This third installment in this series examines the question of what will it really take to allegedly satisfy God so He “releases” revival to us based on meeting the conditions of the alleged promises of 2 Chr. 7:14. Basing our theology and practices pursuing revival on 2 Chr. 7:14 is an exercise in futility. When is enough ever enough?
If revival doesn’t occur, the logical implication of the standard interpretation of 2 Chr. 7:14 is that we didn’t pray, seek, turn, or humble ourselves enough for God to hear and heal our land. Therefore, more of each is required. Revivalists use this passage to drum up support for next year’s citywide crusade: “If 100 prayer warriors were not enough this year, let’s gather 10,000 next year, and God will surely hear us from heaven and heal our land. If repenting for sin didn’t release revival this year, let’s pray and fast next year. If prayer and fasting doesn’t do it, we’ll pray, fast, and break generational curses next year! It that doesn’t work we’ll repent, fast, break curses, and do spiritual mapping. Revival is just around the corner!” This is more than slightly extorting. It’s a spiritual gerbil wheel. There’s no end for those who want to run on it.
Why do we believe, think, and pray like our repentance release’s God’s otherwise withheld goodness? The New Testament clearly states that it is God’s manifest goodness that makes repentance possible! (Romans 2:4). The implication of New Covenant reality upon our intercessory prayer theology, practice, and expectations is very poorly understood.
Do we really believe that God is indisposed to act on our behalf until motivated by our size, strength, and determination? We act like we do, and the teaching coming from various intercessory prayer and “revival” ministries certainly indicates we do. I thought we believed, “not by might or power but by His Spirit?” (Zechariah 4:6) Well, if we believe that, why do we spend so much time, effort, and money trying to accrue might, numerical size, and power?
The efforts of Paul and a dozen Spirit-baptized disciples in Ephesus overturned a city (Acts 19:7) in only about 2-3 years time. Why do we think we need to activate 10,000 “prophetic intercessors” or 100,000 people in a stadium to win our cities? Paul never did a spiritual warfare conference against Diana of the Ephesians, nor did he spiritually map Ephesus. He just preached Christ and Him crucified in the power of the Holy Spirit. Why do we think these other things are necessary? When we cannot touch Him in the reality of the power of His resurrection, we have to resort to these other dubious practices. When we try to outdo mammon with the strength of mammon (energy, money, size, and power) we’re admitting our spiritual bankruptcy, even while we sing and shout and jump about.
How much prayer is enough? How much seeking is enough? How much self-humbling is needed? How much wickedness do we have to turn from? Is 70% enough? 40%? 20%? How successful do we have to be in our turning? What if we backslide? Does our previous turning count for us, or do we have to start over? When will God ever be satisfied? If we understood and lived in New Covenant realities, we would know that God has been satisfied, once and for all time, and we could dispense with these spiritual gymnastics of trying to please God so He can be nice to us.
This blog is an excerpt of our book: Revising Revival: 2 Chr. 7:14, A New Covenant Perspective available at www.stevecrosby.com
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