Revival : Two Evils That Prevent It By Evangelist Sam Biggers

Many evils preclude revival, but there are two that God can’t stand.  Two evils expressed by the Lord to Jeremiah, may reside in the heart of many in modern Christendom.  Here is the message the Lord gave to Jeremiah to deliver to His people  (not heathen nations).

“Has a nation changed gods when they were not gods?  But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.  Be appalled, O heavens, at this, and shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord.

“For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:11-13 NASB

The message to Israel through Jeremiah was straightforward and direct.  The Lord was displeased because His own people had chosen to reject Him and sought for trust in other nations which produced no profit, no harvest.

Why were there no profit, no gain and no harvest?  Because the heart of the people had 1) forsaken God, the fountain of Living Waters, and 2) turned to create their own cistern (system) for spiritual water.

With vision, courage and boldness Jeremiah stated the cause of impending judgment.  The responsibility for God’s wrath rested solely on His people to eat the fruit of their evil ways.  The same truth is applicable today.  All who reject God’s leadership will have bondage pronounced upon them.  The Lordwill call out our evil hearts.

God was not addressing the heathen nations.  He was speaking to His people who He had called to be a holy and righteous people (See I Peter 2).  In Jeremiah’s day there were two main political groups in Israel, a pro-Egyptian faction and a pro-Assyrian group, who were courting these heathen nations as protectors rather than placing their trust solely in the Lord.  Regardless of the political party to which the people aligned themselves, Israel had rejected faith in the protection and provision of the Lord.  God was asking the question: which god are you attempting to please when they were not gods – but had became gods in the minds and hearts of Israel because of their displaced trust and faith.

A few verses further in Jeremiah 2:18, God asks Israel what they were doing by making the decision to reject Him and on the road to Egypt to drink of the waters of the Nile or on the road to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates.

Your own wickedness will correct you, and your apostasies will reprove you; know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God, and the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts. vv.16

Displaced faith rejects and dethrones the Lord.  When the heart of man reaches for faith in human ability and programs, the Lord has been dethroned and removed and the living water of spiritual life is cut off.  There will be no vacancy – the heart of man will install a false god to replace the Living Water.

This does not happen overnight, but slowly a new stream of water is sought.  It is often found in today’s Church in the form of human effort, self-righteous works and self-reliance rather than trust in Almighty God.  Man will begin to chip away at the hardness in his own heart to create a little vessel called ‘religion’ to justify his selfish desire for the pleasure of a feel-good religion rather than total obedience to Christ, and in so doing, replaces theLord with a trust in the proceeds of world called self-help and self-success.  Improvement in the old man of flesh is not more religion or reliance on one’s self-righteousness; salvation and spiritual fulfillment is only found through repentance for sin and rejection of sin – taking full responsibility for failure to obey and trust the Lord.

The self-help and self-made ideology and philosophy of the world slowly creep into the Church as another source of water to quench the desire of the heart and to fill it with something that is created, not the Creator.  It can happen so easily that our heart is not even aware the god of our mind, soul and heart is self-centeredness, self-satisfaction and even entertainment rather than Christ-centered worship.  It gradually carries us from humility and a heart that is disgusted and nauseated when a seed of sin finds root in the soil of our own heart and the hearts of others to the position of being at ease with sin, accepting the standards of the world and disregard of the Gospel of Christ until it sucks us under its grip and we are drinking polluted, stale water and we have become satisfied with a stupor of religious thought and action rather than Biblical truth.

God reminded Israel that He had broken off the yoke of slavery in Egypt, but they still refused to serve Him.

For long ago I broke your yoke and tore off your bonds; but you said, ‘I will not serve!’  For on every high hill and every green tree you have lain down as a harlot.   “Yet I planted you a choice vine, a completely faithful seed.  How then have you turned yourself before Me into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine?   “Although you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your iniquity is before Me,” declares the Lord God. Jeremiah 2:20-22

The two evils that prevent revival are to 1) disregard the righteousness of God as a means to salvation and faith, thereby rejecting God, and 2) seeking for religious fulfillment by human effort and thought rather than complete trust in God with a whole heart. Are we a choice vine, a completely faithful seed, planted by the Lord God?  A serious question we all must answer.