Let me share with you four keys to personal revival. I believe with all my heart that these keys work. What are these keys?
The majority of all Christian problems are connected somewhere to the above keys (or the lack of them working in our lives).
We are stunted in our Christian growth and effectiveness for God because we are afraid of what others may say or think. We struggle in the area of relating well to other Christians - and people in general - because often we don’t know how to love - in either the giving or receiving of it. We spend our lives doubting the voice of Godbecause we won’t put the voice to the test, to prove that it really is God speaking to us.
If we don’t have the first three keys worked out in our Christian experience, then the fourth key is just a dream. It is impossible to really obey God if the fear of man rules us, or we are unable to reach out in love to others, or we don’t recognize when God speaks to us.
Four vital keys for our lives. And it is time we faced the issues they challenge us with!
Key 1: Facing Up To And Dealing With THE FEAR OF MAN:
If there is anything that holds Christians back from fulfilling their destiny in God, it is the fear of man (or woman! - remember Elijah: 1 Kings 19 ). It is a trap that restricts us, builds walls around our lives and prevents us from walking in the freedom of what God wants us to be and to do.
"The fear of man brings a snare…" (Proverbs 29:25 , KJV).
The fear spoken of here is an "agitating" fear. A snare is that which is used to trap animals, fish or birds to bring them into subjection contrary to their own will. Take, for example, a bird in a cage. It eats, chirps and flaps about … all signs of life. But what quality of life is it? It is a very restricted life-style, always limited to the boundaries of the cage. The cage represents the fear of man. Fear puts an invisible cage around us and stops us from expressing ourselves in Christ like we should.
Saul, the first king of Israel, had this problem (1 Samuel 15 ). It led to his disobeying God, which cost him his anointing, then his authority, then being rejected by God as a leader … finally being killed by the enemy Philistines. What was worse, Saul’s fear had a traumatic effect upon the "crack" army of Israel (who, in their heyday were invincible), reducing them to being fearful, defeated men when confronted by Goliath and the Philistines (1 Samuel 17 ).
The one-talent man in Matthew 25:14-30 was like he was because of fear in his life.
Fear robs us of ministering effectively in the gifts of the Holy Spirit! (2 Timothy 1:6-8 ).
Key 2: LOVE:
The second key is really God’s answer to the first key. It is love - God’s kind of love.God’s very character is love (1 John 4:6-12 ); therefore as His children we should be displaying His character in and through our lives too. That love of God - God’s love in us - can be so complete that it actually deals with fear:
"And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience), and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him. In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment - with assurance and boldness to face Him - because as He is, so are we in this world.There is no fear in love - dread does not exist; but full-grown (complete, perfect)love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love - is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection" (1 John 4:16-18, Amp.).
The whole of the Bible is based upon the loving of our neighbour as ourself (Galatians5:13-14). The only way we can do that is by loving God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind (Mark 12:28-34 ).
Love is a choice! We choose to love people or we choose not to love them. Jesus declared that it is by our love for one another that everyone would know we are His disciples! (John 13:34-35). Not our Bible knowledge, church attendance, good works, giving, tithing. etc., but by our LOVE! Love is the greatest motivator in all Christian ministry. If we do anything in the Kingdom of God that is not motivated by love, then we need to question why we are doing what we are doing. Let’s be known for our love!
Key 3: KNOWING THE VOICE OF GOD:
This is a crucial area for us Christians, especially Christian leaders. Many struggle. Doubts creep in. We question it being God’s voice and, as long as we doubt it is God, we will not be inspired to rise to do what His voice says. Fear will win the day! We must know when God is speaking to us. Jesus told us:
"My sheep hear My voice …" (John 10 ).
The success of the men and women of the Bible can be directly attributed to the fact they recognized when God spoke to them … and learned the different ways by which God spoke to them. Let us not be too narrow in our understanding of how God speaks.
Saul’s Conversion and Call to Ministry:
In Acts, chapters 9, 22 and 26, we have recorded the amazing conversion of Saul of Tarsus to Jesus Christ. It all came down to the issue of knowing it was Jesus Who was speaking to him! Once he knew the voice of Jesus, his will was totally yielded to Him and His cause (Acts 9:4-6).
The prophets were people who knew how God spoke to them. When the Bible records:"And the Word of the Lord came …" (unto Elijah, Elisha, etc.) we need to ask ourselves: "In what way did the Word of the Lord come?"
Know how God speaks to you - this is so important!
Key 4: OBEDIENCE:
The whole purpose of God personally calling us in the first place is to the end that we areobedient to God. Obedience comes about as a result of dealing with the issues of thefirst three keys.
When we think of obedience we immediately think of Jesus, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Esther, Isaiah, etc., the great characters of the Bible. They had learned to obey God.
"Even Jesus, though He were the Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" (Hebrews 5:8-9 ).
If you want to know more about the power of obedience, turn to Genesis 22:1-18 and see what impact Abraham’s obedience had on the nations of the earth. Obedience to God must surely be the thing that will release God’s revival power and blessings into our lives. But more than that … through our obedience we can have the joy of seeing the nations of the earth impacted by the Holy Spirit in a tremendous way!(Galatians 3:16-18 ; Psalm 2:8 ).
I trust these four keys will give you your personal revival, out of which you will be able to pass it on to others, so that they, too, will desire these keys to work in their lives. Use these keys to share Jesus with the world!
God bless you!