I LIKE TO review history because it repeats itself. It’s good when we can learn from the successes and failures of others. And for several years now, I have not seen the hunger for God that used to be in the Charismatic part of the Church.
I remember in the late ’60s and early ’70s, the Body of Christ experienced a renewal as the Holy Spirit moved in denominational churches. People were so hungry for God that churches were filled all the time. People wanted the minister to preach or teach for hours upon hours.
As time went by, that hunger for God began to wane. People were not as committed to Him as they once had been. They let their walk with God slip.
I asked the Lord, “What did we do wrong? Why did that happen?” He reminded me about altars. Years ago at the end of a service, people came to the front and prayed at the altar.
To me it seemed as though we heard from God in a stronger way when we were in His presence with other people. When we were at the altar, God spoke to us.
When I was a teenager, my friends and I repented of the sins we had committed the week before.
Eventually, churches took the altars out. People were expected to pray and read their Bibles at home. But that doesn’t always happen nowadays.
Rhema Bible Church and many other churches around the world have been praying for revival. But if we really want revival, we have to start with us. If we want revival, we have to clean up our lives.
And that leads me to a question: Are you right with God? Many Christians would say, “Yes, I accepted Jesus as my Savior.” Let me ask you another question: Are you living according to God’s Word and the principles He has laid down?
"When we were at the altar, God spoke to us. God wants us to live a holy life."
Holiness is not a word that is mentioned much today. I grew up Pentecostal, and we were very familiar with that word. In fact, even before I could pronounce it, I was taught holiness.
God is clear on how we should live.
1 PETER 1:13–16 (NLT)
13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.
14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.
15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.
16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
God wants us to live a holy life. That does not mean we will be perfect. Thank God, if we trip up, we have First John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I’m reminded of the story of Jacob. Scripture tells us he stole his brother’s blessing and then ran for his life. He went to Haran where he married Rachel and Leah and served their father, Laban, for 20 years. (See Genesis chapters 28–31.)
One day God told Jacob to go back to Bethel and settle there. Let’s look at the first thing he did.
GENESIS 35:2 (NLT)
2 Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing.”
Jacob knew he had a huge task ahead of him. So before he did anything else, he purified himself, and he had his family purify themselves.
God has tasks for each of us to complete that we cannot do in our own ability. In order to do those tasks, we must stay close to Him. We have to clean up our lives so He can use us.
A Holy Lifestyle
True holiness, true consecration—living a holy life—means that God controls our every decision and action.
That means we have to think before we speak. Sometimes something comes my way, and I don’t want to respond in a proper manner. But on the inside God says, “Don’t respond that way. Respond how I would respond.” And I have to check myself.
Words can’t be taken back. No matter how much we apologize, those words are still out there. It’s better not to say some things.
Second Timothy chapter 2 in the New Living Translation outlines ways for us to live a holy life.
“Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior” (v. 16.)
“All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil” (v. 19).
“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts” (v. 22).
“A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people” (v. 24).
Verse 21 says, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”
I have several sterling silver items. Over time, they become tarnished, and I have to polish them to remove the dark spots.
The same thing happens with us. Life can tarnish us. But He doesn’t say we’re useless and throw us away.
Get Ready to Be Used
I heard someone say once, “Grace is how much God loves you. Holiness is how much you love God.” In these last days, God wants to use the entire Body of Christ to bring in the harvest. So let’s consecrate ourselves and draw close to Him. As we do, He will give us opportunity after opportunity to be used by Him.
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