Revival is meant to heal our land. That process starts with acknowledging that our land has been sick. As a nurse, I often view issues through a health care lens which may not always be the most accurate perspective but it does give me a place to start my contemplation of complex issues. If one were to look at Revival from a medical perspective, it would mean ‘to awaken what was dead or dying through some type of healing intervention.’ From an outsider's point of view, the necessary medical interventions could appear harsh and even harmful to the patient. But from the medical staff's perspective we accept that pain often accompanies healing. Healers do not relish the pain they cause but they understand that pain is a part of the healing process. In some respects that is how I’ve felt as a writer of this series on Revival. Stating that ‘Revival Starts With Repentance’ has seemingly struck a negative tone with some readers. I can only guess that the intervention, Repentance, is causing some necessary pain. But how do we get to a healed state without pain. We can’t.
We as fallen people never want to look in the mirror and see ourselves for the sinful creatures we are. We hate to admit wrongdoing; our illnesses. It was true of Eve and Adam, it was true of me for 20 years and it is true for many now.
The truth often hurts BUT the truth matters if healing is to occur.
Do you want to know one thing I LOVE about the bible-the inerrant and unchanging word of God? It does not try to be politically correct nor does it let us off the hook for what sin is and what the sickness of sin can cause. Of course, the Good News is that the Bible is our guide book back to health; our way to be reconciled back to God for our wrongs and the wrongs of our Fathers. If folks today had their way, American history would be scrubbed of our past sins. The current faulty thinking by some is that we shouldn't make anybody feel 'uncomfortable' with the facts of our past. To talk about our checkered history is to heap guilt upon a generation who doesn't deserve to bear it right?
Wrong. To heal, you have to acknowledge the disease.
If we followed that logic-hide what we don’t want to face- then we would be doomed to repeat the sins of our forefathers which, in some respects, is happening now. We treat life like it is disposable because we won't own up to when we thought life was a commodity. Studying our whole history is not about heaping guilt. It is about understanding mistakes and not repeating them. Understanding and changing our past behavior makes us better people and a healthier nation.
Imagine if the bible writers had chosen to simply disavow the sins of past generations? Moses, for example, could easily have omitted the sins of Abram and Sarai. But God wouldn’t allow him to. Why? Because, A. We wouldn't have a context for calling sin what it is. B. We wouldn’t have an accurate record of said sins for our edification and C. We could not appreciate how faith in God can change people for His glory. The bible would be a white washed version of history with individual and corporate sins expunged and, therefore, lessons lost. Imagine if King David would not have allowed his indiscretions and missteps to be recorded? But because he openly confessed his wrong doings and repented publicly, we now have an example of how we should conduct ourselves (Read 2 Samuel 24:10 NKJV as just one example).
When reading the account of Nehemiah as he returned to Jerusalem from Babylon we see yet another example of a man taking responsibility for not only his sin but also that of his forefathers. We don’t even know what Nehemiah's sin was but, he did. Nehemiah 1:6 NKJV reads— “please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned." Most of you know what Nehemiah was able to accomplish in an astonishingly short amount of time with God's blessing once sin was confessed; God healed Israel.
Please understand that God no longer curses us from generation to generation for the sins of our fathers. But the promise of His blessings can carry forward for generations if we humble ourselves and seek His face. To heal, we have to admit our illness and ask God to step in with a sweeping Revival that will truly heal our land. His promise to heal us can be trusted!
2 Chronicles 7:14: “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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Many blessings and much love! Sylvia
Other verses to study on generational repentance: Daniel 9:16; Nehemiah 9:2;