I Peter 4: 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
The time has come that all of God’s judgment is near. This tells us where it will begin—with his people. This is not a judgment to come after we leave his world; it’s a check of our spiritual welfare. It must begin at the house of God, with us. For guidance we must consult the guidebook, the Word of God. For anything and everything, the Bible provides sound, trustworthy council.
If we desire revival for our soul, we must believe revival is still possible. God is the same today as he was in the past. He still moves and responds when we do our part. Where do we begin? Revival includes many things. It’s simple in one way, but in another way lots of things have to be done. It’s not begun with the scheduling of it by the deacons and pastor. When and who are important parts but not all in all. Sometimes I’ve seen it decided on the spot to have revival. Revival also doesn’t begin by waiting until the first night’s service to do anything. It begins with ourselves, a place we’d rather not look. Peter says it must first begin at us. There must be a self-inventory, a willingness to open up ourselves. It begins with and at me and with you. I must be God’s target. You must be. Yes, we need to pray for the preacher. Yes, we need to pray for the singers. Often it ends up as a token prayer for revival. We need to take a look at ourselves. Peter put himself in the same basket as his readers. The lost need to be saved—resurrected from the dead. To be revived means to bring back to life someone who needs to be resuscitated.
It’s easy to see the world needs to repent. It’s easy to look and see where “we” need revival and hide ourselves in the “we.” It’s easy to see the need for others, but when it comes to checking ourselves we tend to overlook and see ourselves in a different light than God sees us.
The devil uses the same old bag of tricks. He doesn’t want us to see our need of revival, our own slackness. Jesus talked about straining at a gnat to condemn others but excuse ourselves. He talked about being careful of judging. He said get the beam out of our own eye before we try to get the moat out of someone else’s eye. Revival has to begin with us being honest with ourselves. We can’t lie to ourselves. God sees us as we are. Others see us differently than we think, but we won’t stand before others. We will stand before God.
Second John verse 8 says look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Begin first with an honest look at ourselves. If we don’t keep an eye on ourselves, we can get away from God. When Samson woke up, he shook himself and didn’t realize the Spirit had departed from him. We must keep an eye on our heart and soul to know where we stand with God. God wants us to receive a full reward, and if we don’t keep an eye on ourselves we can lose out. We are responsible to keep an eye on our spiritual life.
Second Corinthians 13:5 says examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? Revival is a strong matter. Souls are in the balance. Lost souls need to be saved, and the saved need a checkup. We must look at ourselves and then examine ourselves to make sure everything is right with God. Don’t pretend. Don’t depend on someone else to do it. If your doctor never examines you, find another. A good doctor tests you. The exam needs to start with us when it comes to spiritual things. If it’s not okay with God, it shouldn’t be okay with us. If we see something wrong, we need to fix it. Look. Examine.
Acts 2:40 says and with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Revival first begins with looking at ourselves. The second thing is to examine ourselves. Here is the third thing. When Peter told them to save yourselves he didn’t mean we could save ourselves in the sense of salvation. He meant repent and be identified with the people of God. Save here means to rescue yourself. We must be honest with ourselves and look at our relationship with the people around us. We’re around an untoward generation, a generation not pointed toward God. If we’re not careful, we’ll let others point us away from God. In Philippians 2:15 Paul said that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. We are the children of God in the midst of a wicked world. We must do our best to safeguard ourselves. The generation at large points away from God and heaven and toward the devil and hell. We must take a good look at ourselves. Are we separate from the world and a shining light to them? Are you and I being a “toward” person? If not, it’s time to rescue ourselves and turn around.
Look to yourself. Examine yourself. Rescue yourself. It first begins with a personal exam, a step to bring revival to ourselves. God can revive us. We have to stop our leaks and let the Lord fix us up. Psalms 139:23-24 says search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. We can pray this when we’re willing to be honest with ourselves. He’ll fix us fit for revival.