But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
- 1 Samuel 15:22
“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late—and how little revival has resulted?
“Considering the volume of prayer that is ascending these days, rivers of revival should be ﬂowing in blessing throughout the land. That no such results are in evidence should not discourage us; rather it should stir us to ﬁnd out Why our prayers are not answered. …
“I believe our problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying; and it simply will not work. …
“Prayer is never an acceptable substitute for obedience. The sovereign Lord accepts no offering from His creatures that is not accompanied by obedience. To pray for revival while ignoring or actually ﬂouting the plain precept laid down in the Scriptures is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble.”
- A. W. Tozer, Of God and Men
Rev. Tozer speaks often on revival, but he also speaks about how revival will be difficult or impossible without repentance and obedience, which are basically opposite sides of the same coin. We repent or turn away from our sin. But what do we do to avoid slipping back into sinful ways? We obey God and chase after God and His righteousness.
We all want revival. It is rather nice walking into church just as the service starts and that pew where we always sit is available. … Not really. The pews should be full, and it should tell us something when they are not. If the pastor is preaching from the Bible and giving us the message from God’s Holy Word, and people still do not attend, it is not simply a matter of boredom.
Ennui might be more of a factor – listlessness and dissatisfaction. What about languor, when you awake on Sunday morning and you feel a bit tired, but then in your pleasant tiredness you have so much inertia, that you can’t seem to get dressed and go to church? What about torpor? You know, that mental fatigue and lethargy. Ah, lethargy, with no energy or enthusiasm…
No, regardless of the label you apply, to achieve revival, the Holy Spirit must be at work. But if we can start with repentance, then once we have turned around, obedience, and then a lot of prayer, all those synonyms for boredom and being tired seem to drift away.
Hope to see you in church next Sunday, and all this goes for me too.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
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