Saturday Sermon: Revival comes when we are filled with life of Christ
We have too many "Achans" in the midst of God's people - those who keep for themselves things that belong only to the Lord.
In order to live holy lives, we must have clean hearts. Personal and corporate revival will not happen when unconfessed sin is in our lives. Revival comes when we are filled with the life of Christ.
Joshua 3:5 tells us to "sanctify yourself" - to set yourself apart, for God's purposes. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul is praying for the believers' body, soul (mind, emotion, will, conscience and spirit) to be wholly sanctified until the coming of the Lord Jesus.
In Joshua 6:17-19 and 7:1-26, we see the words "accursed thing" mentioned nine times. God's people were not to take anything that was won in battle because everything was for the Lord's use.
However, Achan's greed, selfishness and rebellion led him to steal from God. The "accursed thing" refers to the act of keeping for ourselves what belongs to God. When we ask Christ to be our Lord and Savior, we are giving him our all (body and soul), to be sanctified for him. He then gives his divine life to us.
A few of the "accursed things" (spiritual Achans) in our lives are these: doubt, fear, worry, unbelief, worldliness, selfishness, jealousy, pride, covetousness, cold criticism, impurity, disobedience and unforgiveness.
1 Peter 4:17-18 reminds us that the time has come for God's people to get right with him. At times, we forget our commitment to Holy God and revert to selfish living. To be revived and filled with the life of Jesus, we must confess, repent and totally surrender to the Lordship of Christ. We can't keep for ourselves what belongs to him. We are to be salt and light to this evil world; divine reflectors of Jesus.
1 John 1:9 is our rebound verse to personal revival, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Praise God. Jesus Christ, our Eternal Lord, is always waiting for us to return to him. What powerful love and forgiveness he has for us.
John Fisher is at First Baptist Church, Point Comfort.