Back To Special Sermons

Revival Recovers All!

1 Samuel 30: 11-31

This verse has three words that should cause us to want a revival.
Those three words are found in 1 Samuel 30:19: "David recovered all."

Before those words were spoken David had lost everything.
He had lost his possessions, his home, and his family.
His loss was the outward evidence of his spiritual decline.

The Amalekites were the chastening hand of God to bring David back into His will,
and back into the purpose of God for his life.

David Lost His Vision.

Chapter 27 begins with David expressing his discouragement,
"I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul."

Because he had lost his vision, he had also lost his passion, for that same verse says,
"David said in his heart..."
He had forgotten to pray.
He had turned aside from the place of prayer.

Because he had lost his vision and his passion,
he had also lost the ability for a Spirit-governed action.
Therefore, we find David (in chapter 28) on the wrong side, marching with the wrong army,
and fighting against his own people, the people of God.

There are three things that believers must have, if they are to exist and to survive.
They are vision, passion, and action.

Vision is the upward look toward heaven.
Passion is the inward hunger and compassion of soul.
Action is the outward liberation of both vision and passion in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Most of us have lost all three.
We have little vision.
We have scarcely any passion.
We have hardly any heaven-directed action.

We cannot go on like this!

David had lost his vision because he had forgotten God's promises
and had stopped believing in God's power.
He had doubted God's ability to protect him against the enemy.
Therefore, he had lost everything else because he had lost his vision.

Could it be that you and I have lost our vision?

If so, we must go back to the Bible.
We say that we believe God and His Word, but do we live every moment of every day
within the light of His Word?
We must consider every transaction, every word that we speak about other people.
Everything we do or say, we must realize that we are in the presence of Christ Himself.

We must remember that the Bible is God's Word to us.
Some Christians seem to act as though the Bible's commands must be explained to them.
That is not what they need.
They need to believe and obey the Word of God.

There is a tremendous difference between knowing the Word of God
and knowing the God of the Word. Isaiah had a vision of holiness which caused this confession:
"Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips:
for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts
." (Isaiah 6:5)

This confession is from a preacher.
He had a vision of his sinfulness because the holiness of God had made him
conscious of his own sinfulness.
This brought him cleansing:
"Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."
(Isaiah 6: 7)

Isaiah had a vision of the hopelessness of his people who were without God,
and had brought from heaven the word of commission to him:
"Go, and tell this people..." (Isaiah 6:9)

Isaiah's vision of holiness brought confession.
It also gave him a vision of his own sinfulness.
Then it brought cleansing from sin.
His vision of the hopelessness of his people without God brought the heavenly commission to go
and preach the Word of God.

These things don't seem to move us anymore!

A few years ago I read that there are 20 million Jews, 375 million Moslems,
171 million Buddhists, 350 million Confucianists, 250 million Hindus,
and 90 million Shintoists -- for whom Christ died.
They have not heard the truth, and they do not know the good news of Jesus.

I also have read that there are 27 million people
under 21 years of age in the United States who receive no Christian training at all.
Can you imagine the future impact this will have?
Crime committed by young people in our society today is absolutely out of control.

Every week one million people are dying without Jesus.
Look at your watch!
Count off 60 seconds!
Eighty-five people have passed into eternity.
In just the brief time we are in this service, hundreds are passing out into the presence of God. William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, once said that if he could,
he would finalize the training of every man in his army by suspending him for 24 hours over hell.
That is the kind of vision we need!

Many years ago in Great Britain,
Scripture was being read to a criminal on his way to the gallows.
The chaplain was reading the Scripture somewhat piously.
The prisoner suddenly interrupted him and said,
"Sir, if I believed, what you say you believe, about what you are reading;
even if England were covered with broken glass from shore to shore
-- I would gladly walk over it on my hands and knees,
if I could rescue one soul from that hell about which you have read

We give a few dollars to foreign missions, and never cross the street to talk to an unsaved friend.
We never even make an effort to bring one unsaved person under the preaching of the Word of God.

Do you have any vision of the hopelessness of those who are without God and without salvation?
Do you have a vision of the sinfulness of men?

We may have plenty of vision of the sinfulness of other people, but not of our own sinfulness.
For instance, that other person has a terrible temper, but with me it is only righteous indignation.
He certainly is covetous, but I'm only expanding my business.
He is so stubborn, but I have real conviction.

How often do we cover up for ourselves, and put the blame upon others?
Do we have a vision of our own sinfulness?

Do we have a vision of holiness?
Do we reverence God, or do we try to manipulate the Holy Spirit?
How do we prepare our hearts for the Lord's day?
What about our passion for seeking God?

David had not inquired of the Lord for a long time; that was why he became so entangled in compromise.
He had forgotten to pray.
He had been absent from the place of prayer for months.

What about you?
Are you so busy with other things that you have no time for prayer?
Too often our church programs make no room for God's presence or for His power to work.
Churches have plenty of people ready to interfere, but very few are willing to intercede! Someone had said, "The person who sins will stop praying,
and the person who prays will stop sinning

The person who gossips about another will not pray for that person,
but the person who prays for that person will not gossip about him.
The person who criticizes another person will not pray for that person,
but the person who prays will not criticize that individual.

Victory in a morning worship service or in the Sunday evening service is won or lost
before the preacher ever enters the pulpit -- it is settled by your prayers and mine.
All of our programs need to be bathed in prayer!

Are our church programs so indispensable, our traditions so unbreakable,
the comforts of life so dear, success in business so important,
that they must be purchased with the price of prayerlessness and spiritual barrenness?

Where is the travail in our churches?
Do you think that the Holy Spirit delights in programs and plans, machinery and equipment,
if our pews are empty of newborn babies in Christ?

We must pray with the agony of a Hannah, whose lips moved, but whose voice was not heard.
These are "groanings that cannot be uttered."
This is the New Testament intercession of the Spirit through us.

We must pray Heaven down!

Amy Carmichael prayed,

"O for a passion for souls, dear Lord!
O for a pity that yearns!
O for a love that loves unto death!
O for a fire that burns!

O for the prayer power that travails,
That pours itself out for the lost;
Victorious prayer in the Conqueror's Name:
O for a Pentecost

The proverb is still true, that "where there is no vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18)
It is also true that where there is no passion, the church perishes.

How did David recover his spiritual and material losses?

He returned to God and was given a new breath of vision and a new flame of passion.
David recovered in a day what he had lost over a period of months and years.
When he turned back to the Lord, immediately his prayer was answered.

The Lord will answer us immediately, if we will meet His conditions.

How are you living today? How are you serving God?
Are you living in His will?
Are you moving only under His orders?

Which do you want -- a revival or a funeral in your church?

I pray that the answer is a revival.
Like David -- let us want to recover all.


Repent! Return!
Then the blessings and the guidance of God will be yours -- right now!

Revival will restore all the blessings of God!

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at