The first evidence of revival is a great desire to hear and obey the Word of the Lord.
“And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. . . . And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people . . . and when he opened it, all the people stood up” (Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5).
The cry of their hearts was, “Bring us the true Word of the Lord!” Ezra stood on a raised, wooden pulpit and read God’s Word for six hours while the multitude stood at attention, learning that the cause of their suffering was their own stubbornness and rebellion. The surest evidence of revival in a soul or a church or a city is a hunger for God’s Word.
Backslidden Christians don’t want to hear the Word—it bores them! What they want is excitement. Backslidden preachers don’t preach much of God’s Word; instead, they give short sermonettes. They don’t preach the Law because that produces conviction and shakes up the church! It makes compromisers squirm!If you are part of a church that is caught up in the ways of the world, then you are part of a worldly, carnal church...and it is keeping you worldly & carnal. Instead of the focus being on the truths of God, the church is busy with various "ministries" designed to entertain the soulish man. When Halloween comes around, they have a "Christian" Halloween celebration (even though there is no such thing). During football season, they have a Superbowl party. Such churches are proven in the ways of the world, but do not possess the light of Christ within needed to save the masses. It is truly the blind leading the blind. Only the Gospel is the power to save, not entertainment.
Where the Holy Spirit is at work, the people in the pew are clamoring for the Word. I get hundreds of letters from famished saints crying, “We are so hungry. We don’t hear the true Word. We get the dead letter with no anointing!” Where God is at work there are Bibles everywhere. There’s an excitement about preaching and teaching with a true reverence for the Word.
How sad it is that in many Charismatic churches, preaching is merely endured. They just want music, entertainment, and special singers on center stage! When the Holy Ghost comes, the Word will be hailed. The cry of the people will be, “Lord, I want it all: the good, the bad, the commandments, the promises, the whole counsel of God!”
You can tell me all about the homeless people you feed, the poor you support, the young men and women you lead, the people who respond to your altar calls, the favor God has shown your business dealings, the numbers who claim how your word/ministry has touched them and how God is working through you, etc. It is all dead works if the whole counsel of truth is not your foundation. If you are picking and choosing which words from God you will receive and preach, then you are a worker of iniquity even in light of your "wonderful works" (Matthew 7:21-23).
No matter how big, flashy, or "loving" a church seems. If they are not preaching the whole counsel of God, then it is Babylon. The fruit of any Godly ministry is going to set your affections on things above, and not the things of this world.
Pray for God to give you a broken spirit and to rid from you the desire to please the flesh so that you can be set free from false religion. Even those who may not be part of a church organization can still be some of the most religious people you will ever meet. Religion puts the real you behind a mask as you perform to try and prove you are what you claim.
When you are ready to stop pretending that everything is okay and be sincere before the Lord - even in your shortcomings - He will meet you there. There you will find your rest in Him and experience His life-changing power as He molds you from within, lifts every burden, and makes you a true witness for Him to lead others to Christ. Do not wait, for time is short.