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April 25, 2017, 11:44 PM

THE REVIVAL WE NEED by Dr. Terry L. Long

All over our county people are beginning to talk about the tent revival coming to Choctaw County in October of this year.  It's called  Fire in the Field and it will be held under a massive 2500 seat tent in a field just West of Butler, AL on Highway 10 West.  It may prove to be the biggest thing in the history of Choctaw County, and it most certainly will be an opportunity of a lifetime for those who have hungered to see a genuine outpouring of the Spirit of God in Heaven-sent Revival.  

It is no secret that our area desperately needs revival.  Big time.  And we  know that no revival can occur unless God graciously pours it out on His people.  But how do we get that to happen?  How does revival actually come?    For many years there has been a debate about that very thing.  Is genuine revival worked up, or is it prayed down?  Charles Finney, the great revivalist of the 19th century believed that revival came as a result of hard work and promotion.  Yet, Matthew Henry and Charles Spurgeon preached that revival had to be prayed down.  

Well, which is it?  Are revivals prayed down or worked up?  In Psalm 85:6, the Psalmist cried out to God, "Wilt Thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in Thee?"  David's view of revival was that when we pray for revival we are asking God to do something that only He can do.  Whether we work at it, or pray for it, according to the Bible, only God can send revival.  In other words, true revival is always Heaven-sent.

But the answer to the question, "Are revivals worked up, or prayed down?" is that it takes both to have a heaven-sent revival.  Both prayer and work are necessary for true revival to occur.  The relationship between the two can best be seen in the great revival under Elijah on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18).   Israel had forsaken God and gone  after Baal.  So Elijah gathered Israel to the top of Mount Carmel to call them back to God.  He laid out a challenge to the prophets of Baal that would prove  by fire from Heaven whether Baal or Jehovah  was the true God of Israel.  The prophets of Baal prayed and chanted and danced and cut themselves to try to entice their god to answer with fire, but he could not, because he was a powerless idol.

Elijah then built an altar, piled it high with wood, dug a trench around it, and soaked it with water.  He poured water on it until the water ran down the altar and filled the trenches surrounding it.  Then Elijah prayed this simple prayer, "Lord, Let it be known this day that thou art the God of Israel!"  Suddenly, in a burst of blinding light, fire fell from heaven and consumed all the sacrifice, all the wood, all the stone and all the water even down to the trenches.  All of Israel fell on their faces and declared, "The Lord, He is God!  The Lord, He is God!"

Now, it has been wisely said that there would have been no need for Elijah to pray unless he first stacked the wood, for there would have been nothing burn.  And, there would have been no need to stack the wood unless he prayed, because there would have been nothing to ignite it.  So it took work.  And it took prayer. Both were necessary for Fire to fall from Heaven.

I believe that is how it is with revival.  To have a true,  heaven-sent revival we must work as though it all depends upon us, and pray as though it all depends upon God!

We need a heaven-sent revival in our county.  Let's join together to work and pray until God answers with a mighty move of His Holy Spirit!  This is the revival we need!                                                                                                                                                                                    

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