Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival

Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival

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by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Tim Grissom
     
 

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Revival is not just an emotional touch ... but a complete transformation! It can happen ... in your heart ... in your home ... in your church ... in your world.

Seeking Him is a 12-week interactive study on personal revival. Get ready to experience the freedom and joy of an honest and humble heart, true repentance, God's amazing grace, genuine

Overview

Revival is not just an emotional touch ... but a complete transformation! It can happen ... in your heart ... in your home ... in your church ... in your world.

Seeking Him is a 12-week interactive study on personal revival. Get ready to experience the freedom and joy of an honest and humble heart, true repentance, God's amazing grace, genuine holiness, a clear conscience, radical forgiveness, sexual purity, and walking in the Spirit. Each week includes five days of individual study, questions for group discussion and interaction, testimonies of changed lives, and 'Making it Personal' questions and exercises.

God says that if you seek Him you will find Him. What are you waiting for?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781575673592
Publisher:
Moody Publishers
Publication date:
09/23/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
268
Sales rank:
252,618
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Seeking Him

Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival


By Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Tim Grissom

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2004 Life Action Ministries
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57567-359-2



CHAPTER 1

Revival: Who Needs It?


The revival we will be talking about in this study is for God's people—those who by faith in Jesus Christ have received salvation and belong to Him. (People who do not belong to God cannot be "revived;" they first must be regenerated!) Since the days of Adam and Eve, God's people have often chosen to resist His will and rebel. Because of His great love, God keeps calling them back to intimate fellowship with Him. God's grace—the desire and power He gives us to return to Him—always accompanies His call to revival.


MEMORY VERSE

"Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, til He comes and rains righteousness on you."

(Hosea 10:12, NKJV)


Going Deeper in the Word

2 Kings 22:8-13, 18-20

Ezra 10:1-12

Jeremiah 3:19-4:4

James 4:4-10


Day 1: Faith-Builder Story

(1) Why did you decide to do this study? As you begin to seek God in a fresh way, what are some of your hopes? Your fears?

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Read the following story of one self-made man's realization. Then answer the questions that follow.

"I thought I was going to get away from the Lord! But wouldn't you know, the Spirit of God went right along with me."


I was a man who truly had everything I ever wanted—a beautiful family, lovely home, several successful business ventures, and respect in my community and church. Like the foolish rich man in the parable Jesus told, my "barns were full and overflowing," and I felt pretty good. I certainly didn't see any need for "revival" in my life.

But God knew my true condition, and He loved me enough to do something about it. I attended an extended series of special revival services held at my church. Through the Bible teaching, God began to show me how blind and spiritually bankrupt I was. I was being confronted with truth from God's Word, and the Holy Spirit was convicting me. I found this very uncomfortable. In fact, when I had to go on a business trip for three days in the middle of the crusade, I was relieved; I thought I was going to get away from the Lord! But wouldn't you know, the Spirit of God went right along with me. Those were three miserable days of conviction.

The next Sunday morning the speaker shared the Bible story of Naaman, the commander-in-chief of the Syrian army. He was a wealthy leader who had it all together—except that he had leprosy. Naaman wanted to be healed, but he didn't want to do it God's way. So he approached it the way I would have; he loaded up six hundred shekels of gold and ten talents of silver, and went down to buy his way out of his problem. Right in the middle of this story, God's Spirit said to me, "You're just like Naaman! You've got spiritual leprosy, and you need to be healed. You can be restored, but you're going to have to do it My way."

I realized that I was proud, rebellious, ungrateful, and unyielded.

I fell on my knees and cried out to God as best I knew how, asking what He wanted me to do. In my heart I heard Him say, "I want two things: submission and obedience." Those were strange words to me, but I put myself at His mercy, confessed my sin, and repented.

God slowly showed me that I was trying to hang on to all the "things" I was accumulating instead of trusting Him to provide for us. He began to deal with me about my business and financial affairs, which resulted in a freeing, radical change of values for my family.

"God said, 'I want two things: submission and obedience.'"


(2) Identify some of the outer and inner factors that brought about spiritual change in this man's life.

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(3) Have you ever experienced the kind of encounter with God that he described? What was the message you needed to hear?

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We are hardly the first human beings to discover our need for personal revival. Listen to the ancient cry of the psalmist's heart:

6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 8 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. 8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. 9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. (Psalm 85:6-9)


(4) According to these verses, who needs revival?

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! Key Point

Revival is for God's people who have drifted spiritually.

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(5) What are some of the results of revival among God's people?

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+ Tip

If you haven't already done so, be sure to read the Introduction on pages xii-xv. It helps define what revival is.


Day 2: Truth Encounter

BREAKING GROUND

To begin our study let's look at the Old Testament, where we clearly see God's desire to restore His wayward people. Consider, for example, the prophet Hosea.


Insight

Hosea prophesied in the northern kingdom of Israel during a period of rapid moral decline ending in destruction by Assyria in 722 B.C. Hosea's family was a symbol of God's relationship with His people. His wife was a prostitute (representing spiritual adultery), and his children had prophetic names.


God sent Hosea to prophesy to the nation of Israel. Though they were God's chosen people, the nation was in a sad state of spiritual and moral decline. For years they had enjoyed God's blessings—material bounty, military strength, peaceful relations with neighboring nations—yet they still turned away from Him. They stopped viewing God as the source of their blessings and chose instead to credit themselves. They put off worshiping God. They ceased loving Him. They replaced Him with idols, worldly pursuits, and earthly wealth.

It was to these confused fellow countrymen that Hosea delivered repeated rebukes and appeals. If they did not return to the Lord, he warned, judgment would surely come. Here is the essence of Hosea's message:

12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. 13 You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, Because you trusted in your own way, In the multitude of your mighty men. (Hosea 10:12-13, NKJV)


Key Point !

If we want to return to God, we must be prepared to break up the hard, barren ground of our spiritual lives.


(6) What was Hosea's charge against the Israelites?

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Insight

Old Testament prophets confronted sin, warned of God's judgment, and urged people to repent.

(7) What do you think it means to "break up your fallow ground"?

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Insight

Fallow ground —once plowed, but now lying waste—must be tilled (broken up) with a sharp plow in order to make the soil ready for seed and, ultimately, fruitful and productive.

The condition of the Western church is remarkably similar to that of the nation of Israel. In many ways we too have forsaken God and attempted to replace Him with other gods (idols). If Hosea were preaching now, he would scarcely need to alter his words! He might tell God's people today:

Return to your former lifestyle of righteousness, to a time when you were close to God and obeyed His Word .

Accept God's mercy and forgive those who have wronged you.

Allow God to "plow up" the hardened ground of your hearts, especially in those areas where you have long neglected His will.

Grieve over your sins.

Ponder the consequences of sin that you are experiencing.

Accept responsibility by admitting you have brought these consequences upon yourself.

Make seeking God your highest pursuit.


(8) With the above message in mind, has there ever been a time in your life as a Christian when you walked more closely with God than you are walking right now? If yes, what are some consequences you have experienced as a result of this loss of intimacy with God?

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Day 3: Truth Encounter

GOD'S LOVE DRAWS US

Why does God want to revive our hearts and restore us to a closer relationship with Him? One major reason is that He loves us!

We need to beware of misunderstanding the heart and ways of God when we study His dealings with His people, especially in the Old Testament. Due to the numerous accounts of God's judgment recorded there, we might get the impression that God was eager to punish or that He is harsh, demanding, and impatient. But really the opposite is true. Times of judgment usually came after years of pleading with His people to come back to Him.


Key Point !

God's unfathomable love for us moves Him to draw us back to Him when we've strayed.

Look again at the book of Hosea. God said:

1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols. 3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. 4 I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them. (Hosea 11:1-4)


Then, after taking His people through a time of discipline and correction, God urged them once again:

1 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity 2 Take with you words and return to the Lord; say to him, "Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips. 3 Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, 'Our God' to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy." 4 I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. (Hosea 14:1-4)

(9) When did God start loving His people?

* After they "cleaned up their act."

* After He vented His anger on them.

* When they were young, at the beginning of their existence.

(10) Do you think God ever stopped loving them?

* Yes, at least for a while.

* No. God always loved them, even when they needed discipline.


Explain your answer:

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The passages from Hosea 11 and 14 provide "before," "during," and "after" snapshots of how and why God revives and renews His people. The constant in all three stages is His love. God loved them when they were newborns ("child" in Hosea 11:1 literally means "infant"); He loved them after they returned to Him from a season of rebellion; and He loved them throughout the whole process of correcting them.

"Revival is that strange and sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people—restoring, reanimating, and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing."

—Stephen Olford


It was His love for them, in fact, that caused them to want to return to Him. It wasn't that they suddenly "felt" love for Him again, nor that they somehow remembered how wonderful it was to live with an awareness of God's love. It was that God caused them to desire that love relationship again. He enabled His people to see not only how wrong they had been and why His discipline was necessary, but also that He would welcome their return because He had never ceased loving them.

Perhaps your own heart is hungering for intimacy with God—an intimacy that you haven't enjoyed for a long time or perhaps have never known. That very desire is God-initiated. He wants you back! Why? Because He loves you and knows that you cannot experience all He has for you in your present condition.

(11) Write a prayer thanking God for His faithful love and for His desire to restore His people when they have wandered away from Him.

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Day 4: Truth Encounter

RETURNING TO OUR FIRST LOVE

The need for believers to return wholeheartedly to God—to be revived—is also addressed in the New Testament. The book of Revelation records the apostle John's vision. In this vision, Jesus speaks to seven churches. The church at Ephesus had once been a vibrant group of believers, deeply in love with Jesus. They had maintained their doctrinal purity and their separation from evil practices. They had worked hard and persevered, and they had a zeal for service. Yet something was wrong. After commending their strengths, Jesus addressed a matter of grave concern to Him:

4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. (Revelation 2:4-5, NKJV)


! Key Point

We can get back our "first love" for the Lord.


(12) What had the church at Ephesus done that so displeased the Lord? Put into your own words what it means to leave "your first love."

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(13) What three verbs do you note in Jesus' command? What light does this shed on the process of revival?

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Over the years, the Christians at Ephesus had somehow lost sight of the Savior. Their love for Him had lost its fervor. They had transferred their affection elsewhere, and this deviation threatened to cost them dearly.

God wants us to love Him first and foremost. When we find ourselves trusting in people instead of the Lord, this indicates that our heart's focus has shifted from Him (Jeremiah 17:5). Love for people—friends, family members, or even ourselves—can compete with our love for Him (Matthew 10:37). Other substitutes for a God-centered love relationship may include money, pleasure, friends, work, ritual in worship, the teachings of respected leaders, or Bible knowledge without a relationship with Christ.

Revival does not begin when a struggling, wayward person decides to return to the Lord but rather when the loving heavenly Father, wanting His people to enjoy the safety and security of His love, calls him or her back to Himself. God is the initiator; the call to revival is a plea of love from the heart of God.


Insight

A major city in western Asia Minor (now Turkey), Ephesus was a center of early Christianity. Paul based his operations there for three years, and the apostle John is believed to have spent his final years as bishop of Ephesus.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Seeking Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Tim Grissom. Copyright © 2004 Life Action Ministries. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

A timely and very accessible interactive study guide for revival.
-Charles Colson, Prison Fellowship

If you are tired of religious fads and band-aid solutions, let Seeking Him draw you near to the God who abundantly supplies grace on every level of our lives.
-Jim Cymbala, The Brooklyn Tabernacle

An intimate and insightful guide to holy living, a heaven -blessed soul, and a happy heart that can't help but to be on fire for the Lord Jesus!
-
Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends

An excellent study guide for personal revival.  May God use this book so that millions of American Christians return to their first love.
-D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church

Every pastor's dream.  Finally!  A guide to assist every member in personal revival and every church in corporate revival.
-Tony Evans, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

You and your church will be immeasurably blessed...and revival will be nearer as you prayerfully study this significant resource.
-James T. Draper, Jr., LifeWay Christian Resources

No words are adequate to encourage every Christian to process their relationship with God with the timely help of this book.
-Henry Blackaby, Blackaby Ministries International

Nancy and Tim will take you by the hand and lead you into the presence of our Holy God where you'll long to be holy even as He is holy.
-Kay Arthur, Precept Ministries International

A welcome resource for all of us who continue to trust that God will answer our prayers for revival.
-Joseph M. Stowell, Harvest Bible Chapel

A magnificent interactive study for those who want to go deeper with God, and experience Christ's grace and empowerment in every area of their lives.
-Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspectives Ministries

This study is revealing and penetrating...and can't help but inspire a desire for greater holiness and commitment to our Savior.
-Vonette Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ

We don't have to persuade God to send revival but permit Him to do so.  He wants to revive his people.  Thank God for the message of this book.
-Adrian Rogers, Bellevue Baptist Church

This is a welcome tool for all who yearn for a fresh movement of God in our day.  It dares us to take up the Psalmist’s challenge to seek God and let our own hearts revive – and then to pray for a spiritual awakening of such magnitude, that our homes, communities, cities, and nations are indelibly changed. Oh that God may rend the heavens, reveal His glory, and renew and revive His Sleeping Beauty, the Church! This study rings out a call to help rouse her from her sleep.
- Mary Kassian, Author, Speaker, Theologian

Meet the Author

NANCY DEMOSS WOLGEMUTH is the host and teacher for Revive Our Hearts¿a radio program for women heard daily on over 700 radio outlets, reaching over 1 million listeners nationwide. Since 1980, she has served on the staff of Life Action Ministries, a revival ministry based in Buchanan, Michigan. Nancy has an exceptional gift for communicating biblical truth and has shared her burden for personal and corporate revival in conferences and retreats for over thirty years. Some of her books include The Wonder of His Name, The Quiet Place, Seeking Him, Choosing Forgiveness, Choosing Gratitude, A Place of Quiet Rest, Lies Women Believe, Lies Young Women Believe, A Thirty-Day Walk with God in the Psalms, Brokenness, Holiness, and Surrender.

TIM GRISSOM is a freelance writer living in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he also serves as senior editor for FamilyLife. He has served on the elder team of The Summit Church, which he helped start in 1998, and remains active in the teaching ministry there. Tim served on the staff of Life Action Ministries for fourteen years. He and his wife, Janiece (who is now with the Lord) have four children. His ministry passion is to help people understand how deeply the Bible speaks to the issues of life, both big and small. You can read more from Tim through his blog, www.HurtingForward.com.
NANCY LEIGH DEMOSS is the author of fifteen books, including the bestselling Lies Women Believe and Choosing Forgiveness. She is the host and teacher for Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him, two nationally-syndicated programs heard each weekday on over 1,000 radio stations. Through her teaching ministry and books (which have sold more than two million copies), God is using her as a mentor and spiritual mother to thousands of women, and as a leader of the True Woman Movement. Nancy's burden is to call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ and to see God ignite true revival in the hearts of His people. For more information on her radio programs, conference ministry, and books, visit www.ReviveOurHearts.com.

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Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With the busyness of life, I think we often get side tracked and loose our focus on what matters. This study is an excellent tool to realign ones priorities in life and in the Body of Christ. I would recommend it to anyone who feels in limbo with one's spiritual life and/or life in general.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
God opened my heart and ripped me to sreads. Then put me back together again stronger than before. I Did not expect a true revival.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well written study guide. Interesting points brought up. Worked well in the group study format that I was using it in.
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