There is something that we all have to learn about God. He is always ready and willing to heal us, to save us, to make us into a new creature. The only thing that keeps us away from eternal salvation is us. In order for God to heal us, we have to be willing to be healed, and we also have to be willing to be healed and leave that old life alone. When He saves us, He is saving us for eternity, our salvation can not be lost, but He does not give us such amazing grace in order for us to take advantage of Him and go on sinning once more as soon as we have been forgiven. God demands repentance, and He demands that we try. Hosea 5:14-15 puts it like this…
“For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away and none shall rescue him. I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.”
God will not come and rescue us until we do two things that are clearly stated in scripture time and time again. We must see ourselves for how we truly are, see our sinful state and need for a Savior, our need for a grace filled and loving God, and we must seek Him. Seeking Him out is not simply getting on our knees at an alter at church and saying the sinner’s prayer, please, do not misunderstand. Seeking Him is a lifelong adventure. It is a journey and it does not stop after salvation. We are called to seek Him every day of our life. To learn His will, His commandments, His plan for our lives. We are called to seek Him out and know Him. We get the chance to know God personally and He wants that. He demands that. The people in Hosea desperately needed God to rescue them and they had to follow Him every step of the way. What God said to do, they needed to do. When He told them to stop the sinful behavior, they needed to stop. When He said to change things, they needed to obey. Seeking Him requires obedience, loyalty, and love for our Savior.
So, we know the recipe for revival from scripture. Not just from Hosea, but from verses like 2nd Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Once again, we see the same theme. What does God call us to do in order to be healed?
- Humble themselves so that they see that they can not save themselves.
- Seek His face, follow His will, not their own.
Matthew 6:33 also says a bit about seeking His face so that we can have revival. Matthew 6:33 – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Seeking Him and His righteousness; we can not have Him or His righteousness without humbling ourselves or acknowledging our sinful nature. Despite having a very clear message on this, so often we refuse to do the things necessary in order to have revival. We see America getting worse and worse, on the fast track to Hell. We see our homes crumbling with divorce, problems with the kids, and so on. We see other countries suffering. We see sin running so wild everywhere; very few people attend church, let alone believe in God. Christians are no better than the world nowadays, accepting sin, tolerating it, and then allowing it to come and take over their homes and even their churches. When we see a church trying to serve God with reverence, we say the church is full of legalism, that they are hypocrites or pharisees. I was talking with someone very recently about how so many churches are becoming no more than liberal social gatherings, and we were amazed at how the churches that are attempting to maintain some sort of Godliness are so hated. God forbid there is a dress code, or rules on how we act or speak in God’s house. We hear someone say the word “repentance” and suddenly, we are all quoting a Bible verse completely out of context because we must tolerate everything. Repentance is a dirty word, now. We don’t want to be labeled as hypocrites or bigots, so we just don’t talk about righteous judgement or how God actually calls us to judge righteously.
So, God is always willing, and of course, we want revival, or so we say. We’re just not willing to get up and do anything about it. (In short, we don’t actually want revival.)
One day, those verses from Hosea chapter 7 are going to fit this world very well. It’s going to fit our homes, our personal lives, our churches. God was willing, oh, He was willing. He was ready, His hand was stretched out, begging us to just take it, to just follow Him! But we were not willing. One day, we are going to face Him and He is going to say those words…“I would have saved you.” He would have taken us out of sin. He would have freed us from our bondage. He would have given us grace. He would have given us love. He would have given us mercy. He had a mansion in Heaven, just waiting for us to reach out and take His hand so He could lead us to it. But the thought of humbling ourselves and seeing our lives for what they are, sinful, and the thought of seeking His face and CHANGING was far too much. It was hard. Suddenly, God’s plan for us didn’t seem so wonderful because we had to work for it. We had to do something, we had to make that next move towards Him. He already sent His son, He already offered salvation…it was our time to move and we would not. And so, He could not. He would have, but God is not going to chase us around and force us into anything. We have to be a willing partner, but so often, we’re not very willing at all.
I’m going to end this post with this verse from Matthew 23. In my opinion, one of the saddest verse in scripture. How often did He stretch His hand out, how often would He have saved us…but we wouldn’t accept it.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”