A Formula for Revival
Day: 7 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel
Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 7
1 Samuel 7:6 (NIV) “When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, ‘We have sinned against the LORD.’ Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.”
As you open your heart to receive today’s teaching, does God feel distant? Does He seem silent? Do you long for a fresh filling of God’s presence? If so, today’s reading is especially for you. It speaks of one of the greatest spiritual revivals in biblical history.
As today’s story opens, we find God’s people steeped in sin, living oppressed and depressed. Because of their wickedness and rebellion, God remained silent. His presence noticeably absent from among them.
During these disobedient and dry years, the only words they heard from God came through Samuel. At some point, just as God had promised in 1 Samuel 3:19, Samuel’s words settled in their hearts, moving them to lament and sorrow.
When Samuel saw the people showing signs of repentance, he called a national gathering at Mizpah to provide a public place for God’s people to corporately confess their sins and renew their commitment to the Lord.
Samuel issued three challenges to ensure spiritual revival.
Serve God Alone
God wanted external evidence of their repentance. Samuel commanded the people to move beyond sorrow and rid themselves of all idols. To leave behind the foreign gods, turn back to the One True God and give their wholehearted commitment and devotion to Him.
Friend, we too have idols. They represent anything that holds first place in our lives. It can be money, success, fame and power. It can also be good things like career, family, children and health. We must dethrone anything that takes the place of God in our hearts.
Fast and Confess
Scripture tells us the Israelites drew water and poured it out before them, as if spilling their shame, tears and grief before the Lord. (1 Samuel 7:6) They voluntarily fasted from food, publicly confessed their sin and acknowledged God as their sole source of strength and power.
We too must humble our hearts and confess our sin before God. We need not fear coming to Him because “he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love …” (Joel 2:13b).
Samuel prayed and offered a burnt sacrifice on the people’s behalf. Time and time again in Scripture we learn that no lasting work of God, no spiritual revival happens, without intercessory prayer. Prayer and sacrifice move the heart of God in ways no other act can.
God honors those who honor Him.
In this passage, we find a beautiful formula for revival:
- Repent and return
- Redeem and restore
When Israel repented and returned to God, God redeemed and restored. Israel subdued the Philistines, and throughout Samuel’s lifetime, God restored the land taken by the Philistines and peace fell over the land.
It’s the same for us. If we want a fresh filling of God in our lives—if we want spiritual revival—we must repent. That simply means we must humble our hearts before God and confess our sin. When we do, God will redeem and restore. He will refresh and renew.
I pray as our First 5 family joins together across countries and continents praying this prayer of repentance that spiritual revival will fall fresh on us and fan the flames of our weak and weary souls!
Prayer: Father, I feel far from You today. I desire a fresh filling of Your Spirit. Revive my heart through Your Word and Your presence so I can feel You more deeply and know You more fully. This is where I want to remain. So when I wander, cleanse my heart and keep it tender and sensitive to Your Spirit so that I may live every day in the fullness of Your precious presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The Philistines, hearing of the national gathering on Mizpah, feared they might lose control... Read More
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