Tuesday, March 8, 2016

There Does Not Have To Be Revival For You To Be Revived

     I've been reading Daniel's prayer of repentance in Daniel 9 for the condition of his people. "Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but this day public shame belongs to us; the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel - those who are near and those who are far, in all the countries where You have dispersed them because of the disloyalty they have shown toward You." (Daniel 9:7-8)  God is clothed in righteousness. His people are draped in public shame. The cause is their disloyalty to their King, not David or Saul, but God. 
     It occurred to me that as Daniel repented for a nation that was nearing the end of God's seventy year judgment, not all in the nation were in rebellion. Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (better known to most of us as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) had been taken into captivity as teenagers. While they were certainly not righteous apart from repentance, they were clearly young men who were willing to follow God and His commands. When the nation bowed down to a giant golden idol under penalty of death, they stood in rebellion against the wickedness of such an act. As a result, the three were thrown into a fiery furnace.  God preserved them.  They lived.
     Another time the pagan king required all to pray only to him for a month. Daniel's response was immediate. He went into his room and prayed to the One True God. The penalty for his earthly rebellion was to be thrown into a lion's den. God protected him. He lived.
     As we wade through another hand-wringing election season, many are praying for a revival that touches the candidates. "God," we pray, "give us a leader who loves and fears You." What if God's design for America is the same as it was for the Jews in Babylon? What if He desires to use a pagan leader to bring us to our knees as He used Babylon, Mede & Persia to bring the Jews to their knees?  If that is His intention, then He will have to use Americans to bring about their own judgment, because we elect our presidents. Combine all those who are voting for a candidate from the Democratic party and those who are voting for the front-runner in the Republican primaries, and you will see that God already has the vast majority needed to place a man or woman of shame in the Oval Office.
     What will you do about it? Will you wait until a "godly" president is elected to praise, worship, obey and glorify God with your life or will you be a Daniel, a Hananiah, Mishael or Azariah. Will you be revived in the midst of the captivity or will you acquiesce and join the crowd?
     You do not have to experience revival to be revived. You can say "Yes" to God and "No" to the world just as these brave young men did. They were in political captivity all of their adult lives, and for that 70 years they walked in a state of what appears to be continual revival as they obeyed God - in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation.
     There does not have to be revival for you to be revived. There only has to be a King, who is a Savior, and someone who will believe in Him and follow Him.