A Word for the Asbury Revival – “Your Work Shall Be Rewarded!” - Purity 970
Purity 970 02/18/2023 Purity 970 Podcast
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Today’s photo a quaint decorative well standing upon a lush green lawn yet shrouded in shadows comes to us from yours truly as I took this shot while surveying the property at 1788 State Route 9J in Stuyvesant NY way back on April 17th 2020, approximately 2 months and 5 days before I would sign the final paperwork to make it “my place down by the River”.
You can’t tell from this photo that we were in the midst of a global pandemic. The sun still shined, and the grass still grew and life went on. I didn’t KNOW it at the time that I would make this property my “River House” when I took this photo of what became my well, but man was I praying for it and seeking it. And now I can tell you that I was rewarded for my faithfulness!
While most people were huddle indoors during winter and spring of 2020, I was out in the “danger zone” working two essential jobs and trusting the Lord to keep me alive while earned enough money to support my family and to get a new home for my children and I after a messy divorce. In those times, I went to work for 16 hour days but I also grounded myself in my daily spiritual practices of Bible Study and prayer and continually staying in the Lord’s presence. Those were hard and lonely times but the Lord was with me and He didn’t forsake me because I sought His presence and His will for my life every day.
So I know that the Lord is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him as the word says in:
6 … without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Well, since coming to the Lord in 2010, I have been seeking the Lord and have been rewarded by Him time and time ever since. One of the prayers that I and many others have made through all those years of following the Lord is for there to be a revival of the body of Christ, for the lost to be found and for the hearts of our nation to be turned to God. I and many others have prayed that the Lord’s presence would come to our country in a mighty move that would reap of harvest for His kingdom and it appears that our prayers may have been answered through the revival that is happening at Asbury College in Wilmore Kentucky as a chapel service that began on February 8th has turned into a revival as “students and faculty from 22 schools in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Illinois, Minnesota, Tennessee, Indiana and other states have made the trek to Asbury. Ten days later and the even is still going strong and is expected to continue as “travelers from as far away as Canada and Singapore are expected to arrive there soon”. (https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2023/02/17/asbury-university-revival-in-kentucky-goes-viral-tiktok/69913997007/).
Yesterday, I texted Arthur Cincotti, my brother in Christ and the author of our weekly Bible study podcast, encouraging him to take a road trip to Asbury to join the revival and he confessed that he was thinking about it as he and his wife Suzanna have been watching it online. Arthur stated that it was a 12 hour drive and I suggested that could be broken up into 2 six hour shifts and could be done all at once or with a overnight stop in between. I’m not sure if Arthur or I will go but we are both excited by what is happening in Asbury.
I’m on vacation this week and already have plans to go to Williamsburg VA and Myrtle Beach SC. It’s paid for and non-refundable, so I will be headed south come Sunday.
As of this writing, I am toying with the idea of diverting my return trek home from Myrtle Beach SC to go to Wilmore on Friday (9 hours) and then come back to NY on Saturday or Sunday (13 hours), but will have to discern whether or not the Holy Spirit is calling me there. I have experienced the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit before, more than once, in mighty ways, so it’s not like I have never experienced an out pouring of His Spirit before and I NEED to chase Him and the experience of a revival to know the Lord. So, we will pray and see what happens.
But I would like to send my warmest regards to the people gathered at Asbury and would offer the following passages of scripture as a “word” for Asbury if I don’t make the trek there to try to offer it in person.
This morning’s Bible study brought me to 2 Chronicles 15 and the words of the prophet Azariah. I know that many a Bible scholar may pile on condemnation for drawing from an very obscure Old Testament prophet of the kingdom of Judah to encourage us for today but I found the words that the Lord spoke through Azariah and all the text of 2 Chronicles 15 to be an appropriate parallel to our present times and a word for the body of Christ, and those outside the body, for all times.
I believe that the prophet Azaria’s words can be used to encourage the revival at Asbury and all of us in all seasons because they call us to repentance and warn that we will be forsaken if we don’t seek the Lord. I share the text in it’s entirety but would ask you to consider whether or not the words spoken to the kingdom of Israel and Judah could be applied to the nations of the world today as a challenge to turn to the Lord.
2 Chronicles 15:1-7 (NKJV)
1 Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded.
2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.
3 For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law;
4 but when in their trouble they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them.
5 And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands.
6 So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity.
7 But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!"
The world is never without adversity or turmoil because of sin and the hard hearts of men than refuse to make Jesus the Lord of their lives and to follow Him in spirit, truth, and repentance.
But I want to echo Azariah’s encouraging words that insist that if we seek the Lord we will indeed find Him and although the work we have to undertake when we decide to seek the Lord’s will for our lives may weary us at times, we can be assured that our work shall be rewarded.
The prayer warriors of our nation have prayed for revival and that work seems to have been rewarded in Asbury and we should rejoice.
And while I am not sure if I will be called to make the trip to Asbury to be a part of the rival experience that is happening there, I know that I am already a part of the mighty moves of God on this earth because I have experienced my salvation and freedom in Christ and have been repeatedly revived and rewarded because I have been faithful to continuously seek God and His will for my life.
So whether you run to the revival experience in Asbury or not, let me encourage you, as I always do, to keep “seeking the Lord” by walking and talking with Him every day and to follow His wisdom and ways with the way you live your life. As the prophet Azariah has encouraged us, when you decide to surrender to, seek and follow the Lord, “you shall be rewarded”.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
James 4:6-7 (NLT2)
6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Today’s Bible verses encourage us that we can overcome our evil desires when we humble ourselves, submit to God and resist the devil.
The wisdom of today’s verses, particularly verse 7, are repeatedly used in spiritual warfare teachings because they speak of the reality of the spiritual forces of darkness that need to be resisted. The enemy’s tactics are to deceive and to tempt us and so the word of God teaches us the one-two punch that will give us success over sin.
We must submit to God, first, and we must resist the devil.
In order to overcome temptation, to receive the power and the authority to tell the enemy to take a hike, we first must become members of God’s royal family by putting our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior
Also decide to submit to God in the ways we live our life. We are to repent and turn from our former ways and abandon our evil desires.
SO step 1 – submitting to God – is one thing we must do but there is some false teaching, ignorance, and confusion in the body of Christ that would teach that repentance is optional – that it is enough just to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and that repenting could be done later, if at all, if you want to.
Some poor “Christians” will actually tell you that they just want to be a “believer” in Jesus and don’t want to be, and don’t think it is necessary to be, a “disciple” of Jesus.
So it’s because of attitudes like this, this easy believe-ism” that can explain why the “body of Christ” struggles to have victory over the enemy. They have difficulty resisting the devil because they haven’t completely submitted to God. You have to do both to be free.
To fully submit to God and to resist the devil, I recommend going through the Steps to Freedom in Christ, the tool that Dr. Neil Anderson has developed that is based on the truth of the word of God that the Lord has been known to bless as a means to repentance and freedom.
So be assured that we have the victory over sin and the devil, but we must be sure that we are both submitting to God and resisting the devil with the way we live to experience it.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND THE HUMAN WILL
“It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13)
Concerning the nature and the power of fallen man’s will, the greatest confusion prevails today, and the most erroneous views are held, even by many of God’s children. The popular idea now prevailing, and which is taught from the great majority of pulpits, is that man has a “free ill,” and that salvation comes to the sinner through his will co-operating with the Holy Spirit. To deny the “free will” of man, i.e., his power to choose that which is good, his native ability to accept Christ, is to bring one into disfavor at once, even before most of those who profess to be orthodox. And yet Scripture emphatically says, “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Which shall we believe: God, or the preachers?
But some one may reply, Did not Joshua say to Israel, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve”? Yes, he did; but why not complete his sentence?—“whether the god that your fathers served which were on the other side of the flood, or gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell” (Josh. 24:15)! But why attempt to pit scripture against scripture? The Word of God never contradicts itself, and the Word expressly declares, “There is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11). Did not Christ say to the men of His day “Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40)? Yes, but some did “come” to Him, some did receive Him. True and who were they? John 1:12, 13 tells us: “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”!
But does not Scripture say, “Whosoever will may come”? It does, but does this signify that everybody has the will to come? What of those who won’t come? “Whosoever will may come” no more implies that fallen man has the power (in himself) to come, than “Stretch forth thine hand” implied that the man with the withered arm had ability (in himself) to comply. In and of himself the natural man has power to reject Christ; but in and of himself he has not the power to receive Christ. And why? Because he has a mind that is “enmity against” Him (Rom. 8:7); because he has a heart that hates Him (John 15:18). Man chooses that which is according to his nature, and therefore before he will ever choose or prefer that which is Divine and spiritual a new nature must be imparted to him; in other words, he must be born again.
Should it be asked, But does not the Holy Spirit overcome a man’s enmity and hatred when He convicts the sinner of his sins and his need of Christ; and does not the Spirit of God produce such conviction in many that perish? Such language betrays confusion of thought: were such a man’s enmity really “overcome,” then he would readily turn to Christ; that he does not come to the Saviour demonstrates that his enmity is not overcome. But that many are, through the preaching of the Word, convicted by the Holy Spirit, who nevertheless die in unbelief, is solemnly true. Yet, it is a fact which must not be lost sight of that the Holy Spirit does something more in each of God’s elect than He does in the non-elect: He works in them “both to will and to do of God’s good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
In reply to what we have said above, Arminians would answer, No; the Spirit’s work of conviction is the same both in the converted and in unconverted, that which distinguishes the one class from the other is that the former yielded to His strivings whereas the latter resist them. But if this were the case then the Christian would have ground for boasting and self-glorying over his co-operation with the Spirit; but this would flatly contradict Eph. 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
Let us appeal to the actual experience of the Christian reader. Was there not a time (may the remembrance of it bow each of us into the dust) when you were unwilling to come to Christ? There was. Since then you have come to Him. Are you now prepared to give Him all the glory for that (Psa. 115:1)? Do you not acknowledge you came to Christ because the Holy Spirit brought you from unwillingness to willingness? You do. Then is it not also a patent fact that the Holy Spirit has not done in many others what He has in you! Granting that many others have heard the Gospel, been shown their need of Christ, yet, they are still unwilling to come to Him. Thus He has wrought more in you than in them. Do you answer, Yet I remember well the time when the Great Issue was presented to me, and my consciousness testifies that my will acted and that I yielded to the claims of Christ upon me. Quite true. But before you “yielded” the Holy Spirit overcame the native enmity of your mind against God, and this “enmity” He does not overcome in all. Should it be said, That is because they are unwilling for their enmity to be overcome. Ah! none are thus “willing” till He has put forth His all-mighty power and wrought a miracle of grace in the heart.
But let us now inquire, What is the human Will? Is it a self-determining agent, or is it, in turn, determined by something else? Is it sovereign or servant? Is the will superior to every other faculty of our being so that it governs them, or is it moved by their impulses and subject to their pleasure? Does the will rule the mind, or does the mind control the will? Is the will free to do as it pleases, or is it under the necessity of rendering obedience to something outside of itself? “Does the will stand apart from the other great faculties or powers of the soul, a man within a man, who can reverse the man and fly against the man and split him into segments, as a glass snake breaks in pieces? Or, is the will connected with the other faculties, as the tail of the serpent is with his body, and that again with his head, so that where the head goes, the whole creature goes, and, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he? First thought, then heart (desire or aversion), and then act. Is it this way, the dog wags the tail? Or, is it the will, the tail, wags the dog? Is the will the first and chief thing in man, or is it the last thing—to be kept subordinate, and in its place beneath the other faculties? and, is the true philosophy of moral action and its process that of Gen. 3:6: ‘And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food’ (sense-perception, intelligence), ‘and a tree to be desired’ (affections), ‘she took and ate thereof’ (the will).” (George S. Bishop). These are questions of more than academical interest. They are of practical importance. We believe that we do not go too far when we affirm that the answer returned to these questions is a fundamental test of doctrinal soundness.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 135–138.