With summer upon us, Israel is turning from green to brown. The fields, so recently lush and green after the winter rains, are now brown. And with every oppressing heat wave, our hearts grow in deeper longing for the rains, which we hope, will come again in the fall.
As we look at the brown fields, we can’t help but think of Ezekiel the prophet who was taken by the Spirit of God to a valley where he was shown Israel’s condition. It seems as if we are standing with him in that place and as we contemplate the scene, we see those bones, and lo, they are “very dry.”
Our hearts long for the rain of the Spirit; our hearts long for revival, life from the dead for those bones. We long for God’s presence, we long for God’s Spirit, we long for the Word of God to come in power and grace and breath Life into our nation.
We cry to the Lord with Isaiah, “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,” Is. 64:1
We ache and long for the rain, for the Lord to come; we are desperate to see the floods.
But, we must be careful
But we must be careful not to project our feeling of desperation on God’s ability and willingness. We must be careful to not to let our desperation lead us to conclude that God is unable, or weak, or lacking. We must not attribute to God an indifference to our condition.
God is well able
Last May, after four years of drought, Texas experiences a deluge. The heavens opened over Texas and flooded the State. In some places, rain fell for twenty-five consecutive days!
All in all, Texas received 35 trillion gallons of rain at that time. How much are 35 Trillion gallons of water? Here is an infographic to give you an idea.(1)
I am inspired to think that no matter what things look like to us, how dry and how brown the land looks spiritually, God is well able to open the heavens and pour out the Spirit as a flood, a deluge.
In fact, He promised to do so.
“Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:” Isaiah 44:1-3
But we must pray
God called Ezekiel to bear the sight of Israel’s awful condition so that he might stand before Him for His will to be accomplished. As he was called, so are we called to bear, both the sight of the need, and the prayer for the need to be met; until the floods come.
We must pray, we must pray without ceasing, we must cry day and night to Him, we must travail in prayer, persevere in prayer, prevail in prayer until the answer comes. We must know the promises, we must stand on the promises, we must believe in the One who promised; we must pray into the promises.
We must not give Him rest till He establishes His Will and fulfills His promise to send the rain. By His grace, we will not faint, nor grow weary in prayer till we hear the sound of the wind, and see the clouds gather. We are called to persevere in prayer
The Body of Messiah needs Revival too
I believe the Body of Messiah needs revival too. There are signs in the Body of Messiah that it is in some spiritual decline. And although there are many goings on in the Body; activities, initiatives, projects and conferences, they do not necessarily point to the true life and power of God in the midst. Perhaps they even highlight the lack of power and the need for revival in the Body of Messiah in Israel.
A quote from "Pentecostal Outpourings" describes this need well:
“Revival is a fresh manifestation of the vigor and effectiveness of God’s word after a period of spiritual decline, lethargy, and indifference. It is initiated by the sovereign, extraordinary, saving activity of the Holy Spirit and is characterized by an intense sense of God’s presence. It takes place against the backdrop of declension among God’s people and a militant ascendancy in the world’s godlessness.”(2)
(emphasis, mine - O.A.)
That is exactly the situation in Israel, and I suspect the world over.
I pray you will get a sight of the need, I pray you will hear the Lord’s call to you, I pray you will take your place before Him, and pray for Israel and the Body of Messiah (both in Israel and the world) until you hear the “sound of abundance of rain.” 1Kings 18:41
Blessings from Jerusalem
2. Robert Davis Smart; Michael A. G. Haykin; Ian Hugh Clary. Pentecostal Outpourings: Revival and the Reformed Tradition (Kindle Locations 386-389). Reformation Heritage Books. Kindle Edition.