"Then He said to them all: 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'" Luke 9:23
In his book, How to Experience Revival, Charles Finney says, "There are many who are willing to do almost anything in religion as long as it does not require self-denial. When they are required to do anything that requires them to deny themselves, that is asking too much! They think they are doing a lot for God already, as much as He can reasonably ask." Wow! We wonder why churches are not making an eternal impact in the communities God has placed them. We wonder why there are more churches in decline rather than churches experiencing growth. Churches that are experiencing revival are churches that I believe are doing three things: PRAYING, REPENTING, and DENYING SELF. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land." Jesus says in Luke 9:23, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." We need revival! Revival should be taking place in our churches. Revival can and will happen when the church actively prays for it. Revival can and will happen when the church actively repents of sin. Revival can and will happen when the church actively begin to deny self. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit will not only revive the hearts of the Christ followers in the church, but the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will also stir the hearts of the lost and salvation can and will happen in our communities! Peter and the disciples experienced this in the book of Acts. As a matter of fact, in Acts 3:19, Peter says, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." Repentance brings forgiveness and cleansing. Repentance brings times of refreshing favor from the Lord. That is revival! Am I willing to deny self today to experience God's best in my life? Am I willing to pray today to experience God's best in my life? Am I willing to repent of my sins today to experience God's best in my life? Or, am I willing to do almost anything other than self-denial? You can do it all, but if you don't deny self you will miss revival. Self-denial is crucial in experiencing revival that only God can bring. Believe it! Claim it! Live it!