insensitive to the Holy Spirit – I just didn’t feel a big conviction that made me stop and take notice. But I’m telling you – things are different now. We’re into day two-and-a-half! And things are different.
The Holy Spirit is convicting, saying, “Oh no, you’re not keeping that for a pet! :-) You open that door and stomp it to death! We’re not goin’ ‘round this mountain again! It’s the end of that thing!”
I hear Him saying to the Church: “If you will walk in that kind of fear – and are really overcoming – I give you long life (Pr.10:27) – and blessedness (Ps.128:14). I’ll give you sufficiency (Ps.34:9) – and you’ll have divine friendship (Ps.25:14). We sing that one: “I am a friend of God!” :-)
Figure it out for yourself. Read the Word looking for what He intends for those who truly fear Him – in the right, reverential way. You will inherit the promises. You’ll have protection (Ps.34:7) – deliverance (Ps.85:9) – and forgiveness (Ps.130:4). You’ll have guidance (“I just want to know His will”) when you learn to fear Him (Ps.25:12).
You’ll have protection from men’s tongues (Ps.31:19,20). You will have His mercy (Lk.1:50) “from generation to generation to those that fear the Lord.” You will have acceptance – with Him! “I just wanna be pleasing to You, Lord.” Well – fear Him – and you will walk a balanced life.
Listen to this one: “The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.” That’s Ecclesiastes 7:18. Now, I’ll tell you what that means. You won’t just get pulled to this situation and then to another one. “Oh, I believe in this” and you move in that direction. Then someone else says, “Well, I believe in this” – and you’re pulled that way. God says, “If you fear the Lord, you won’t get pulled to either one of those extremes, you will walk a balanced life. You will believe in what the Lord says.”
If someone said to me, “Iverna, did you believe that the worship service tonight was good?” I’d say, “Absolutely, it was God.” Hello? Because I believe the Lord is in charge of our meetings. I don’t sit and pick apart every single little thing that happens. If God wants to do it a way I vote “no” on, I involve myself anyway. Come on, Church! It’s time to grow up!
You see, we’ve all got those little things that irk us: “If they’d just sing a hymn, I could get in to it.” Sure. Me too – I know all four verses. :-) But if they sing one of their speed-things, I can get in to that too – and I catch a lot of the words. :-) But I do that because my heart fears my God! I’ll serve Him any way I’m given a chance to serve Him! Wherever I go, I will please Him because I am led by His Spirit. I will walk a balanced life!
Three more things and I’m through. One – the fear of the Lord prevents pride – Romans 11:20 and Micah 6:8. Two – the fear of the Lord gives reasons for submission – Ephesians 5:21. And three – the fear of the Lord leads to rest – Hebrews 4:1.
Without the fear of the Lord there will not be those things. There’ll be no rest. There’ll be no guidance. There’ll be no certainty. There’ll be no balance.
What does it mean to have the fear of the Lord?
I think we’ve clarified that. Basically, it’s this:
“Have Thine own way, Lord; have Thine own way.
Hold o’er my being, absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit, till all can see
Christ only, always, living in me.”