Feb. 22, 2015
“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.” A. W. Tozer
Turn to Isa. 66:1,2
When God ever speaks to any problem or challenge or inequity, eventually showing the way to overcome it, He always begins with Himself.
I. The Greatness of God – vs. 1,2a
As great and powerful and sovereign as God is, He refuses to solve the problems of the world Himself. Instead He is constantly searching for a man or a woman or a young person or even a child that He can use….
II. The Looking/Searching of God – vs. 2b
A. vs. 4 “I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen.”
B. Isa. 50:2 “Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer?
Rest of vs. 2,3 – – the greatness of God
“Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness; Their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness and make sackcloth their covering.”
III. The People He Finds & Uses – vs. 2c those who are:
1. 1st step – “If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud…If you think you’re not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.” C.S. Lewis
Example: Dr. H.A. Ironside – one of the great evangelical preachers and authors of a century ago or so realized one day he was not as humble as he needed to be. So he asked an elder friend what he should do about it. His mature friend replied, “Make a sandwich board with the plan of salvation in Scripture on it, and wear it, the walk through the business and shopping area of downtown Chicago for a whole day.” Well he followed his friend’s advice. Upon completion of this humiliating experience he returned to his apartment. As he took off the sandwich board, he caught himself thinking, “There’s not another person in Chicago that would be willing to do a thing like that.”
2. Definition: “Humility is recognizing that God and others are responsible for the achievements in my life.” Bill Gotthard
To be humble is to See, think and feel about oneself the way God does, and to live accordingly.
3. How to grow in humility – – Know God! Isa. 66:1,2a
“They that know God will be humble; they that know themselves cannot be proud.” John Flavel – one of the old Puritans in the 17th century
B. Contrite of spirit –
1. The lack of – – Jeremiah 6:15 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush….” (repeated again in ch. 8)
We must come to terms with the reality that we have grown up in American society for 10 – 70 years, rarely seeing contrition modeled by our presidents, or any of our gov’t leaders, our coaches and teachers, our parents, even our spiritual leaders. Most only repent or fess up when they are caught, and then often only to get back whatever they lost because of their sin.
2. Definition – Webster – “to be contrite is to be grieved and penitent for sin or one’s shortcoming”
“Genuine sorrow for one’s sin that is expressed in prayer and confession to God.”
Prayers of contrition in the bible? Psalm 51; Daniel 9; Nehemiah 1:4-11
3. How to grow contrite of spirit? Be quick to say you are sorry – especially to God. Only God can give us contrite hearts. And only being much alone with Him and focused on Him can bring this about.
Isa. 57:15 “For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.”
C. Trembles at My Word – – Whether written or spoken, highly responsive to everything He ever says.
2. Example of: Josiah – II Kings 22:10-13
Example of Daniel in Daniel 9
Psalm 119:38 “Establish Your word to Your servant as that which produces reverence for You.”
1. must die to the right to know things and be on top of knowledge of sports, world news, politics, even religious news you can’t know God and everything else.
2. prepare your heart and mind for every social engagement – whether in person or via social media – – to walk out this passage – – for me praying in tongues is part of the process while driving, before I dial a number, write an email, etc.
4. strive for fewer words
5. pray in tongues more in plain view such as out on a walk by yourself – why are we ashamed for people to see our mouth moving?; pray in front of pl. parenthood to deal with your fear of man and lack of fear of God
6. say you are sorry to God more whether you really feel like it or not