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Passages Ministries

The Ministries of John "BJ" Hall

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Since January 18, 2015

Steps to Revival

~ By Evangelist John BJ Hall ~

The church was in turmoil. There was animosity between the older members and the younger members. You could feel the tension in the air. They wouldn’t sit on the same side of the auditorium. They wouldn’t even walk across the aisle to shake hands during the time of greeting in the worship service.

Why was this so? The older congregants felt their authority was threatened by a growing number of younger adults. At the same time, the younger adults believed that they were not appreciated for the things they could offer to the church.

My task as their pastor was to teach them to love one another. If they could learn that one thing they could then see each other’s strengths and could work together to glorify the Lord and His work in the church. In other words, they needed a revival, a renewal of a right spirit within.

In order for that revival to take place, there were some things that both groups needed to do. First, they needed to CLAIM A PURE HEART BEFORE GOD 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Claiming a pure heart, therefore, requires us to ask God to convict us of our sins. I recommend that you write them down. As you do, confess them to God. Each one He reveals to you should be confessed to Him, acknowledging your guilt. Then claim 1 John 1:9 by writing the verse over the sins — tear it up, and throw it away — symbolically purging you from them.

We then need to CLAIM THE FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”    This is not a hocus-pocus/mumbo-jumbo experience. It is also NOT a “second blessing” as some teach. It is to be a daily reality. Fill means control. We must allow the Holy Spirit to fill or control our lives, not only daily but moment by moment.

If we are going to allow the Holy Spirit to fill and control our lives we must find out what He wants to do in our lives. We do that by READING AND STUDYING GOD’S WORD. Throughout scripture, we find instructions on how to do this. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

The Apostle Paul wrote to his son in the ministry he instructed him to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) God’s Word, itself, gives us the tools we need to understand God’s Word. That sounds redundant, but we must recognize that the best commentary on the Bible, is the Bible.

Once we have discovered the rich truths in His Word we need to communicate with its author. In other words, we need to SPEND MUCH TIME ALONE WITH GOD IN PRAYER.

A few years ago US NEWS & WORLD REPORT  published the results of their survey on religion in America. They say that 76% of Americans see God as a heavenly father who can be reached by prayers.  Yet another survey said that the average Southern Baptist pastor spends only 7 minutes in prayer each day. Now before you judge those pastors too harshly, how much time do YOU spend in prayer each and every day?

The question for us is not whether or not we believe in prayer. Or whether we think others should pray more. The question is “Do I spend MUCH time alone with God in prayer?” Failure to spend time with God increases the separation between God and yourself. The same is true of every relationship in our lives.

One of the first things we did in the aforementioned church was work to establish an active prayer ministry. Our goal was to get each of the disparate factions to pray for each other. I intentionally assigned groups as prayer teams that included every age group in the church. It is true that you cannot pray for and with someone for an extended period and remain separated spiritually.

The result of these actions in our lives is renewal. If we are to have revival it must begin in our individual hearts.

When the Lord called us to a different church, one of the older ladies in the church came to me and said, “God brought you to us to teach us how to love.” This is the beginning of revival. We MUST see a purity of heart, control of the Holy Spirit, growth in the Word, and commitment to prayer. These are the steps to revival.

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