RSS

Tag Archives: America

Revival’s Secret Assumption

FireI think we can all agree that America needs a spiritual revival. I’m not talking about simply a lot of people being saved – as wonderful as that would be. I’m speaking about a radical waking up of the church.

Knowing the need is not enough. There are some deeper questions that need to be asked. Do we truly want a revival to sweep through our nation? More importantly, are we willing to do whatever it takes to lay hold of revival?

In talking to the crowd at the Temple in Jerusalem, the Apostle Peter made an interesting statement.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you — even Jesus.
Acts 3:19-20

He talked about times of refreshing that come from the Lord. This is what we need in our generation. The refreshing wind of revival needs to blow through our cities.

That’s not what we have an issue with. It’s what the Apostle began with that we stumble over. He used that nasty little word that nobody seems to like these days – REPENT. It’s this repentance that ushers in the Spirit of revival.

Revival doesn’t just show up at regular intervals for no reason. As a matter of fact, God doesn’t even send revival because He knows we need it. It’s actually a response to the church beginning to move in the right direction.

Repentance is not very popular in mainline Christianity anymore. We like to think that we’re doing okay and only need a little tweak now and then. Repent sounds too drastic.

To repent means to change your mind, to turn around 180 degrees and head in a new direction. This means that you have to turn away from something.

But more than that, he said that they needed to turn to God. That’s the assumption that keeps us from experiencing the move of God that we really need.

If I say that the church in the USA needs revival, then what I really mean is that we need to turn back to God. That sounds good until you realize that to turn back to God assumes that we’re looking in the wrong direction to begin with. That’s the last thing that many believers would want to admit.

I hate to say this, but a majority of Christians are looking to the world for their fulfillment in this generation. They’ll do their obligatory hour or two in church, Sunday morning. But the rest of their time is spent on their own pursuits and interests.

It’s time for us as God’s people to turn around – to repent of leaving God out of our everyday lives. It’s time to head back in the direction of a radical walk before the Lord. That’s what a desire for revival assumes. It’s what America needs. It’s what the Holy Spirit is longing for us to enter into.

Question: How far are you willing to go to see revival sweep our nation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Revival, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Talk about the Weather – Spiritually

Cloud2I believe that revival is coming to America. Many others do as well. The question I’ve heard a lot these days is; why is revival taking so long to arrive?

As I’ve been praying and reading Scripture, I think I know the answer to that one. But it’s not what we want to hear, and it’s certainly not going to be popular. The principle is found in the first sermon that Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you — even Jesus.
Acts 3:19-20

I believe that the times of refreshing he talked about is what we now call revival. It literally means times of catching your breath.

In talking with believers from many different places, I think it’s clear that America needs revival. The bigger question is; do we really want revival? By that I mean will we do whatever it takes to lay hold of revival?

The church needs to understand that revival doesn’t just happen. God doesn’t look down at the earth and say, “They sure need revival. I think I’ll help them out and send it.” Revival doesn’t come simply because it’s needed.

In talking to the people, Peter said that they needed to repent.   That word means to change your mind and turn around. He continued by saying, then your sins are erased and times of refreshing will come.

I believe that the key word there is times. If we’re ready, then God will send us revival times. As His people, we must understand that God wants to send us times of revival. It’s us that need to cooperate with His plan.

It’s all a matter of timing. We need to understand how God’s timing works. That was one of the things that Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for.

He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
Luke 12:54-56

Jesus rebuked His generation for being able to discern the weather, yet they were unable to discern the time – God’s appointed times. We must do better than them. We need to know both the times we live in, and what’s required of God’s people during these times.

I want to take a few posts to talk about this. God’s timetable. How does it work, and why revival seems to be taking so long to arrive. We need to be a people who position themselves to lay hold of God’s will.

Question: What does this present time require of God’s people?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Revival, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

America at the Crossroads

FlagcrossToday is Memorial Day. It’s a day to remember the sacrifices that so many men and women have made so that we can live in freedom. It’s sad to see how far we’ve fallen from the original plan of the founding fathers.

How did this happen? First of all, we have to understand that God treats nations differently than He deals with individuals.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.
Psalm 33:12

God will bless a nation that follows His ways.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
Proverbs 14:34

To the extent that America followed God’s ways – we were blessed and exalted. We saw the abundance of God, and then thanked Him for it. Our people had wisdom to create wealth, inventions, and many other great achievements.

But there came a time when we started to leave the path.

Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches man lack knowledge?
Psalm 94:10

The truth is that God disciplines nations. Of course, this requires understanding God’s ways. The world is the Lord’s, and all of the land that exists is His. Nations, themselves, cannot be saved or unsaved. As such, nations are under law, not grace.

We know from Scripture that the power of sin is the law (I Cor. 15:56). That means that the enemy’s kingdom is powered by the law.

This principle was the basis of the law given to Moses.

…for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
Leviticus 18:27-28

In effect, the law gives the devil permission to attack a nation that defiles God’s land. It’s not God cursing a nation. It’s a nation cursing itself by inviting the enemies’ attack.

How is the land polluted? A few things listed in the Bible are: Bloodshed (Numbers 35:33-34); Corruption (Ezra 9:11); Sexual Sin (Leviticus 18:25); Prostitution (Jeremiah 3:2); and Idolatry (Jeremiah 16:18). The devil has permission to attack polluted lands.

It grieves me to admit that America is a defiled land. I’m sorry for sounding so down about the USA. The truth is that there’s nowhere else on earth that I’d rather live. I love this nation. But without a proper diagnosis, there can be no healing.

There is a remedy for the problems we face in our culture.

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

I have heard this verse emphasized in America since the sixties. But rather than humble themselves, pray, seek, & turn – God’s people have either protested the moral landslide or joined right in with them.

It’s time for us to take God’s holy prescription for this nation. It’s time for the church to remember where we came from, and fervently seek revival.

Question: What would a national revival of the church look like?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Prayer, Revival

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

America Needs Forgiveness #prayforrevival

TreeI’m posting about the link between revival and forgiveness.  In my last post we looked at II Chronicles 7:14, which said that God’s people have the responsibility to pray and seek the face of God.  Then God would hear, forgive, and send healing and revival to our land.

Yes, revival really is up to us.  The Bible says, “If my people, called by My Name will do what’s necessary.”  Then we would see the healing of God on our land.  This is an important concept for us to learn.

The land and God’s people are linked.  This has always been true.  When Israel was going into captivity, God told them pray for Babylon to prosper.  If things go well for the nation that we live in, then they’ll go well for us.

It’s a very selfish thing for us to only seek God’s blessing for ourselves.  We need to care about the people around us.  We are the only ones who can intercede for our nation.  That’s where revival starts.

We need to understand the principles of how forgiveness relates to revival. Daniel understood the concept.

“Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name.  We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.  O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive!  O Lord, hear and act!  For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”
Daniel 9:18-19

This kind of repentance takes humility. Daniel was righteous. He wouldn’t eat the king’s meat and he kept himself pure. Of all Israelites, Daniel had the least to repent of. Yet he is crying out for forgiveness. We have to understand that he wasn’t asking for people to be forgiven, but for the nation.

Nations need forgiveness. I’m not talking about the people, but the nation itself. Throughout the Bible we see that God treats nations like people.

Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.
Romans 14:22b

Nations are judged by what they allow or don’t allow.  Just because a nation says something is legal, doesn’t make it right.  So if my nation is allowing things to be done that are evil, then God’s people need to intercede for forgiveness.  This is where true revival is birthed.  It comes to pass when we take responsibility for our nation.

It’s up to God’s people to pray for forgiveness for their nation.  This is where the battle for the USA will take place.  It’s in the place of prayer.  We need to be interceding for our nation.  Then we’ll see the hand of God moving on the hearts and lives of those around us.

Question: What do we need to repent of for our nation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Prayer, Revival

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Revival Forgiveness Connection

Heart CellAmerica needs a spiritual revival.  That’s beyond question.  I believe that it’s coming.  But we as God’s people need to prepare ourselves for it.  I want to take a few posts to deal with an issue that I think is important for us to understand in this generation.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

The outcome of this verse is to forgive their sin and heal their land.  Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that these two concepts are linked with each other.  If we want to be positioned for revival, then we must grasp how the forgiveness of God figures into it.  In this post I want to talk about some principles of forgiveness.

Forgiveness was God’s idea.  Human beings would have never come up with this concept.  It was God who first approached us and told us that forgiveness was possible.  Only after seeing His example, could we try and forgive others in the same way He forgave us.

True forgiveness is freedom.  When we sin against God or another person, we place ourselves under the curse of divine judgment.  My sin has a penalty that must be paid.

We have watered down the scope of forgiveness.  Forgiveness ends the demand for the penalty.  Then it goes even further and frees us from the payment of that penalty.  Then, because of what Christ did on the cross, that sin is totally and permanently removed from my record!  Now that’s freedom!

Forgiveness is a process.  There’s a definite flow of events in order for forgiveness to take place.  First there is the sin that brings the need for forgiveness.  Then, forgiveness itself must be purchased.  In our case God purchased it by the precious blood of Christ.

The next steps are on my part.  First, I have to humble myself, admit what I have done, and turn from my sin.  That’s what true repentance it.

Next, I have to receive the forgiveness that was purchased for me.  This is probably the most overlooked step of the whole process.  Only when all of these things are accomplished can I step into the freedom of forgiveness.

There’s a link between revival and forgiveness.  Sometimes we miss the blessing because we don’t see the big picture.  America is in need of a great change.  We need revival.

We think the problem is that when we tell others about Christ, they don’t want to listen.  We need to see the scope of revival.  In the verse above we’re told that it comes when God’s people pray.

Revival comes when the church humbles itself.  Literally this Scripture says we need to search out, seek, and strive after the presence of God.  Only then will forgiveness and revival break out.

In the next posts I’ll deal with how and why forgiveness and revival work together.

Question: How often do you specifically pray for revival in our nation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Prayer, Revival

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Rearview Mirror #Revivals past

Cathedral I believe that there’s a great revival coming soon to the church in America.  Sometimes we need to see how God has worked in the past, if we’re going to prepare for the future.

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth.  When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many.
Isaiah 51:1-2

It’s important to see how far we’ve come.  Sometimes I get discouraged by the present condition of the church.  But when I look at where we started, it’s encouraging to know how close we are to Christ’s return.

Many talk about revival and restoration.  Do we really understand what that means?  We need to look at history because every move of God depends upon the truth He’s already restored.

Let’s go back 2000 years – to the infant church.  It was an incredible time in the spiritual realm.  Thousands of people were saved at a time.  Healings and miracles were commonplace.

The dead were raised.  Jails were opened up.

Yes, there were some “baby churches,” like Corinth, who weren’t walking in their call the way they should have been.  But the power of God was manifest throughout the known world.  The church grew incredibly for 300 years.

Then something earthshaking happened.  In 314 A.D., the Roman emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.  In this act, he planted the seeds of destruction.  Constantine used Christianity to gain political power.

From then on that spirit started to infect the church.  Think about how the government runs the IRS, welfare, and healthcare.  Now picture the government running the church.

It’s no wonder that the descent to the Dark Ages began.  It was a downhill slide for the next 1000 years.

This spirit of earthly power took root in the church.  The Church, and specifically the popes, claimed the authority to rule over kings.  Many wars were started over this issue.

The practice of simony, the purchase of offices, was common.  Sanctuaries become more magnificent inside and out.  As the worship services increased in splendor, there was a decrease in spirituality.

At one point there was a meeting between Thomas Aquinas and Pope Innocent II.  The Pope showed Thomas the abundance of wealth that the church possessed – money, gold, and art.

Pope Innocent exclaimed, “You see, Thomas, the church can no longer say silver and gold have I none.”

To which Thomas replied, “True, but neither can she now say rise up and walk.”

These and many other abuses were prevalent in the Dark Ages.  As I look back and see what the Lord has taken us from, it gives me hope for our generation.

In my next post, I’ll talk about what God did to bring about a change in that dark period of church history.

Question: Are you expecting to see a great move of God in our generation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 5, 2013 in Revival, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

God Bless the USA #Prayforrevival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow is the Fourth of July.  Today I’m thinking about cookouts, flags, and fireworks.  Is that what being American is all about?

I’m grateful for having been born in the United States.  There’s been so much going on lately in this country, much of it is negative.  However, I continue to believe that the USA is still the best nation on earth.

We were founded upon Christian principles.  The question is; are we a “Christian Nation” anymore?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to pray in public?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to display Christian symbols where everyone can see them?

While it’s true that many Christians live in this country, we have to come to grips with the obvious.   The United States, as an entity, is no longer Christian.  As believers, we need to live understanding that fact.

When David became king of Israel, it was recorded that many groups came from all over that nation to join the ranks of his army.  It describes the weapons they used and their strengths.  There’s one group in particular that stands out to me.

…men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do – 200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
1 Chronicles 12:32

The only weaponry it tells about these men was their ability to understand the times and live their lives accordingly.  This should be a lesson to us in the United States.  The Apostle Paul echoes the same sentiment.

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

We are called to be just as Issachar was.  We need to be people of understanding.  We live in a nation where the attitudes are very quickly turning against any kind of Christian influences.

I don’t say that to scare us or sour our mood.  I’m trying to get us, as the people of God, to wake up to the fact that coasting along with the crowd is no longer an option.  We don’t live in a place where godliness is applauded and sought after.

We now live on an active mission field.  That means that our lifestyles should look more like missionaries than consumers.  God didn’t place us here at this time in history to merely bask in the pleasures of this society.  Church is not just a place where we celebrate our salvation.

We’re more than that.  The church in America should be a counterculture that is actively seeking to change people’s lives for Christ.

So, this Fourth of July, celebrate and enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But also, pray for the spiritual understanding that it takes to live for Christ in this generation.

Pray for, and actively seek, a revival in our land.

Question: How are you living counter to the culture around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Prayer, Revival, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,