Revival: The Acid Test

Table of Contents

The Acid Test

Now, after years of repenting, the acid test revealed who really loves the Lord and to whom God can grant the New Life. All their “small” steps of repentance have led up to this day and moment. Think of a mother who gives birth. Think of all the “little” things that must be done. The eating of proper foods every day, the joy, the anxiety, the preparation of the room, the selection of clothing, choosing names, a thousand and one things thought of and done every day. A good mother must order her life, do all she can, run the course marked out for pregnant mothers and trust the Lord.

If the Israelites had failed at this point, they would have lost everything they had worked for. In order to pass this all-important test, you must confess your sin and self fully once again. Think of it, over fifteen years of waiting and it still ended with more confession of sin. Are you willing? It appears that some of the priests, like our pastors of today, delayed their full repentance, and it came as a shock to Ezra. He had thought that by this time, all would have repented; that after all God had done, and the mercy He had shown, certainly they would have taken care of this matter; that after all the sacrifices they had performed, surely no sin would be found in their lives. Zeal in work often blinds us to sins. This explains why God will often remove work, especially ministry work, from a man. It explains why God will at times remove worship services from us. During those quiet, slow, and boring times, God will allow sin to rise to the surface for you to deal with. If you are sick and unable to work, or hemmed in for some other reason by the hand of God, then resolve to “watch your life and doctrine closely.” Rid yourself of distractions and ignore fleshly discomforts—make every effort to seek the Lord.

Everything comes to a halt because, as the verse below states, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands.” Let us also halt before revival goes any further and ask ourselves, “How separate am I from the world? How separate am I in holidays, dress, money… in all ways from the custom of those around me?”

  • This especially applies to leaders because they set the example, and as verse two in the following passage states, “the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.” How sad that the church leaders of today remain loaded down with the sins of loving sports, pleasure, other women (divorce and remarriage), money, and self in general. If ever a passage applied today, this is it:

  • Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.” And when I heard about this matter, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until the evening offering. (Ezra 9:1–4 NASB)

When you see such sin, do you pull some of your hair out? Have you sat down to think about these sins until you feel appalled by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Only those who become appalled will have wisdom from God as to how such sin should be dealt with. Only the one who weeps will know from God what is holy to do. To put this in New Testament terms, can God, by the Holy Spirit, work the following passage in your life?

  • For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. (Philippians 3:18)

Are you flowing with tears because so many claim to be Christians but are really “enemies of the cross of Christ”? Do you count them as your enemies? Do you warn others? Only those who tremble at God’s Word and who do not “deny him by their actions” will experience revival and rally to God’s true teachers. Everyone else will find teachers who suit their needs. Only after Ezra sat down to think about these sins did he get on his knees to pray about them. How many pray so haphazardly about sin because they do not want to sit down and look at sin in a serious manner. How easily we pray for others about their sins without first sitting down before the Lord to become appalled. How few of us can claim to be as embarrassed as Ezra at the sin in other’s lives? When was the last time you felt embarrassed before the Lord because of the sins of others? Most of us are probably not even embarrassed by our own sins, let alone concerned about someone else’s. We only care about ourselves and our personal salvation. For this reason, so many who talk about sins in the church, do so little about it by the power of the Spirit. Only when we feel “embarrassed” like Ezra will we feel fit to stretch out our hands and pray from our knees about the sins of others.

  • But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God; and I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to Thee, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads, and our guilt has grown even to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to plunder and to open shame, as it is this day. But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.” (Ezra 9:5–8 NASB)

In verse eight, we see for the first time Ezra talking about “grace,” and the word “revival” (“reviving”) used. Naturally, now they can honestly talk about being “enlightened” in the Lord; of really understanding what grace and revival are about. Oh, that God’s people would also go to the end of revival, that they too would see that grace provides the power to change, to overcome, and to be victorious. Read Titus 2:11–15 below and notice how it instructs us that God’s grace gives the power to change. The grace of God, if alive in you, teaches you to say “No” to sin and to live self-controlled, upright and godly right now in this “present age.” The grace of God gives overcoming power to say “No” to self, and if you don’t have this grace, you need revival. Titus states that this is the grace that has “appeared to all men.” This is what God means by grace and it is quite a contrast to sermons preached today. How many claim to agree with this grace, but know it not from a position of revival.

  • For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. (Titus 2:11–15)

This grace, presented with “all authority,” with encouragement and rebukes, is exactly what Ezra showed the Israelites.

  1. Revival: The Whisper Revival
  2. Revival: The Cross
  3. Revival: Receiving a Revival
  4. Revival: A Shameful Thing
  5. Revival: Revival begins
  6. Revival: In the Midst of Revival
  7. Revival: The Revival Cry
  8. Revival: Wanting to Help: The Opposition
  9. Revival: Revival Resumed
  10. Revival: The Acid Test
  11. Revival: The Whole Camp
  12. Revival: Words of Comfort
  13. Revival: The One Thing
  14. Revival: Discipleship: To Begin

Revival: Everything Said

Revival: Endnotes


The Consider Podcast attempts to express opinions through God’s holiness. Nothing concerning justice or injustice should be taken as legal advice or a call to action. There is no political agenda. There is no individual moral life advice. Indeed, each person is solely responsible before God and man for their actions or inactions. The Consider Podcast is narrowly focused on one thing, and only one thing – the need for all to surrender to a life of repentance according to the whole gospel.

The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, folly and madness with the whole gospel.

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