Text--Vs. 3, “...make straight in the desert a highway…”
The work of John the Baptist is foretold here, preparing/paving the way for God’s glory in the flesh to come on the scene. That’s what we’re looking for in revival!
We’ve been sub-normal for so long that if ever we experienced what is truly normal, we’d think it was abnormal!
The word “highway” = “raised up”. It’s a “higher” elevation of living…to be spiritually raised up and to live above the status quo.
In these 3 verses the Lord is speaking through Isaiah and is giving instructions on how to pave the way for revival…for great things to happen! I hope that each of us would agree together that we need revival. I need it, and you need it.
God is telling us how to get from the place of need to the place of revival. We are all in the desert place. Revival is where the glory of God is. God is willing to come over to where we are and to bring revival to our souls and to our church. The people are to make a straight highway in their desert.
Ill.—NM highways…destination in the distance/comes slowly, like a mirage.
We are talking about Point “A” and Point “B”. Both of these points are the requirements for revival. Point “A” is in Vs. 3, and Point “B” is in Vs. 5; however, we cannot accomplish this without going through Vs. 4. In other words, we can’t get from Vs. 3 to Vs. 5 without going through Vs. 4.
He is talking about building a highway so God can come visit us.
This is saying that we won’t have revival just because we have scheduled one. We don’t need to have a revival…we need revival!
There must be preparation first.
Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
I want to challenge you to do that. We want to do all that we can to allow revival to happen.
Revival is a time of refreshing, renewing, restoring, and a time of rejoicing. Revival is God having His way in your life and in my life.
Revival is the return of the people of God to the Word of God in the house of God, by the power of God, according to the plan of God, under the direction of God, and thus receiving the blessings of God. It is possible that every person here could experience revival except you. Wouldn’t that be a tragedy?
In Vs. 4 we see what is necessary for building the highway, to the glory of God.
This is the formula for revival:
This is the filling process.
A Valley Is A Crevice, A Gutter, A Low Place.
1. This would be the troubled spots in your Christian life.
2. The empty places. The lacking places. The places that seem bogged down.
3. Revival will fill these places up. When this happens we will begin to see classrooms filled, and this room filled.
4. There will be no more empty altars and no more empty hearts.
Once that valley is filled, that low place, that troubled spot is touched and made right by God, then you will be experiencing the glory of the Lord all of the time. That is revival.
What Is Your Valley?
1. Is it some area of failure?
2. Is it some hardship you are experiencing?
3. Is it financial?
4. Is it marital?
5. Is it your past?
No matter what it is, revival can make it right for you.
Like a tooth hollowed out by rottenness…sometimes we need a “filling” in our valleys. Food will stick in a tooth cavity, and the muck of this world washes down into the valleys of your soul…we need God to clean out the rottenness where we have suffered “truth decay” and then fill in those low places and revive us!
Doesn’t this make you hungry for revival? It does me. I want revival. I know that it may cost me a great deal of the things that I consider to be precious, but I am willing to let go of them for the sake of revival. Are you?
This is the leveling process. First we had the filling process, now the leveling process.
Revival Roadblocks: things that stand in the way of revival coming. What is yours?
Is it disbelief?
Heb 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Getting saved IS step 1 for you!
Is it laziness? Holding on to a habit? Pride? Indifference? Self will? Wrong priorities? Spirituality stale? Unmotivated? Selfishness? Greed? Depression?
*Some of these are low points/valleys/deserts. A low point can be an obstacle too. Some places need filling, some need drilling, leveling, etc. The Israelites took 40 years to make an eleven day journey. That’s a mountain, an obstacle in their path.
Is it lust? Jealousy? Bitterness? Worldly friends? Addiction to a substance, a TV, a video game? Bad thought life? A wounded spirit…can’t get over the past? Way of life become tradition? Doubtful about something yet future? Worried? Disobedience w/ the tithe? Angry w/ God over something? Resisting the Lord in some area? Bad attitude…looking for problems? Prayerlessness? Rage? Mid-life crisis? Debt? Hypocrisy? Disobedience to parents/authority? Marital problems? Dysfunctional family? Poor communication? Job stress? Low self esteem? Ego? Busyness? Too many irons in the fire?
There is something that is an obstacle to revival. Everyone has at least one, some may have several.
Everyone Has A Mountain.
When Revival Comes, These Mountains Will Be Made Low.
[story of how the road leading to our home in MO had a big hill in it, which upon a return visit was gone, leveled.]
That mountain had been made low.
I noticed something else. As they cut the hill down to a level position they took the dirt and put it in a valley area near the hill. So what used to be a deep valley and a steep hill was now all level ground.
That is what revival will do in your life. Those mountains will be made level. Those valleys will be filled.
This is the straightening process.
Revival must contain all of these. The filling, the leveling, and the straightening.
When I read the word “Crooked” I tried to find some names there. Surely the Lord would have taken this opportunity to name some “Crooked” people. But I couldn’t find any, so I guess the Lord is talking about “things” rather than “people”.
Meandering, backtracking roads drive you crazy.
Ill.—Smoky Mtn. Expressway thru Western NC
We are taken in a lot of different directions in this life, and most of them aren’t the straight path. We meander in mediocre plans which don’t really take us anywhere worthwhile.
Revival and the glory of God is more important than money.
Revival and the glory of God is more important than health.
Revival and the glory of God is more important than games.
Revival and the glory of God is more important than friends.
There is nothing more important than FBC experiencing a time of revival.
This is the smoothing process.
This Is Taking The Bumps Out Of Your Spiritual Life.
1. Revival will smooth out your marriage. When a couple is having marital problems, if you can get them to center their life around the Lord Jesus Christ, their problems will lessen and lessen until they are gone.
2. Revival will smooth out your finances. When you get your heart right with God your wallet will also get right with God, and you will see what God can do with an empty wallet.
3. Revival will smooth out your bad temper. Some say, “I can’t control my temper.” God can. Revival will go a long way in controlling that temper.
4. Revival will smooth out your tongue.
a. Gossip will go.
b. Complaining will go.
c. Swearing will go.
If we could just get our tongues cleaned up, we would go a long way in having revival. Talk about a highway…some Baptists have tongues w/ four lanes, in both directions!
5. Revival will smooth out your disposition. If you get real revival, even your pets will not recognize you when you go home. They will think you are a stranger.
What all of us need is a spiritual bulldozer to build a revival road for the glory of God.
If we will build a highway, He will bring revival; and then He will reveal His glory. If we don’t build it, well, it’s “highway robbery!” No, it revival robbery!
What is the glory of the Lord? Vs. 10, 11; 28, 29.
Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
God wants to come here, hauling truckloads of blessings with Him…Will you help build the road?
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