The Key to Revival- Insight from Charles G Finney
“Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up the fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you. You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors.”
Hosea 10: 12, 13
First, I want to point out and underline in your spirit today that IT IS THE TIME TO SEEK The LORD. We need Him! The problem is too many believers don’t even realize they need Him. We need to be overflowing with the Holy Spirit. We need an abundance of Him flowing out from inside of us. You and I should be walking revivals. Everywhere we go, revival should begin. We should drip with the Holy Spirit.
Revival is a divine assault on society that changes everything. I love to share the stories of revival to show what happens when God turns up. Marriages, relationships, and lives are made whole. There is nothing like Him. He created you and me for Him, and without Him, you are always empty and lacking. The thing missing in your life is Him. He completes you.
We need revival! So what hinders revival? Charles G Finney saw incredible revivals everywhere he went in the nineteenth century. At times he saw 50,000 a week come to the Lord. He was a true walking revival.
So, look at the verses we just quoted, and may the Holy Spirit speak to you. We need to break up the fallow ground. We have work to do!
- Break up the fallow ground
“To break up the fallow ground, therefore, is to bring the mind into such a state that it is fitted to receive the Word of God.”
How soft are sensitive are we spiritually? Has the Word lost its power and influence in our lives? Does the Word contain nice words that inspire you, or does the Word speak to you, wreck you, restore you, edify you, and draw you closer to Him?
“To break up the fallow ground is to break up your hearts.”
We need the hardness of our hearts broken up. Life is not easy, and without Him and His Holy Spirit’s constant influence, life will harden our hearts and plant seeds of bitterness and lack of trust. We build walls and excuses. We must allow the Holy Spirit to come in and pull down those walls. If He is Lord, He has unlimited access to every area of your life and heart.
“If you mean to break up the fallow ground of your hearts, you must begin by looking at your hearts.”
“Examine thoroughly the state of your hearts. And see where you are- whether you are walking with God every day or walking with the devil.”
Walking with the Lord is not about just fulfilling religious obligations. Going to church and serving at church does not mean you are walking with Him. We need to let the Light of the Word shine in every area of our lives. Does our life align with the Word in action and fruit?
Finney pointed out several key heart issues that we should consider, such as ingratitude. We slowly become so hardened that we no longer see the wonderful things He has done and is doing. Have we lost sight of the fact that this is the day the Lord has made and that we are called to rejoice in it? Your life is not dictated by what is happening in the world! No! We are to look to heaven and trust in Him.
“Ingratitude. Take this sin, for instance, and write down under all the instances you can remember wherein you have received favors from God for which you have exercised gratitude.”
“Set down the instances of God’s goodness to you when you were in sin.”
- Left our First Love
We must remember that-
“God styles Himself as a jealous God, and have you not given your hearts to other loves?”
Are we consumed by Him, and does the very thought of Him bring a smile to your face? Do you seek Him out? Do you love His people? When He is our First Love then-
“The Word of God is the rule of our life.”
What authority does the Word hold in your life?
I thought you were going to talk about revival. Revival must start with us. We must repent and return to Him and break up the fallow ground of our hearts so that we can hear Him again and His Word can truly produce fruit in and through us- that is revival!
“How many are the instances in which you have virtually charged the God of truth with lying by your unbelief of His express promises and declarations?”
Remember we are to know that has He not said it and will He not do it? The Word and His promises must be the final authority. Not what we see, our opinions or the opinions of others.
- Our love walk
We are not asked but commanded to love one another. Not just those we like or agree with, but all believers. We must not allow ourselves to come to a place where we are so afraid of being deceived that we avoid believers outside of our network. We are to love, period.
“And yet you pretend to love them.”
Our love must be real! It must be forged in the fire of Heaven and come forth as a mighty force in our lives that reveals and glorifies Jesus.
“Your want of love for the souls of fellow men. Look around upon your friends and relations and remember how little compassion you felt for them. You have stood by and seen them going right to hell and it seems as though you did not care if they did.”
One day we must give an account of all those we lacked the love and courage to share Jesus with others. There is a world all-around going to hell while we think only of ourselves. We are OK, and that is all that matters.
We are to occupy until He comes, and that means to continue to fulfill His command to love and His command to preach His glorious Gospel.
- Self- denial
We live in an hour where the focus is not about preaching the Gospel but about how to be successful in life. How we can acquire the things we want. We have lost sight of the call to self- denial.
“There are many who are willing to do almost anything in religion that does not require self-denial.”
That statement cuts deep.
“They will not willingly suffer reproach for the Name of Christ. Nor will they deny themselves the luxuries of life to save the world from hell.”
Like Paul, we must understand that we have rights to all things, but we must focus on the command and call of Heaven. My rights take second place to fulfill His purpose. Are we willing to suffer hardship for the Gospel, or do we want the Gospel only on our terms? Previous generations suffered such severe persecution and paid a heavy price so that you and I today would have the Gospel. The Gospel must be so precious and powerful to us that the price becomes insignificant.
- Bitterness, slander and a wrong spirit
“Take account of the instances in which you have had a botter spirit and spoken of Christians in a manner entirely devoid of charity and love.”
We love to speak ill of others and excuse it with the statement that ‘we were only joking.’ Would we enjoy such criticism that we give others? What if what came out of our mouths regarding others were printed on the front page of the leading newspapers, would we be able to stand?
“What about the times you have spoken behind people’s backs of their faults, real or supposed, of members of the church or of others, unnecessarily or without good reason. This is slander.”
We need the Holy Spirit to expose all darkness in us and behaviors that we must repent of and allow Him to change us. Are we willing to put it right, even to our loss? All too often, when we repent, the other side sees it as an opportunity to gain and not an opportunity to love. Are we still willing to do what is right before the Lord?
“Break up all the ground and turn it over. Do not balk it, as the farmers say. Do not turn aside for little difficulties.”
We must be committed to breaking up the fallow ground if we really want revival.
“Preaching will do no good to you while your hearts are hardened and waste and fallow.”
Go back and read the verses from Hosea again, and this time allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through them.