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The Cost of Revival

The Cost of Revival
Words of Faith 7-6-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Acts 19
[23] About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. [24] A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. [25] He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. [26] And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. [27] There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty."
[28] When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" [29] Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater. [30] Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. [31] Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.

Isn’t revival wonderful? We probably don’t think of revival looking like a riot but that is exactly what happened in Ephesus. The truth is that when the Spirit of God gets loose in a town it is disturbing.
Revival is not so simple as a group of people getting together and deciding to repent. Repentance is bad for some businesses! The economy at Ephesus was heavily based upon idolatry. Demetrius and the craftsmen were greatly threatened by all this repentance. He spoke to the idol makers in terms of loyalty to their goddess but clearly it was a matter of economic self interest. The leaders of the idol industry stirred up the town so that the companions of Paul were seized.
The truth is that a revival is always disturbing. When the one true God replaces the idols in the hearts of men the idol makers will always be upset! Why is revival slow in coming to America? Could it be because our economy has such a great interest in idols? Whether we speak of the idols of materialism, sensuality, power or appetite, idolatry has always been “good business”. Vice is extremely profitable. Repentance is bad for business, no two ways about it.
When a move of God sets people free, there will always be a crowd ready to gather in opposition. Whether the revival is personal or public, not everyone will get excited. Revival will never be all encompassing. If you turn your life over to the Lord, not everyone in your family will be happy. Not everyone in your class or group will be thrilled.
Why? Paul said that “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18).” Sadly, there are always those who are perishing or who are still protesting. They will refuse the Gospel, cling to idolatry and protest their losses. They will not see the wonder of people committing themselves to the Lord.
In fact, Paul says that we are a stench to them. “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life (2 Cor. 2:15-16).”
So when we pray for revival, we should know what we are praying for. Very likely, we are not praying delightful times of blessing that will sweep the nation. Oh yes, there will be times of blessing and joyful commitment to the Lord but there will also be disturbance. We will become a stench to some and the fragrance of life to others. Those who have a vested interest in addiction, vice, and idolatry will be up in arms.

Oh Lord, we so desperately need revival. We need the sweeping conviction of Your Spirit. We need the wind of Your love to drive the idols out of our hearts. We need the transformation we can find only in You. Give us also the courage to face all that comes with such change in our lives and communities. In Jesus’ name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2001, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.