I am currently preaching two new series, “The Keys to Revival in America” on Sunday mornings and “Unfaithful” from the Book of Judges on Sunday evenings. As I prepare and preach, I’ve made two observances:
1) Occupy the altar every Sunday to say to those who are casually observing in our services and to God who is seriously watching, “We are serious…we want revival…we desperately need you.” I know this, you can’t read 2 Chronicles 7:14 and think God will answer a half-hearted prayer or a contented people. We need extraordinary effort and desperation to see any change.
2) While we at Sherwood live with some sense of revival, we’ve not seen an earth shaking, life altering, tears dripping, hearts breaking, hell shaking, God glorifying move of His Spirit. For that to happen, the prayer warriors need to step up our game. We need to take everything to another level. We need to be consumed with a passion for God to work as we’ve never seen Him work. Who will join me? Who will kneel before God at the altar? Who will intensify their praying? Who will ask God for tears?
As I’ve been working on these messages I am convinced, beyond any doubt, THIS SERIES along with the morning series, may be the most important series I’ve ever preached at Sherwood. I realize I’m doing this during the summer and they may continue past ReFRESH®. But the reality is, the devil will tell us there’s never a good time to stop our plans and cry out to God.
It’s as if I am reading the front page of every newspaper and seeing the trends of our times unfolding in the book of Judges. NO BOOK in Scripture has more to say to this carnal, backslidden, godless nation than the book of Judges. I can’t tell you how serious I think the times are. Not just because we have elections this year (one commentator has said this election is the most important in our lifetime), but because we are pushing the patience and grace of God to the limit. God is not going to sit back and let us mock Him, mock marriage, mock laws, mock morality, and get away with it. We were founded and blessed to be a blessing. Now we are a mockery of all that our nation once was.
I’m telling you, we need Sunday morning crowds on Sunday night. IT WILL HAPPEN IF AND WHEN GOD SHOWS UP. Until then, Sherwood will be content to have a taste of revival but never a banquet of blessings. While you might argue that point, I know that God has more for us than we are experiencing. I am one who lives on a personal and pastoral level with a holy discontent with the way things are. I know God has more for ME, and for US than we are experiencing.
It is said that the key to the Canadian Revival was when the prayer meeting became as big as the Sunday morning meeting. That being the case, we are 1400 people short of seeing revival. I’m not saying that’s a magical formula; I am saying that we talk about prayer more than we pray as a church. How often I’ve watched people looking around and doing nothing when we’ve called on people to pray before I led in a corporate prayer. This must change if we want God to take us seriously.
I believe we are wallowing in undeserved blessings. I know I am. God has been better than I deserve, and I’ve settled for less than He demands of me. I need to be all in. I need you to be all in. Time is short. Hell is hot. Eternity is long. We only get this life to do what we are going to do for the Lord.
Let’s pray as if the very life of our families, our children, our grandchildren and our nation depends on it. FYI – it does.
6 thoughts on “Our Need for Revival”
Who knew,God’s Spirit, who is given to inflame the hearts of men, can be suppressed or skewed? How often are congregants taught to fast and pray? How often are they taught brokenness and repentance? From my point of view, the Scriptures, to be understood, must be read with the same Spirit that originally inspired the early churches. I mean, can we close Church for one Sunday to cease listening to a man so we can hear the groan of the Holy Spirit? We, individually, need to spend serious time searching and listening to God.
I observed two extremes while in church when it came to the word “revival”. At one extreme are those who embraced pure emotionalism and hysteria(if it’s odd it’s God!), all manner of weird behaviour was excused. The other extreme seems to lack a living, vibrant spiritual life. The church feels dead, cold, and lifeless. Any talk of reviving the things of God(revival) is either dismissed or ridiculed. People were quoting scripture to support bizzare behaviour!
If i were to ever witness a revival, i would expect to see the true work of the Holy Spirit being evident;
1.It would elevate the truth.
4.Point the people to Scriptures.
5.Result in love for God and for one another.
Pastor Catt, why the political angle? Is the battle in America against the Liberals? What is a true revival to YOU Pastor Catt? Is there a reason why church today cannot, in the entire world, equal the church at Pentecost? Are pastors today preaching and proclaiming God’s Word without the genuine power of the Holy Spirit? How will a revival come that way? Do people in church TRULY want a revival?
I think the very thing that the church needs is the very thing they are afraid of. Thank you Pastor Catt for your timely word, God bless your heart!
From Africa with love,
Pastor Catt, you are right on target. Thank you for sharing your heart on the greatest need in the church – REVIVAL. For the past few weeks I have been preaching in our church on the theme of revival. Without brokenness before God there can be no blessings from God. I join you in humbling before God, praying, seeking the face of God, and turning from sin and self to allow God to have His way and will in our lives. Pray for us. Pray for the church in the USA to come back to God so that the USA will experience a great spiritual awakening. I appreciate you and thank God for your ministry.
Preach it Pastor !!! time is running out and people are too buzy being religous instead of getting to know God.they think they getting brownie points for attending a church service but during the week they like stiffnecked robots with big crosses.
Thanks so much Pastor its not everyday one comes accross a man that has the Fire of God and the zeal to bring Revival about. Also, your movies are put together by the anointing of God and I’ve seen all 4 of them.Its what the CHURCH needs Today!FRM SA. blesć
It is incredible how Sunday School and Wednesday night teachings – everywhere we go, a common theme is emerging – it is common because we share the Holy Spirit. It is tough, when you read Nancy Demoss’ book “Broken” and her new afterward – the brokenness that accompanies revival is a scary thing — and can sometimes even become a sense of pride. I like how some of their services she mentioned had a room with a place for prayer that if someone during the sermon really wants prayer that moment – to go to that place – but I know the altar is the place as well. I’m just struck that our Savior is going to get all of us out of our comfort zone and pride-zone as He works among us. In my own short time as a member of Sherwood, your heart is for God and the heart of many are seeking God. I just don’t know that any of us human fleshly beings are truly ready when He shows up b/c He is not someone we can control and things happen that make us uncomfortable and send us on our knees constantly to seek Him.
Get ready, pastor, prepare to reread your own words. We cannot explain God, we cannot manipulate God, but God sees our hearts. We can all say “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” and you as our pastor can say “As for me and my churchouse, we will serve the Lord.” Your prayers are heard as are those of the leadership of our church.
Thankful in anticipation but also a little scared too. Every time God has shown up in my own life, I was afraid – not in a paralyzing sense, but in a sense that God is alive, He is real, and He is here. I’m not in control any more. He is. That, is frightening.
Praying for you. Save travels. Listen to God. We’ll see you soon at home.
Dear Pastor: Out of all the time I have heard your preaching, I couldn’t agree more with you about this subject. But I cannot help but to think about so many congregations that are dead because their own pastors have preached them to death, mixing the Word God with the flavor of the day, being triumphalism, nationalism, prosperity etc. Ignoring the Biblical warning that whoever adds to the His message….It’s impossible to expect a reaction from a dead congregation, they need to be revived. Please see Ezekiel 37. God in your preaching of today, was addressing a peoples that were still alive….Ezekiel 37 instead, is God dealing with a dead congregation.