Revival Sermon: Preparatory Stages in Revival
A Sermon on Exodus 33:12-17
12Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor …
12¶ And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 …
Revival is conceived through the prayers of one who is burdened. Continuing the examination of where revival comes from, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that there are intermediate steps that are common before a revival begins. This begins with prayer. In this sermon on Exodus 33:12–17 titled “Revival Sermon: Preparatory Stages of Revival,” he explains three stages of prayer. This prayer toward revival begins with a longing for separation. As God used the intercession of Moses on behalf of rebellious Israel, it is explained that revival is initiated with the prayers of just one person. This one person feels a great burden for the people of God and wants to do something about it. He prays for holiness and separation from the ways of the world. There is a concern to be holy. This leads to an incredible assurance of God. Prayer turns from dread to delight as God promises His presence among the people. The praying church and individual then grow in expectancy, looking for and expecting change that only the Holy Spirit can bring. This change is not managed by people but by the sovereign Spirit of God. If the listener is burdened for the church in this world, Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages that revival begins with the prayers of one.
- Moses felt burdened for revival and took action by setting up a tent of meeting outside the camp. One man or a group feeling burdened often leads to revival.
- The tent of meeting was set up quietly and unobtrusively. Revivals often start this way through a few burdened people coming together, not through organization or sponsorship.
- The tent of meeting was set up outside the camp, separate from it. Revivals often happen outside the official church through a call to holiness and consecration.
- The tent of meeting showed the need for unusual and exceptional action. Revivals require going the extra mile, not just routine religious activity.
- The people stood at their tent doors and watched with interest but did not join in. Most of the church watches but does not act in the early stages of revival.
- God sent the cloudy pillar as encouragement. Revivals see encouraging signs of God's presence like renewed warmth, tenderness, and expectancy in the church.
- God spoke to Moses face to face. Those burdened for revival receive assurance from God that he has heard their prayers.
- Moses reported back to the camp but left Joshua in the tent of meeting expecting more. Revival brings a spirit of expectation for God to do greater things.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.