I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances. — Ezekiel 36:25,27, HCSB
A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow his blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our Heavenly Father is more willing to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us his blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.
As Christians, we must work to take the stumbling-blocks out of the way. We must remove every obstacle. Let us confess and forsake every sin, that the way of the Lord may be prepared, that he may come into our assemblies and impart his rich grace. The world, the flesh, and the Devil must be overcome. We cannot prepare the way by gaining the friendship of the world, which is enmity with God; but by his help we can break its seductive influence upon ourselves and upon others.
There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out his Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation. If Satan had his way, there would never be another awakening, great or small, to the end of time... When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come. Satan can no more hinder a shower of blessing from descending upon God’s people than he can close the windows of heaven that rain cannot come upon the earth. Wicked men and devils cannot hinder the work of God, or shut out his presence from the assemblies of his people, if they will, with subdued, contrite hearts, confess and put away their sins, and in faith claim his promises. Every temptation, every opposing influence, whether open or secret, may be successfully resisted, “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
The church must arouse to action. The Spirit of God can never come in until she prepares the way. There should be earnest searching of heart. There should be united, persevering prayer, and through faith a claiming of the promises of God. There should be, not a clothing of the body with sackcloth, as in ancient times, but a deep humiliation of soul. We have not the first reason for self-congratulation and self exaltation. We should humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. He will appear to comfort and bless the true seekers.
— The Review and Herald, March 22, 1887
Father God, I am grateful for Your mercy and blessings on those who seek You. Break the seductive influences of the world in my heart and the hearts of Your people. In deep humiliation of soul I forsake every sin and remove every hinderance. Come into our assemblies, impart Your rich grace and pour out Your Spirit. I claim the promise, “I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow in My statutes.”