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May 1, 2016

"THE REVIVAL WE MUST HAVE"

TEXT: Isaiah 64: 1-12
READING:
 Philippians 3: 1-12

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SUBJ: Praying for a revival of the awareness and knowledge of God in the power of His presence witnessed in the tearing down of pride and the melting of hearts.

AIM: That the power and the presence of the Lord should become to us of such necessity as to provoke fervent and continuous prayer until He comes and blesses.

INTR: Isaiah is well designated as the evangelical prophet owing especially to the fact that the Messiah and salvation is Him is addressed so often and hope is deferred to the Lord alone.
1. Who can forget the poignant words of Isaiah 53, the revelation of the essential intercessor of Isaiah 59 and the revelation that Christ is His elect in Isaiah 42?
2. Not lost on us is the fact that Isaiah is quoted by the New Testament writers and we are especially reminded here of Paul: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 .
3. It would seem that the desire of the prophet had reached a fever pitch as he wrote these words of desire for the appearance of the Lord. Many would restrict this to Israel, but this is a desire of the Lord’s awakened people in all ages.

THESIS: We would carefully note that this prayer for revival is a prayer for the experienced presence of the Lord Himself (not just what He can do) and that it involves an approach toward Him by His people and we note verse 5 in particular.

I. A proper consideration of the Lord (vv. 1-4)
1. We would look ahead for just a moment to v. 5 and note the reference to remembering Him in His ways! --It is on this basis that the prayer begins and expresses true confidence in the Lord alone.
2. If we do not know that the Lord is able to do the thing we ask there is no reason to ask – we would not know if it came.
1) Such an acknowledgement of the effect of the presence of the Lord is largely unknown today.
2) Yet, those to whom Isaiah wrote and spoke would be reminded of times in which the might and power of the Lord had been expressed – With the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah and at Mount Sinai.
3) While there had been witness of fire and brimstone and the fire on the Mount at Sinai, the application here has Spiritual connotations.
3. The desire is for such a fire as both consumes and produces the heat of passion expressed in a desire for the things of the Lord and such as impacts the enemies of the Lord
1) To make known the Name of the Lord to His adversaries
2) That would make the nations tremble at His presence (we are a sinful people as in: Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Isaiah 1:4)
4. But as was previously mentioned the Lord has done terrible things not expected – His ability is beyond our ability to comprehend!
5. The preparation of the Lord are for them that wait for Him (love Him in 1 Cor. 2:9)

II. A proper approach to the Lord (vv. 5-7)
1. In verse 5 we find the words of approach unto the Lord
1) These are they who have a proper concept of God and who know of His mighty works.
2) Where the Lord is known there will be such an approach unto Him that reflects the hope and delight of the comer regardless of circumstances.
3) The confidence is expressed in a continuance in the working of righteousness where there is confession and forgiveness of sins – We have sinned, but salvation is of the Lord.
2. The confession continues that strength might be given to the plea – Part of what we must have is an awareness of that which the writer acknowledges.
3. To add to the misery, apart from divine intervention none will call, none will seek to take hold! See There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Romans 3:11.

III. A proper assessment and submission to the Lord (vv. 8-12)
1. The end of the prayer expresses resignation as well as confidence
1) The claim of faith is that He is our Father as is revealed to us with Christ who taught us to prayer “Our Father” which included Himself alongside His redeemed ones.
2) We are but clay in His hands and we must be fully submitted unto His will and purpose!
2. There is further prayer for mercy and visitation – See verse 9
3. We see the condition and understand that He is just that it is so – we mourn for the fallen condition of our land as did the prophet for Jerusalem – the things that should have reflected a zeal for the Lord were desolate and abandoned
4. Consider in this context: Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Psalms 85:6.
5. The ultimate desire is that He would plead His own cause and it is for His revealed glory that we would plead – in any event we rejoice in Him above all else – So great is salvation that it can awaken such a desire in us. May it ever be so!!