top

National Revival in America: It Comes Down to You and Me

National Revival in America: It Comes Down to You and Me

Praying for spiritual awakening in America is a broad, sweeping prayer. Ultimately, the awakening we desire on a national level must first be experienced in our lives on a personal level.  Corporate revival comes down to individual revival, to our spiritual walk – our personal repentance, submission, holiness and filling with the Holy Spirit’s power.

It is not only hypocritical; it is counter productive to pray for national revival on one hand while ignoring the conviction of the Holy Spirit on the other. God’s plan involves using us as salt and light to facilitate spiritual awakening in our churches, our families and our communities.  If, as salt and light, we have lost our savor and grown dim, we are wise to pray for personal awakening, personal cleansing and personal revival as we pray for the same on a national scale.

Last Thursday morning, as I woke and began praying in concert for spiritual awakening in America, the Holy Spirit sharply turned my focus from a national scale to a personal one.  He did so through Francis Frangipane’s book, The Three Battlegrounds. That afternoon I tweeted a sentence from the book that stood out to me as immensely profound and powerful:

“When the Holy Spirit shows us an area that needs repentance, we must overcome the instinct to defend ourselves.” [i]

This instinct launches a defense proceeding that is often days underway before we realize what is taking place.  I know that in my own life,  so often I’ve argued the case, defended myself, convened my own jury and acquitted myself without realizing what has gone on in the spiritual realm. Francis Frangipane continues:

“We must silence the little lawyer who steps out from a dark closet in our minds, pleading, ‘My client is not so bad.’ Your ‘defense attorney’ will defend you until the day you die—and if you listen to him you will never see what is wrong in you nor face what needs to change.”[ii]

I don’t know about you, but I have let my lawyer argue my case for far too long.  I’m tired of playing lawyer, judge and jury. I want to be made keenly aware of every area of compromise and darkness in my life.

“And angels who did not keep their own domain,
but abandoned their proper abode, He
has kept in eternal bonds under darkness
for the judgment of the great day”
(Jude 6).

Satan was put under eternal judgment in “pits” or “bonds” of darkness when he rebelled against God.  The fallen angels were banished with him, forced to live in darkness as well.  In this instance, darkness does not mean an area absent visible light. The eternal darkness to which Jude 6 refers is a moral darkness, which ultimately degenerates to literal darkness.  The cause of darkness isn’t the absent of light, but the absence of God, who is light.

“It is vital to recognize that this darkness to which Satan has been banished is not limited to areas outside of humanity. Unlike those who do not know Jesus, however, we have been delivered out of the domain or “authority” of darkness (Col. 1:13). We are not trapped in darkness if we have been born of light. But if we tolerate darkness through tolerance of sin, we leave ourselves vulnerable for satanic assault. For wherever there is willful disobedience to the Word of God, there is spiritual darkness and the potential for demonic activity.”[iii]

Jesus warned, “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:35). We have light in us. “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord” (Prov. 20:27).  When our spirit is illuminated by the Spirit of Christ, it becomes the “lamp of the Lord” through which He searches our heart.  But when we harbor sin, the “light which in thee” is “darkness.”  Satan has legal access, given to him by God, to dwell in the domain of darkness.  “The devil can traffic in any area of darkness, even the darkness that still exists in a Christian’s heart.”[iv]

When the light that is in us has become darkness, even in the slightest of ways, this inhibits the work God is able to do through us. Have you been praying for national revival yet growing callous toward sin and darkness in your own life? Have you been going through the motions of church, Bible study and prayer meeting, but your heart has become cold toward the Holy Spirit…almost numb?

Four phrases in prayer:

1. Search me: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

2. I renounce pride and submit: “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:6-7).

We often see the last phrase of this verse as a stand alone phrase, out of context. But it is in the context of repentance, humility and a clean heart of submission that we see Satan fleeing from us. Submission must be specific, not vague.

At the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God’s judgment against the devil was that he would “eat dust.” God also said of man “dust thou art” (Gen.3:14-19). Our carnal, fleshly nature is dust. Satan feeds on our earthly, fleshly nature. One area of our lives, our flesh nature, will always be a target of the devil. It supplies him with an open highway on which to undermine our prayers, cut off the supply of God’s word (our artillery against him) and neutralize our walk with God.

An inflated sense of self-righteousness keeps us from looking at ourselves honestly. We must know what is in us if we are to successfully wage war against the devil. Therefore, be specific when you submit yourself to God. Do not rationalize your sins and failures. Be honest with God. He already knows. He won’t be shocked or terrified by your sins. He loved you when sin was rampant within you, how much more will He love you now as you seek His grace and freedom from sin? (Romans 5:8).

3.  I repent: As we humble ourselves, submit to God and cease maintaining our innocence through defensive pride, may God give us such a glimpse of Himself that like Job, we declare, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent..” (Job 42:5-6).  Lord, give us godly sorrow over our sin that leads to repentance…specific repentance.

4. I humble myself with fasting: Fasting is the way David humbled himself.

“I humbled myself with fasting…” (Psalm 35:13).

If the devil fleeing from us comes only in context of humility, submission and cleansing, then exercising fasting as a means of humility is vital.  (See other articles about the relationship of fasting to humility: “The Primary Purpose of Fasting” and “Search My Heart” among others.)

If you have reached a dry place spiritually, nothing will awaken you like fasting and prayer! When I have lost sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, lost passion and hunger for God’s Word and awareness of my sin and have gone to God through fasting and prayer, He has reversed it all! He fills me with passion, hunger, desire, sensitivity to His Spirit and repentance.  When we hunger and thirst after righteousness, we will be filled! (Mt. 5:6) ( Fasting brings New Anointing!)

Just as we committed to give God the first of the year through twenty-one days of fasting and prayer, it is also an excellent idea to give God the first of the month through fasting and prayer – before paying bills, before making business and family decisions. What a perfect time to seek God’s counsel and anointing. Many of those who participated in Pursuit 21 expressed a desire to also fast one to two days during the first week of the month. In the same way we are seeking “first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all things will be given to you as well.” (Mt. 6:33).

Of course, you do not have to fast. It is merely a suggestion. But if you do, you won’t regret it! God honors fasting. The good reports that have come in through Pursuit 21 are astounding! Miraculous and life-changing…for entire families!

You  might have health conditions that keep you from going on a full fast. Don’t let this be an excuse. Fasting is still effective if you go on a partial fast. (See Types of Fasts)

At the beginning of the year, we committed to make fasting a “part of our lifestyle,” like prayer and giving. We didn’t quit praying and giving our tithes and offerings after Pursuit 21, did we? Neither should we quit fasting for the entire rest of the year. Pray and ask God how He would have you continue to incorporate fasting the rest of this year. It doesn’t have to be in twenty-one day groupings. Perhaps it could be the first day of the month, or one day during the first week, etc. The Holy Spirit will guide you. Be sure to combine it with prayer! Doing without food in the absence of prayer is just a diet.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

Question: Do you long for spiritual awakening and revival to begin in you?


[i] Francis Frangipane, The Three Battlegrounds (Cedar Rapids, IA: Arrow, 1989 ), 15

 

[ii] Ibid., 15

[iii] Ibid., 12

[iv] Ibid., 12

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Shades of Grace will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2 Responses to “National Revival in America: It Comes Down to You and Me”

  1. RJ Ballard, Ph. D says:

    I agree totally. R J Ballard, Ph.D Texas A&M '74

  2. RJ Ballard,Ph.D says:

    Pray everyday for revival so we will return to our foundational beliefs,especially the foundational belief : In God we trust.

Leave a Reply

top