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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Revive Us, O Lord


In view of our church camp, starting tomorrow, I pray to the Lord that He will revive every one of us as we gather together around His Word for five days. I trust that you will also join me in praying that a true spiritual revival from the Lord will come upon our church. May the Lord create within us the right spirit that we may be blessed with genuine repentance from our sins and a renewed zeal to love the Lord, His Word and His work.

I would now call your attention to the prophet Habakkuk’s prayer - “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2).

Habakkuk made that prayer at a time when Israel was filled with moral and spiritual decadence that God was about to deal with in His fury. There was war everywhere, and the nation itself was under the threat of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army.

In the face of such a grim and awful future, the prophet pleaded for God’s reviving work and mercy. He understood and acknowledged the spiritual and moral poverty of Israel. He knew that the rebellious spirit of the people was severe, though they pretended to be religious. So he pleaded for God’s mercy and revival.

Our need for Habakkuk’s prayer

Moral and spiritual decadence have already crept into the core of our society. The situation is very grave. We are being conditioned to tolerate every form of carnal and covetous lifestyle, which has gravely dampened our spiritual sensibility and responsibility.

Though there is no lack of programmes and activities in our church, I am certain that some of us do lack genuine godliness and devotion to God. The excessive demands of study, work, business, social duties have pulled many of us away from our God. For many Christians, there is no time for individual communion with God. There is little effort to maintain family devotions. In many families, danger lurks in the form of disobedience, materialism and lack of prayer and devotion. These can spell destruction for our families. Worldly entertainment and friendship have caused some of us to embrace worldly perspective of life.

We also notice among Christians an increasing dislike for sound preaching of God’s Word. This is especially so when preachers sharply rebuke sins prevalent in their congregations. People today would rather have preachers and churches that speak little against their sins, and allow them to continue their waywardness unhindered. Many preachers and churches are succumbing to such pressure from the congregation. They often preach the right doctrines, but let the wicked continue in their wickedness without being warned and rebuked.

An equally dangerous attitude is that though we preach and hear sound doctrines, yet we live in sin. All these must change. Only a powerful renewing work of the Spirit can change such a horrible condition. Would we not yearn for the revival of our lives? Let us ask in prayer that God will put His spirit within us, and cause us to walk in His statutes.

These are last days of moral and spiritual decadence. The Bible predicts that such decadence would even be found within the church. None of us can afford to take these warnings lightly. Those prophecies are not vain imaginations. They are real events that will surely unfold themselves. In fact, they are being fulfilled right before our eyes in our own countries, families, churches and personal lives.

Let us hear the Word of God and fear His warnings. Habakkuk said, “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid.” My dear reader, have you understood the gravity of our circumstances and the implications of God’s Word for these conditions of our time? Anyone can be trapped by the evil of our time. I fear that I could be overtaken by the evil that lurks around me. Don’t you fear the same?

Unless the Lord revives our hearts in the midst of all these dark events, we shall die in our sins. The narcotizing effect of the modern immoral society has put many of us into spiritual slumber and lethargy. It is dangerous. Instead of serving the Lord with sincerity of heart, we are getting accustomed to living a hypocritical life - “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5).

Let us not be negligent of our own need for spiritual revival. Let us yearn to draw close to God. Let us crave for victory over sin. O brethren, seek for His power to break away from every corrupting habit and deed. Let us cry out for faithfulness and fruitfulness of our lives. Pray like Habakkuk, “O LORD, revive thy work.“

Have you considered what would be God’s righteous response to the present spiritual and moral condition of your heart? Wrath or blessings? Is not His wrath the just response to your condition?

I confess, unless the Lord deals with me mercifully, I will perish in my sin. God’s wrath is all that I can see as the just recompense for our condition. So let us plead like Habakkuk, “O Lord,... in wrath remember mercy.”

Let us acknowledge that God, being just, is full of wrath against our sins. Before His wrath consumes us, as by a bolt of fire, let us repent and plead for mercy. May the Lord turn us again to Himself and revive our spirits by His truth and Holy Spirit.

Pastoral Exhortation