Realizing Revival: Attitude Check 


Hebrews 4:12(NASB) 

12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

The noted English architect Sir Christopher Wren was supervising the construction of a magnificent cathedral in London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to interview some of the workers, so he chose three and asked them this question, "What are you doing?" The first replied, "I'm cutting stone for 10 shillings a day." The next answered, "I'm putting in 10 hours a day on this job." But the third said, "I'm helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London's greatest cathedrals." 

As we progress in revival, we must examine ourselves as God examines us. All of the outward trappings mean very little to God, He examines us from the inside out. God spends some time figuring out the “why” of what we do, and not just the “what”. 

Having a poor attitude can hinder our spiritual development even we appear to be doing all the right things. It is sometimes possible to do the right things, and have the wrong motivations, and therefore our “right things” become sinful. 

Sometimes our attitude just stinks! I told the church council as much last Tuesday. I asked them to pray for me because my attitude that night was just awful. Unfortunately for me, it just got worse throughout the week. As the week progressed one thing after another went wrong, everyone in the house was sick, a 15 minute meeting with another pastor turned into a 3 hour ordeal, my daughter discovered her driver’s license was expired the day before she was to board the plane to New York City, and then to cap it all off I discovered that someone in Herndon, VA had helped themselves to all the money in my bank account so I spent all day Friday filing police reports and closing accounts. Needless to say, my attitude wasn’t the model that you need to be emulating! 

Satan doesn’t want us to talk about attitude. He’s perfectly happy when we are angry, or confused, or discouraged. Satan likes for us to be nit-picking with one another and on each other’s backs. He likes for us to doubt God’s word, and be weak in our faith. It fits his agenda and pleases him greatly. 

When we begin to adjust our thoughts, and bring our attitudes into compliance with God’s plan then Satan loses ground. When we have our attitude in tune with God, Satan no longer has a lever to use against us, he loses his purchase. 

God pays attention to attitude! If we are to truly realize revival, we are going to have to examine our attitudes and make sure we are on the same page that God is on. 

We Must Have The Right Attitude Toward Sin 

Calvin Coolidge was known as a man of few words. Returning from worship services one day, his wife asked him what did the preacher preach on. “Sin,” he replied. “Well, what did he say about it,” she continued. “He was agin it!” Coolidge answered. 

Folks I’m telling you this morning that we need to be “agin it”. We must oppose, and flee sin in all of its forms.  



Proverbs 4:23(NASB) 

23    Watch over your heart with all diligence,     For from it flow the springs of life. 

1 John 1:8-10(NASB) 

8If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 

Sin touches us all and breaks the relationship between us and God. The problem with our attitude toward sin is that we don’t hate sin as we should. Instead of being “agin it” we are more likely to embrace it. God doesn’t see it that way. God abhors sin: 

Proverbs 6:16-19(NASB) 

16    There are six things which the LORD hates,      Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17    Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,     And hands that shed innocent blood, 18    A heart that devises wicked plans,     Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19    A false witness who utters lies,     And one who spreads strife among brothers. 

We might say that we are opposed to sin, but our actions show something different.  How many of us go out of our way to get involved in things we hate? I can tell you right now I never march myself into a restaurant and demand a plate of rutabagas.  

Why then, if we say we hate sin, do we continue to embrace it? God’s word encourages us to flee sin, to run as far away from it as we can! 

2 Timothy 2:22(NASB) 

22Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 

If we want to experience revival we must get our attitude right concerning sin. There is no place in the Christian’s life to play with the fire that is sin and temptation. 

We Must Have The Right Attitude Toward One Another 

12 Speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of freedom. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn’t shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 12-13) 

Years after the death of President Calvin Coolidge, this story came to light. In the early days of his presidency, Coolidge awoke one morning in his hotel room to find a cat burglar going through his pockets. Coolidge spoke up, asking the burglar not to take his watch chain because it contained an engraved charm he wanted to keep. Coolidge then engaged the thief in quiet conversation and discovered he was a college student who had no money to pay his hotel bill or buy a ticket back to campus. Coolidge counted $32 out of his wallet — which he had also persuaded the dazed young man to give back! — declared it to be a loan, and advised the young man to leave the way he had come so as to avoid the Secret Service! (Yes, the loan was paid back.)  

What is it to serve God and to do His will? Nothing else than to show mercy to our neighbor. For it is our neighbor who needs our service; God in heaven needs it not.  
— Martin Luther  

One of the greatest tests of our faith is how we treat others. Would you pass the test? 

Verse 8 of our text tells us“Indeed, if you keep the royal law prescribed in the Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.” We need to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, even Jesus said that to us, but as we look at the entire book of James I think we can reach a conclusion that there is more to it than simply saying “I love you”. 

James is a book of action, therefore when James says love your neighbor like you love yourself he is implying an activity. 

He is saying to be active in your love. 

We can start with compassion. The beginning of the process of loving your neighbor begins with softening your hard. The arrows this world slings at us cause us to put up shields to protect us, and it’s hard for anyone to get past them. When we begin to feel compassion toward another, those shields begin to weaken and we start, little by little, letting others in. 

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” – 1 Peter 3:8 

James hits us square between the eyes on the importance of sins of attitude. All too often we discount these sins as perhaps not as serious as some others, but a good argument could be made that these sins of attitude are of far more importance because they impact the totality of our walk with Christ, and how the world views our walk. 

We must be the kind of people that include others. Christianity isn’t an exclusive club, the membership is open to all who believe. 

We Must Have The Right Attitude Towards God’s Word 

Hebrews 4:12(NASB) 

12For the word of God is living and active . . . 

First we must understand that the Word of God is alive! It’s not some stale musty old tome that is relegated to rarefied atmosphere of great libraries. God’s word is alive and well, and is different than any other book ever written. 

God’s word is no dead letter, but it is a living testament to God’s grace. The words come alive to us depending on our maturity and ability to understand. 

Second we must understand that God’s word is powerful.  

In 1945, when American troops were on Okinawa, they found a tiny village named Shimabuku. Thirty years previously, a missionary on his way to mainland Japan had stopped long enough to make two converts. He taught them a couple of hymns, gave them a Bible in Japanese, and encouraged them to live by it. The villagers patterned their lives on Jesus, took the Ten Commandments as their legal code, and the Sermon on the Mount became their guide to social conduct. The Bible was the main literature in school. The result was that for years they'd had no jail, no brothel, no drunkenness, no divorce, and there was a high level of health and happiness. 

The power of God’s word will transform people, it will change them into better people.  

Isaiah 55:11(NASB) 

11    So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;     It will not return to Me empty,     Without accomplishing what I desire,     And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 

We Must Check Our Attitude Toward Our Troubles 

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (vv 2-3) 

If you are to be successful in rethinking your troubles, and approaching them in a fresh way you must begin by figuring out why you are having these problems whatever they might be. Problems don’t normally just appear out of thin air, they almost always have a reason for beginning. At times that reason might be our own mistakes in the past or the present, or they may be mistakes that others have made around us. There may be dozens, even scores of reasons or excuses for the lot we are cast in life, but we must consider why they are happening. 

Once we can answer why things are happening then it becomes easier to understand that God will use our circumstances to a good advantage. We sometimes call this the silver lining. It is when God takes what is going wrong in your life and makes something great out of it. 

Mildred Sturven writes: 

A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain. 

Mildred Witte Struven, Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p.6. 

God takes our old clay pot, and turns it into something of great beauty. There is a greater purpose for the troubles we experience. Now I am fully aware, having experience my own share of trouble, that at the time it is happening it does no good to share that bit of information—Or does it? 

If we are to realize revival we must check our attitudes. Sins of attitude will quench God’s Spirit and make revival impossible.