“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.”
—Isaiah 59:1-2 (NASB)
“Personal revival begins when the believer
faces his sin honestly.”
The hand of God is ready, powerful, yearning to save. His ear is attentive to the voice of His people. He delights in demonstrations of extravagant love for his people. “For God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“But …” Isaiah says.
“But” means there is a problem.
Our “iniquities have made a separation.” The word translated “iniquity” is the Hebrew (עון, avon). It is one of three primary words in Hebrew for sin. The meaning and nuance of this particular word is of a breaking of law that is a perversity, a depravity punishable by a judge. In the case of Israel, God was the judge and tells the nation that it is perverse that they have turned from Him and separated themselves from Him.
And the result? Their sins had “hidden His face” so that “He does not hear.”
To any genuine Christian, to any genuine God-seeker, those words are harrowing. That God would hide His face from us is frightening. That He would not hear, i.e. respond to our prayers, is to be alone in the world and subject to the caprice of forces that war against us.
God, through Isaiah is seeking to draw our hearts back to intimacy by alerting us to the danger of effect-less prayer and shallow pursuits of God. And so, I think Jim Elliff nails it at the beginning of his short primer on personal revival, “Personal revival begins when the believer faces his sin honestly.”
It begins there.
It continues there.
And it progresses from there.
No revival is possible without an honest, often painful look, at the “separation” between God and us. When your walk with God feels like a parched and dry desert, OR when it feels orthodox but passionless, God is calling you to Himself.
So, these five resolves for personal holiness are the only resolves you need in the New Year.(Here’s the LINK to “Five Resolves for Personal Revival.”)
An oasis is close by. It is God Himself. Run to Him.