In the beginning, creation was in complete harmony. God’s plan for Adam and Eve was to live in perfect oneness with Him and each other. But when sin entered the world, that harmony was shattered. “And now, because [Adam and Eve] had lost their peace and fellowship with God, they lost it with each other. No longer did they live for God; they each lived for themselves and were each their own god now.”
“We too, descendants of those first sinners, are involved in all this. We are born with the same God-defiant nature that Adam and Eve acquired the day they first sinned. We all start life as “I” specialists, as someone has quaintly put it, and our actions are governed by self-interest” (Roy Hession – We Would See Jesus).
Have you ever noticed that the middle letter for sin and pride is the letter “I”? Anytime we are focused solely on ourselves, we harm our fellowship with God and others. This has a direct impact on the ones closest to us, our families. You’ve probably heard it said that we tend to hurt the ones we love the most. We usually let our guard down at home, and our fleshly nature is seen easier than when we are out in public.
Roy continues by saying, “We desperately need revival in the church, in the country and in the world; but a revived church with un-revived homes would be sheer hypocrisy. It is the hardest place, and the costliest, but it is the most necessary place to begin.”
Revival “is not our own life, but God’s life. It is the life of Jesus filling us and flowing through us. That life is manifested in fellowship and oneness with those with whom we live.” Roy notes the biggest problem in our homes is the lack of transparency and the failure to agape love. This is so good, and true! When we walk in the flesh, we hide from the truth of our sin and blame others. Can’t you see how easily this plays out in our homes? Instead of being open and honest about our sin and asking forgiveness from each other, we build walls and hide from the truth by blaming everyone else. If not dealt with, this becomes a pattern of sin and breeds bitterness and hurt within our families.
This also leads to a lack of agape love. “These things happen every day and we think nothing of them. They are all the opposite of love, and the opposite of love is hate. Impatience is hate; envy is hate; conceit and self-will are hate; and so are selfishness, irritability and resentment! All hate is SIN.” When we realize this, we need to humble ourselves before God in brokenness.
“The first step I must take is to call sin, sin (my sin, not the other person’s), go with it to the cross and trust the Lord Jesus there and then to cleanse me from it. As we bow the neck at the cross, His self-forgetful love for others, His long-suffering and HIs forbearance flow into our hearts. The precious blood cleanses us from the unloved and ill will, and the Holy Spirit fills us with the very nature of Jesus…This blessed process can happen every single time the beginnings of sin and un-love creep in, for the cleansing fountain of blood is available to us all the time.”
If we are to see revival in our homes, it must begin with us.
“We must yield our own convenience and rights all the time. Only so will the love of the Lord Jesus be able to fill us and express itself through us. When we have been broken at Calvary, we must be willing to put things right with others – sometimes even with our children. This is, so often, the test of our brokenness. Brokenness is the opposite of hardness. Hardness says, ‘it’s your fault!’ Brokenness, however, says, ‘it’s my fault.’ What a different atmosphere will begin to prevail in our homes when they hear us say that!”
Maybe you are like me and feel some regret after reading this chapter. None of us are perfect family members. Whether you have a family of your own or not, you are part of a family somewhere. I want to encourage you today to not feel regret, but hope! If the Lord is dealing with your heart about things you did that you should have done differently in your family, confess it to the Father and receive His cleansing! Humble yourself before Him and your family in making things right. God’s conviction never comes with guilt or condemnation, but always with hope! We’ve got to start by admitting these things to ourselves and to God, and then to our families. The past is gone, but today is a new day filled with redemption!
Chapter 6: Homework
Day 1: The First Family
- Read Genesis 1 verse 26 through Genesis 2. List everything you learn about the creation of man.
- From Genesis 1:26-27, what do you learn about how God made man?
- What do you learn about the importance of relationships in Genesis 2:18 and Ecclesiastes 4:9-10?
- Now read Genesis 4:1-11. How do verses 5-7 suggest that Cain had an issue between himself and God?
- How did Cain’s broken relationship with God affect his relationship with his brother Abel?
- Read Ephesians 4:1-3. How do we preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace? How can this apply to your family life?
Day 2: Light & Darkness
- Read Psalm 139:1-18. List everything you learn about Light and darkness. Is there anywhere we can hide from the Lord?
- What does Daniel 2:22 tell you about God?
- How does Isaiah 29:15 relate to Psalm 139 and Daniel 2:22?
- What is the tendency of our flesh when we sin, based on Genesis 3:8?
- Read John 3:19-21. What does the Light expose?
- Now read Ephesians 5:6-16 and list everything it says about Light and darkness.
Day 3: Will it Matter in Eternity?
- One question my mom taught me to ask in light of any argument or disagreement is, “will it matter in eternity?” We are so quick to defend ourselves and stand up for our rights that we get caught up in trivial battles that are not eternal.
- Read Ephesians 5:22-33 and record in your journal everything in these verses that demonstrate dying to self and agape love.
- How does Ephesians 6:1-4 (children and fathers) show this same attitude of dying to self and putting others first? The message of grace is so amazing to me because it applies to every relationship! Only in Christ can we have revival in our homes.
- Read 1 Peter 3:1-7. How do these verses encourage someone with an unbelieving spouse? How does this show submissiveness to Christ?
- Read 1 Peter 3:8-12. Again, list every thing in these verses that demonstrate dying to self and agape love.
- Take some time with the Lord. Has He convicted your heart in anything we’ve studied today? Be encouraged! In your weakness, He is strong.
Day 4: The Only Way Out
- After studying the Scriptures from yesterday, we could easily get discouraged by our failures. I am reminded of a quote by Alan Redpath, “It is encouraging to know that there is no demand made upon my life which is not a demand upon the life of Christ within me.”
- The key is surrender! We tend to focus so much on the “action” of obedience, that we miss the part of “surrendering by faith” which results in righteousness. What does Philippians 3:7 say about righteousness?
- The only way out of our fleshly pit is through Jesus Christ! Read 2 Peter 1:2-4. What has been given us in Christ?
- Read Ephesians 1-2 and list everything God has done for us!
- Read Ephesians 3:14-21. Where does God’s power work according to verse 20? How do these verses encourage you that living the Christian life is not based on your own power, but on Christ?
Day 5: Regret & Repentance
- Read 2 Corinthians 7:10. What do you learn about repentance?
- When we experience regret for the part we’ve played in broken relationships and sin, God doesn’t want us to stay there. He wants us to move from regret to repentance! We can’t change the past, but we can agree with God and move forward in repentance and brokenness. Just as true repentance led to our salvation in Christ, repentance in our daily lives leads to our sanctification. If we get stuck in regret, we will not experience the abundant life God has for us in Christ.
- Read 1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:1-2, 34. What promises do you see in these verses?
- Based on Matthew 5:23-24, how important is it to apologize to others when we’ve done wrong or offended them?
- Read Philippians 3:13-15. What do you learn about the mature?
- Read Isaiah 43:18-19 and record it in your journal. Now read Hebrews 10:22-23. What confidence do we have in coming to Christ? I hope this encourages your heart that God is the God of the RE! Write out a prayer to God asking Him to help you trust Him to do a new work of revival in your life.
Please note that unless stated otherwise, all italicized quotes that are not directly cited from an author or Scripture are direct quotes from the book, The Calvary Road, by Roy Hession.