Though we often hear of the word ‘Revival’ and we get excited about it, how many of us put serious thought into the stewardship of the word for revival? Is revival just a matter of a passing feel-good phase or is it something more?
Recently, Elder Dorai Manikam shared a simple message regarding stewardship in this area. ‘We are living in the days of the latter rain; we are supposed to receive the rain,’ he conveyed. ‘We receive the rain through faith but faith can die. How does faith come? Faith comes by hearing and hearing again the word of God. How then do we steward a faith that will not diminish?’
In Luke 8:11, we read the famous Parable of the Four Soil.
4 And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
By now, many of us would know that the seed represents the word of God. The soil represents the heart of believers. The birds represent the snatching of the word, the thorns represent the cares of the world and so on. Like all word of God, the word for revival can also take plant in the heart of the believer or die out.
In 1 Kings 18:41-46 we read that Elijah prayed for rain and the rain came. But it wasn’t just because Elijah prayed; it was because Elijah was holding on to the promise of rain that God had given him in 1 Kings 18:1. The Lord told him that rain would come and Elijah prayed persistently and actively. He sent his servant to look towards the sea seven times for the sign of rain. Elijah was looking for the change actively and in expectation.
Here we can see that the stewardship of the word for revival also involves preparation. How do we steward the word? Elder Dorai conveyed that this capacity exist on two levels. It can be for the church but it can also be for the individual as well.
There is a process throughout the Parable of the Four Soils. First, there are those who heard the word but did not receive. Before they can receive, the devil has already planted doubts in their hearts and snatch the word away. There are some who heard but did not retain the word in their hearts. There are some who heard, retained the word, and for a while it grows in their lives, but after some time, the cares of the world take a hold and the word dies out. Finally, there are those who heard, received, retained, persevered with the word, and produce the crop of revival that had been promised unto them.
When we receive the word of revival therefore, there is also a matter of response. Those who receive the word and meditate on it will come to understanding God’s message for them. From those who understand, some will let the worldly cares and troubles take over while others will persevere by praying the word consistently.
Elder Dorai counselled to confess the word every day and to be specific when we pray. When the believer has heard, received, retained, and persevered with the word, it is then that a crop will be produced. Hold fast to it. We need to turn to God, keeping our eyes on the Lord so that our hearts will understand, our ears can hear, and our eyes can see.
‘Recognize that this is the time of God’s visitation. He is pouring out His spirit. Those who take hold of His Spirit will experience the impossible,’ Elder Dorai encouraged.
How do we respond when it rains? There are 2 things that we need beside faith. We need to have the hunger, and we need to be humble. Sometimes we are hungry but we are not humble; pride comes in the way and we don’t receive. Sometimes we are humble, but we are already filled with other things, and so we don’t receive. When there is faith, hunger for God and His word, and humility, revival will come.
NOTE: This is an adaptation of the message shared by Elder Dorai on the 1st and 2nd of Oct 2016 at FGA KL. It has not been vetted by either the church or the speaker. The original message can be accessed at FGA KL’s website on http://fgakl.libsyn.com/category/Sermon
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