Tarries isn’t a word which is much in use today. It means ‘to delay’, ‘to linger in expectation’, or ‘to wait’. To tarry is to intentionally wait for an expected event. It’s also a word used by Leonard Ravenhill in the title of his classic work, “Why Revival Tarries”, in which he directs concern about the absence or lack of revival. Revival is absent for many reasons but here we look at how pride hinders, blocks, and prevents much needed and longed for revival.
Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)— [and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favour, blessing) to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5 (AMPC)
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 1 John 2:16 (AMP)
In the much-quoted revival text 2 Chronicles 7:14 many people skip over or just ignore the words which deal with the area of our pride – “will humble themselves”. The word in the Old Testament we translate as pride means ‘to rise or to swell up’. It amply describes people thinking more of themselves and their abilities than they do of Almighty God. Such pride clearly speaks “I have no need of God. I can make my own way in life. I most definitely know what’s best. I’ll call the shots in my life.” We do well to remember that pride and the presence of God cannot co-exist.
“I know you inside and out and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless. Revelation 3:17 (MSG)
This stinging description of the Laodicean church’s mentality could equally apply to much of the pride in the 21st century western church. We’ve learnt to function, to exist without the Lord’s help – and so destroyed much of the power of His church. How much do we actually contrast with contemporary postmodern world? When the modern church compares itself with the 1st century church (Acts 2:42 – 47) the sad shape we’re in is so readily apparent. We have learned how to function in our own power, abandoning the Lord’s help – this has destroyed the power of the church!
“The Fear-of-God means hating Evil, whose ways I hate with a passion – pride and arrogance and crooked talk.” Proverbs 8:13 (MSG)
The word ‘pride’ appears over 300 times in the Bible and rarely in any sort of positive light. Is there any evidence of pride in our lives – a self-focus; an entitlement mentality; bragging; refusal to follow instructions or to be corrected – these are a few of the indicators of a pride problem. Thankfully God has a much better plan. God calls His people (the church) to “humble themselves” – to take the necessary steps to place themselves under His authority, to literally bend the knee to His authority in our lives. Selfishness must be replaced by selflessness. In Revelation chapters 2 and 3 Jesus spells out the steps each of the seven churches have to take to be revived. In the Old Testament Jonah entered Nineveh and preached a message of God’s impending judgement. The King of Nineveh proclaimed a fast and all the people humbled themselves under God’s mighty hand.
Many in Ireland long for revival but if the Bride of Christ is to be revived, then pride the enemy of revival, must be dealt with forever.
Lord, we admit, that like Nineveh and the seven churches in Asia Minor, we know deep down our need to humble ourselves before You. Almighty God, may Your Spirit make us realize that we were nothing when You found us, that we would be nothing without You and that apart from Your power in our lives we can accomplish nothing. Heavenly Father, help us repent of our pride and we plead that You do not let revival delay any longer.