Why Revival Doesn’t Work

II Chron 7:10-15

And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people. Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.

I am burdened today for the state of the church in our nation.

For Christians in our nation. For Teenagers in our nation. As a Pastor I remember scheduling and having numerous revival meetings. Revival meetings that I thought would encourage the church members to love more, do more, give more, surrender more. Revival meetings that I thought would help the lost be saved, the back slidden get right and the Christian to tighten up. And some decisions were always made. Kind of like a Youth Conference or Camp… they last for a few months and then… back to business as usual. Why?   Why doesn’t revival work like it once did?   Why don’t decisions stick?  Why does our Bible reading end in a week? Why does our prayer time cease in a few days? Why doesn’t Revival work?  Church spend a lot of time, money, planning, music, promoting, and prayer in preparation for these revival meetings. All of this work and time and effort and still no change. Why doesn’t revival work? Lets look at our text passage-

God is meeting with the leader of Israel (11-12)

God announces some tough times are coming  (13)

Then God gives the way to get out of the judgment. How to get right. How to have revival.  (14)

We know this verse. We’ve heard 1000 sermons on it.   We have quoted it. When we have a revival or talk of a revival, we know this verse is coming out. God knows our nation could use some healing and forgiveness!!  We need revival. Many people, when they think of revival have a predetermined idea about revival. People think that revival is only turning from you wicked ways.  Drunks giving up drinking.  Addicts overcoming addiction.  Separating from rock music, dating and fornication,  Hollywood, cussing, rebellion.

When you think of revival, I’m sure you have heard a message on seeking the face of God, reading the Bible, walking with God, surrendering to God’s will, and being led by the Holy Spirit. During Revival, we of course spend time praying. Praying for lost loved ones, praying for power of God on the services, praying for back slidden, and praying for God to give us what we need spiritually. Revival has all of the tools to work. We have the turning from wicked ways, seeking God’s face and praying, yet we still are in need of revival. continue to have revivals and lets be honest, we are here tonight, because we want revival I HOPE.We want revival, but something is missing. You see there is a missing ingredient today in our camps, conferences, and revivals that no special guest speaker can produce.If God is going to bring revival to this church, if God is going to make a change in your life,  it will start with verse fourteen. If my people which are called by my name, will HUMBLE THEMSELVES. What does that  mean… humble ourselves? Does that mean that I walk around with my head down, quiet, down on myself, not talking, like I cant do anything right and are good for nothing… NO! That is Depression! Humble-  Made low, not high. Submitted, reduced self dependence. The word humble means empty. If I ever expect God to fill me with his power, love, grace, mercy, word… I must be empty.

  1. Empty of Self

I Peter 5:5-7

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

To humble myself, I must empty myself of ME. My greatest enemy. I must empty myself of my selfishness, my pride, my attitude. I must make me low and God HIGH! 

James 4:6, 10

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

To humble myself I must realize I cannot do this alone. I am needy. Finding Gods Will. Walking with God. Serving God. Living a clean right life. I cannot do those things… God has to help me or I will fail. Sometimes we have been coming to church so long, we learn how to do spiritual things in the flesh. If you want revival, YOU have to get YOU out of the way. Remember when you first starting reading the Bible…. Pray, ask for help understanding… NOW- watch tv while reading Remember when you first started witnessing… beg God for help, nervous, knew Spirit had to work for someone to get saved.   NOW- you got this. Remember the first time you sang. You told God he had to help you… you knew you needed him. NOW- you don’t even pray or practice before. You’ve sung this song before. Remember when the sermons used to speak to your heart, you would come to the altar and ask God to help you to apply that truth to your life…. NOW- you don’t need that sermon that’s for sister so and so. Remember when sin would bother you… you would get convicted and stop it…ask forgiveness and help for your struggle.. NOW-   you deserve whatever that sin is… you justify the sin for your hard work and life. YOU are your biggest enemy.   YOU are the reason YOU have not had revival. YOU are the cause of the majority of YOUR problems… Got to get YOU out.  Get God in. Empty of Self.

  1. Empty of Sin

Luke 18:10-14

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

II Chron 33-  Manasseh

And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,

If I am going to humble myself, I must see the Real me. No… not the you that you put on tonight for everyone to see here at the church. The real you. To be against Hollywood. We are such good actors. I am not talking about  the you that works so hard to fool the pastor, friends, even family about your spirituality. YOU KNOW YOU. YOU know the sin in your life. Just because sin is covered up, doesn’t mean it is correct. You know what you are struggling with. No one else may know, but YOU know. You can pretend you have turned from your wicked ways, you can seem to seek Gods face, you can pray. But until you humble yourself, its not going to work. We need to be empty of sin. Sin that is seen to others and sin that is seemingly hidden. You will never have spiritual revival with un-confessed sin in your life. Bitterness, hatred, gossiping, and pornography are all sins that can be hidden, but these are some of the secret sins that hinder our youth groups, churches, and our nation from having revival. Humble yourself to God. You know what you needs to be dealt with in your life. Come clean to God.

James 4:6-8

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Let us be empty of our self and empty of sin.

Empty the Search

Too many of us think we can figure out this spiritual journey on our own. We think we have it down. We are pros at lying, acting, playing, hiding. Empty the search for how YOU are going to handle things. We have our way we want to do things. You can’t do it alone. Empty your search of how and look to Who. Empty the search. Surrender yourself to God.  

John 15:5–  Without me ye can do nothing.

Empty your Self. Empty your Sin. Empty your Search. Why doesn’t Revival work? We turn from our wicked ways. We seek His face. We pray. Why do we not experience personal spiritual revival? We must humble ourselves. Empty of Self. Empty of Sin. Empty of Searching. Verse fifteen of II Chronicles 7 says that God is waiting to hear from you. How much do you want revival?


William Davis

William Davis

Youth|Assistant Pastor

Clays Mill Road Baptist Church