Nehemiah 8 & 9
The professor was teaching from the book of Nehemiah. I had been reading ahead of him because he was boring me. He was expounding on the facts of who wrote the book; when was it written; why was it written – facts, facts, facts. I was reading about a revival taking place and I thought this is what he should be teaching. Paul’s admonition to Timothy was “preach the word.” I was reading chapters eight and nine and getting all excited, while he was droning on about statistics.
Suddenly, I broke out into a sweat. I felt the Spirit of God all over me, telling me to get up and preach it. I think I was almost in a trance when I heard my name being shouted. The professor was staring at me with a shocked expression. He said, “Are you okay, Mr. Corcoran?”
And I said, “No sir, I’m not. Can’t you all see what’s happening here? I was on fire; my body was trembling as I spoke. “This is what the church needs today; a revival! How many of us actually read the word of God on a daily basis? When was the last time any of us were convicted of sin? Nobody in this room can say that you haven’t sinned. If you do, you’re calling God a liar.”
And that’s all the farther I got. The Holy Spirit took over and grabbed a guy in the row behind me. He just jumped up and started confessing. No sooner had he sat down then another one jumped up. Then someone started praising God and others joined in. Every single man, and the two women, in that room were confessing and praising God. This is revival. When was the last time you witnessed such an event? I see it up on church marquees all the time. It says something like this: “REVIVAL starting Sunday” or Wednesday, or whatever day they choose, but is it revival?
Nehemiah 8:15 says “proclaim this word and spread it throughout the towns…”
Have you heard anyone going through town proclaiming the word? The church today has the wrong idea of revival. They invite someone to come in and preach, tell some funny anecdotes, and get everyone emotionally excited; for about thirty minutes. And as soon as they leave the church, they forget all about it. They go have dinner or watch a football game. That’s not what happened in Nehemiah.
Nehemiah 8:18 says they went on “day after day” meeting and reading from the Book of the Law. The Book of the Law was the Bible of that day. In many churches today, the people don’t even bring their Bibles. They read it from the wall. Do you realize what a blessing they are missing by not reading from their Bible? Do you realize what a privilege we have to be able to bring our Bibles with us? In many countries today, good Christians are persecuted for owning Bibles.
When was the last time you heard of a church weeping over the reading of the word? Have you ever heard of any churches weeping over the reading of God’s word? That’s what happened when Ezra read the word
Neh 8:9 …all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the law.”
Neh 9:2 … They stood in their places and confessed their sins…
And that is exactly what happened in the classroom as I told you earlier in this narrative. “Every single man, and the two women, in that room were confessing and praising God.” How far could that have gone if it hadn’t been stifled by that professor? I don’t suppose we’ll ever know.
Revival is not a planned event. Revival comes when you allow the word of God to melt your heart. Revival comes when you turn the service over to the Holy Spirit of God. WE NEED REVIVAL in this country. We need to quit playing church and allow the Holy Spirit to take over. We need God to save us from the catastrophe that is heading our way because of a corrupt government. This great nation is about to crumble because we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the power of the Holy Spirit. We have gone and done the exact thing I spent so many years doing and wasting time; we have tried to do it ourselves.
We need revival but we won’t get it until we quit believing in ourselves and start believing God. We have become too prideful and obstinate; we have become too boastful and too arrogant. We need to openly confess our sin of grieving the Holy Spirit and then, and only then, “will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Ch 7:14).” Amen and Amen.
Remember this: Revival comes when we let go and let God.
What are some ways you could prepare yourself for the Holy Spirit to take over for some serious revival?