A Whiter Shade of Pale

A Whiter Shade of Pale from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

Revival is the presence of God coming down to live among His people for a season. Jesus Christ was a walking revival. Crowds thronged around Him. Sinners came to hear Him. Miracles happened. Evil spirits came screaming out of the people. The blind could see. The deaf could hear. The crippled could walk. Sickness and disease were cured. People repented. Multitudes were saved. Those are some things that happen during a true revival. 

That sounds wonderful. So why don't we see more of it? The biggest hindrance is us. 

(Isaiah 59:1–2 NKJV)  Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.

God doesn't like sin, and I am not talking about the sins of our forefathers, but our current ones. I know that is not a popular theme today, but just bear with me till the end of the message. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, the broken, the crushed. The Lord is Holy. He does not walk with idolaters. Look at what He told the Israelites after their idol incident:

(Exodus 33:3 NASB)  "Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, and I might destroy you on the way."

I know that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags. Without Him, we are nothing. But make no mistake, Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15 NKJV). And "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46 NKJV).

The heavily quoted Apostle Paul wrote that we are saved by grace, which is the unearned favor of God, a free gift:

(Ephesians 2:8–9 NKJV)  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Yet, Paul was clear that we should not continue living in sin:

(Romans 6:1–2 NKJV)  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

(1 Corinthians 6:18–19 NKJV)  Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

(2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV)  Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The Apostle Peter wrote: (1 Peter 1:13–16 NKJV)  Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."

Holiness. That's a word you don't hear much today. Did grace replace the need for holiness? Nope. Do not think the Lord is blind or stupid. Something that goes hand in hand with believing the Gospel is repentance. That is what Jesus taught:

(Mark 1:14–15 NKJV)  Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

To Repent is defined as:  "To change one's life. To reconsider. To have a change of self (heart and mind) that abandons former dispositions and results in a new self, new behavior, and regret over former behavior and dispositions."

I can tell you from experience that willful sin is like pulling the emergency brake on God's plan for your life. Oh, we are saved by grace alone, but if you want to get off the back burner, start by repenting of every sin you can think of. You will be amazed how they will come to your remembrance one after another, at least I was... It's the same with forgiveness. Forgive everyone anytime what they did comes to mind until they stop coming. 

Unconfessed sin and continuing in sin is a direct block to receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit and experiencing the presence of the Lord. (I am talking about confessing to God during prayer, not to a person.) I have taught groups about the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. When you put your hands on someone and pray, you can often feel the Holy Spirit descend on them. One lady I remember could not receive the gift. We laid hands on her and prayed and taught and prayed some more, but it was just a spiritually dead experience. Then later, we found out she was having an affair. Whoopsie. 

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you will not fool God at all. He sees right through the lies and looks at our little black hearts and the deeds we believe no one sees. For who you are when no one is looking is who you really are.  

Another time, I was playing in a praise and worship band, and we were about to record a CD. The music sounded good, but there was no anointing. It was spiritually as dry as a desert. There was no presence of the Lord. I fasted and prayed for a week for clarity and had an extremely vivid and graphic vision. 

In the vision, I was standing with the Lord, and we were looking down into a house where the band was. I saw myself in the bathroom with a plunger, trying to fix a toilet that was overflowing with feces. The rest of the band was in the living room, arguing, pointing, and blaming each other for causing the mess. I asked the Lord, "What does this mean?" And He replied, "There's a lot of crap backed up." 

Then the vision changed, and I saw the band running on a track with lanes like in track and field. There was a dark cloud coming behind the group and overtaking it. I was standing above the field with the Lord looking down on the track, and I asked Him, "What does this mean?" And He replied, "It's catching up." 

That vision happened on a Friday night, and our band had practice the next day on Saturday evening. When we all gathered together to pray, I shared the vision with them. The worship leader laughed and said, "Dion said the Lord said "crap" and is going to flush us down the toilet!" But his wife turned a whiter shade of pale, and all the color left her face. 

Sunday morning, during the praise and worship, those two got into an argument on stage in front of the church. The wife threw the worship leader out of their house and soon moved in the drummer, who she had been secretly having an affair with for the last year. Whoopsie.

The Lord sees all and never think He doesn't know what You are up to. You can try and conceal it, but the Lord will reveal it. You can lie about it, but you will never fool Him. If we want to have more of His presence in our life, more of His blessing, for Him to walk among us, then we need to repent and wash in the blood of the Lamb. We need to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then these other things will be added. 

(Luke 12:2 NKJV)  For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

(Mark 8:34 NKJV)  When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

You can pray this with me if you like: 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I forgive all those who have sinned against me. Please forgive me for the sins I have committed in Your sight. I want to go free from the sin that so easily besets me. Deliver me, oh Lord. Set me free. Give me my orders. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

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