PASTOR DON'S CHRISTIAN ED NOTES
Proverbs, The Holy Spirit and Personal Revival
Print This Sermon
Sunday, May 6, 2007 -

Proverbs 1:23 - “If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.”

Ezekiel’s strange vision reminds us that, without the Spirit of God, our religion will be as dead and dry as a collection of dead bones. Even properly joined together, dead bones do not a living person make. So, in this final study in this series, Solomon points out the road to divine life and blessing. What could be more important than having God “pour out” His Spirit on our lives?

Also, underscore that word “behold” in the center of this great promise. God tells us, following the steps outlined, this outpouring is something observable. It is certain. We can test and prove the truth of these words. These words are designed specifically to answer to the fear - the deeply rooted, secret fear - that revival can come to anybody and everybody but us.

1) THE VERSE ANSWERS TO THE FEAR THAT YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO REALIZE THE BLESSING OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE, OR OVERCOME DEEPLY ROOTED, STUBBORN SIN

Start with the promise embedded in this verse - “I will pour out my Spirit to you...” Very few of us doubt that God does, indeed, bless some people. We’ve all read the stories and heard the testimonies. But the some people are always other people. Most Christians have experienced the scar tissue of being disappointed with some promised revival and transformation in their personal life.

But there are reasons for these apparent failures. Renewal won’t end right if it didn’t start right. It cannot begin in the emotions. It can include the emotions, but not begin there. Solomon places the outpouring of the Spirit of revival at a moral point, not an emotional point.

2) TIMES OF SPIRITUAL OUTPOURING FOLLOW HOT ON THE HEELS OF TIMES OF REPROOF

Proverbs 1:23 - “If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.”

It’s easy to badly misjudge times of reproof. We almost always see only the negative side - the pain, embarrassment or feelings of guilt - without realizing God’s full intention for them. Because we frequently don’t understand God’s purpose in reproof we fear His voice and shy away from repentance, like a small child fears the dark.

3) A PROPER RESPONSE TO REPROOF SETS OUR ATTENTION ON THE THINGS GOD HAS HIS ATTENTION ON ALREADY

This is the value of reproof. It shows even a careless soul where God is putting His attention so we can apply our attention to the very same point. This is what ensures success and growth. When we turn at God’s reproof we can be assured we are working with God, not against God. His reproof is the loving sign that He is already at work in the area he pin-points.

4) THIS KIND OF SPIRITUAL RENEWAL IS DIFFERENT FROM THE EMPTY PURSUIT OF MERE MORAL REFORM AND IMPROVEMENT.

Moral reform, while noble on a certain level, cannot remove our isolation from God. That is why Solomon is so specific in his instruction. You must emphasize the right words in this short verse: Proverbs 1:23 - “Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.”

This turning is a turning from self to God. It is motivated by obedience and a concern for His glory. The original creative design for our lives is re-established.

5) GOD WILL REVEAL HIS WORD IN DEEPER WAYS TO THOSE WHO TURN AT HIS REPROOF

Proverbs 1:23 - “Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.”

Solomon doesn’t take the time to explain just how this is so, but Jesus did take the time to explain this same principle in detail:

Mark 4:24-25 - “And he said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. [25] For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

This passage is all about how we sustain and increase what we receive from the Lord. These words describe a promise and a tragedy:

The tragedy is if I ignore the transforming truth from the Lord at one point in my life - if I chose not to turn to His reproof - not only do I lose the freedom and joy that single truth would bring into my life right at that particular moment, I start to lose the benefit of truths I’ve already accumulated over years of study and Christian experience. My soul starts to leak.

On the other hand, the promise is that every time I heed the reproof of the Lord, the increase of the life and grace of the Spirit isn’t just added in the single area of reproof. It’s multiplied exponentially in every other area of my Christian walk. This is what Jesus was referring to when He talked about the multiplication of the fruitfulness of the seed in the soil of my heart - some 30, some 60, and some 100 fold.

So turn at the Lord’s reproof. There’s precious benefit there far beyond what you can see right at this moment.