Jonah 3:3 6/22/14
Two things must happen in order for revival to happen in our lives personally and in the world corporately.
First, we must be obedient to God’s will in general.
All that we know that God wants us to do—being honest, treating other people with love and respect—in short, always doing the right thing, for the Scripture says “to love your neighbor as yourself.” Secondly, we have to obey the Word of the Lord specifically. “Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.” (Jonah 3:3) Until the Holy Spirit has full control of our lives, we will never experience the fullness of God’s presence.
We have to willingly relinquish the throne of our heart; that is, the “kingdom of self”. Ironically, the greatest hindrance to our happiness and abundant living is we ourselves. That is why Jesus said, “If anyone will come after Me, he must deny himself and take up the cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24) God will never force us to follow Him. We must choose to do it willingly. God will speak to us about offenses we have held towards others, about our language and about the practices that we do that are not pleasing to Him. The Holy Spirit will prick our conscience if we are doing things or saying things we should not. God cleanses and purifies our lives so that He can fill us with the fruit of His Spirit:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
When God’s Spirit abides in us, we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:16) Once we can hear God’s voice clearly, then we can obey His specific plan for our lives. For Jonah, God’s specific will was to go to Nineveh and preach the message God gave him. In doing this, God would release His Spirit in a powerful way and change the hearts of the wicked people of Nineveh. Jonah’s preaching alone could not bring about this dramatic change; only God’s Spirit could. Our lives can be used in a similar way to effect change in the lives of those around us, if God has complete control.
Obedience to God will revive you AND revive those around you.