“How much longer will your anger last? Have pity, O Lord, on your servants! Have pity, O Lord, on your servants! Fill us each morning with your constant love, so that we may sing and be glad all our life. Give us now as much happiness as the sadness you gave us during all our years of misery. Let us, your servants, see your mighty deeds; let our descendants see your glorious might. Lord our God, may your blessings be with us. Give us success in all we do!” (Psalm 90:13-17) GNT
Let us also read Isaiah 64:1-2;
“Oh, that You would rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might shake at Your presence—
2 As fire burns brushwood,
As fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!”
God’s plan is that the fullness of His glory and presence dwell in every believer. That is not so now. But a day is coming when his presence will so saturate the church. That is to say, we shall be so conscious of his presence in our midst that we can hardly do anything without him. This is what happens during revival. What is the presence of God? The presence of God is simply the Holy Spirit fully present in our midst, and in full manifestation and fully at work in our midst.
THREE LEVELS OF GOD’S PRESENCE
There are three levels of God’s presence. Level one, is when God is in the midst of his people (Matthew 18:20). The other level is His Omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-12). The third is His Indwelling presence (Romans 8:14-16). When God’s manifest presence is revealed then there is revival. On Pentecost day, the presence of God was very manifest with visible signs.
One thing that minimises and diminishes the presence of God in the Church is sin. Sin in its various forms is an obstacle to revival. Whether personal revival, church or national revival, there are obstacles.
NO DISCOUNT WITH GOD
Revival is not experienced or received at our own personal terms, but AT GOD’S OWN TERMS. Someone said “God does not discount the conditions for revival for any generation” We must satisfy God’s condition to experience revival. When there is sin God hides his face from us.
OBSTACLES TO REVIVAL
The first obstacle to revival is our dishonouring of the Holy Spirit, the Head of the Church or The Lord of our lives. How do you dishonour someone?
When we fail to acknowledge him as God.
When we fail to worship him.
When we disobey his instructions.
When we don’t listen to him.
When we steal his glory.
Malachi 1:6 says “A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?“
In many of our congregations, we ignore the Holy Spirit, we don’t listen to him.
Many leaders have been insensitive to the Lord. We don’t teach about the Holy Spirit and his gifts. We don’t allow him to work in our midst. We have planned the Holy Spirit out of our programmes.
2. Another obstacle to revival is the misdirected emphasis in the Church for the material rather than the Spiritual. Make no mistake about it, we need money to propagate the gospel, but we have placed the cart before the horse. The Laodicean Church boasted about their material wealth (Revelations 3:14-22). We face the danger of becoming the Laodicean church.
Today the Church is richer materially, but poorer spiritually. Gradually, we have become more preoccupied with our wealth and riches over our God who gave us the riches. Unless we are careful, material riches may be our undoing.
The emphasis on the material is an evidence of a deeper rot.
3, What is the deeper rot? It is The diminished hunger for God or the thought that God exists to satisfy our endless cravings. David’s hunger for God makes many of us look like dwarfs today (Psalm 42:1-3; Psalm 63:1-3). We can hardly compare with him. If you desire to see revival be a God chaser! Some of us have that hunger for God, but it is not sustained and deep. For many, the hunger for God has been blunted by worldly pursuits and desires. For a while, reflect on Isaiah’s passion for God as revealed in Isaiah 64:1-4.
4. Our diminished hunger for God makes us pursue the material glory than the real glory of God. Jeremiah 2:11-13.
It is unfortunate that we are known more for our material wealth (our cars, style of dressing, etc.) than our spiritual exploits.
5, Prayerlessness is our other problem and obstacle. No revival has ever taken place without intense prayer. I am not saying we don’t pray, but that we don’t pray enough. We pray but our motives for prayer are wrong. We pray but our emphasis in prayer is directed to ourselves rather than God. We pray but not enough because we are busy with other things; our time is choked up with other priorities.
We pray for prosperity instead of how to know God.
We pray to be known by men instead of our knowing God.
We pray to seek our own glory instead of the glory of God.
Can we change the pattern of our prayer to seek for God’s glory instead of our glory? To seek a genuine revival?
6, An uncertain political situation in the country could be an impediment to revival. Historically, wars and political uncertainty have been known to negate revival. During the 1967 to 1970 Biafran war in Nigeria revival broke out in the Eastern region. We must make efforts to pray for a conducive political situation in Nigeria.
May God send us genuine revival in our Churches
May God visit our youths and revive them
May God revive our children and cause them to know him.