SERMON: TRUST AND REVIVAL (8.29.21)
Updated: Aug 29, 2021
We believe that the Holy Spirit is calling us to join other local churches to participate in a revival in our community. Last week we talked about what revival is…
-In revival, God does a fresh work among believers who have grown weary through sin or neglect.
-Revival is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit which results in extraordinary results.
-Revival is for God’s people when they need to be forgiven and restored to life with a strengthened spirituality and vitality.
Last week we also started our preparation for an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit by understanding how important preparation and anticipation are. This morning, we will take another step in our trust that this is what the Lord wants us to do together.
No revival starts without mutual trust between God and his people.
God’s side of the trust relationship with us looks like this:
-he trusts us to be stewards of this earthly kingdom
-he trusts us with free will
-he trusts that we see him as the one and only God
-he trusts that we seek him earnestly and always
-he trusts that we will be his workers to restore his earthly kingdom.
Our side of the trust relationship with God looks like this:
-we trust that when we “ask, seek, and knock” that God hears us and responds
-we trust that God’s plan for us is always better than our own
-we trust that God’s timing is always better than what we want
-we trust that when we earnestly and prayerfully ask for the Holy Spirit to join us God will send him.
Do you see how important trust is when asking for revival? That’s why Proverbs 3:5-6 say:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.[a]
We trust in God, God trusts us. There’s no simpler way to say it, and it’s a powerful expression of the relationship with our Lord which we strive for.
A few weeks ago, I attended a two-day conference called the Global Leadership Summit (GLS). This is a worldwide meeting of Christian business leaders with discussion topics on leadership and with a light touch of Christian values since the sponsors want to make non-Christians feel welcome too.
The program is broadcast live and is simulcast in 40 countries and hundreds of churches in the U.S. I went to Harbor Church in Hastings. Perhaps my antenna was especially tuned in this year, because I felt like I received a lot of relevant messages. One speaker spoke on the topic of trust.
His point was this: when God trusts you and you succeed, he then expects to give you more responsibility. This is the story of today’s well-known parable. This parable is called the Parable of the Bags of Gold but could be called the Parable of the Lost Opportunity. The man who goes on the journey represents Christ and the servants represent believers given different levels of responsibility. What Jesus is looking for is faithfulness, and all the servants (or believers) were fruitful to some extent. The fruitless person is unmasked as a hypocrite and loses favor.
Both the man with the five bags of gold and the one with two bags of gold received the same reward, which tells us that rewards are based on faithfulness and not results. The one responsible for one bag of gold—the one who did nothing with it—was rebuked. This is critical to understand because God expects that when we do his work, he takes responsibility for the results. Doing nothing is not a good option in God’s world.
Do you see how this relates to revival? God expects us to be faithful and he will deliver the Holy Spirit to deliver extraordinary results! We aren’t responsible for who shows up or what happens. We are responsible for our obedience in welcoming the Holy Spirit in a spirit of communal repentance and new spiritual vitality.
Think about what has happened in our church since we took the very small step of faith in putting up a small, fragile, pro-life sign. The Lord has blessed us in so many ways and continues to empower us. We can’t quit now…we’re only getting started! One of the speakers from the GLS said it best: If you’re not dead, you’re not done.” We’re not dead, either physically or spiritually. And we expect even more spiritual vitality as we join with our Christian neighbors in inviting the Holy Spirit to join us.
Father, we thank you for this world, for your light, and for your grace and faithfulness in us. We try to show you how much we love you, and we await with prayer and urgent anticipation the visit of the Holy Spirit as we pray for the spiritual revival of our community.
Please consider this question as you pray this week:
-Father, please show what we can do in faith to deserve additional trust and responsibility from you.