Pastor Vince this week spoke of a vision of a wave of revival coming over the church and the land. He noted that for such a revival to come, God’s people need to be focused on Him, not their own agendas. He went on to say that it is through praise that we can find that focus. When we offer our praise and thanksgiving to god, He responds with even more blessings. The pastor on several occasions reminded us that as our praise goes up, His blessings come down. What a mighty truth!
Psalm 71 reminds us of the place of praise,
“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone (verses 14-16).”
Note that in praise we have hope, and as we have God’s mighty acts to proclaim, He will show us even more of them to praise.
But such praise is not a solo act if we want true revival. A revival that will sweep over the land like a tsunami. It is an act of praise that is unified, and of common purpose. Psalm 133 reminds us,
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore”
Notice that in unified purpose (v 1) that God bestows His blessings (v 3). Compare that to the words of Matthew 18:19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
So what is the nature of such unified praise? The Psalmist states it clearly in the 100th,
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
It’s as simple as that, praise Him as our creator, our shepherd, our faithful provider. Praise Him for His love.
Such praise will change the land. It will “sow seeds” of righteousness. The harvest of which will be of fire, the fire of the Spirit. As in Acts 2 when the flames of the Spirit came like a mighty wind, not a drizzle but a storm.
Hosea 10:12 tells us,
“Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”
Okay, some mixed metaphor but truth all the same. When we prepare the unplanted land of our praise. When we till and prepare the soil of our hearts, then he will shower (even pour down) His righteousness on us.
Do we want revival? Look at Matthew 13: 18-23,
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
In our acceptance of God’s word, in our thanksgiving for His gifts, in our praise of Him for His goodness, we prepare the soil. We break up the hard ground, we remove the rocks and weeds. We in short fulfill Hosea’s words, and in so doing we can await the tsunami of fire, the revival of the land!