In recent years there has been an emphasis in churches on how to give God our praise.
Praise is wonderful and scriptural, but God does not desire praise from impure hearts! God told the Israelites not to bring Him their sacrifices and burnt offerings, until they were ready to bring Him their broken and contrite hearts.
Ps. 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
God desires holy hearts—then praise. If God’s people have holy hearts, they won’t need instruction in how to praise the Lord–they won’t be able to restrain themselves from it! Our praise doesn’t come from classroom instruction, but from the abundant overflow of a holy heart. True praise doesn’t flow from repetition and practice, but from a pure and rejoicing heart. True praise springs forth when the Holy Spirit fills purified hearts. Without a pure heart, praise is an abomination to a Holy God. God still says to frivolous and disobedient churches today:
“Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs, for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:23‑24)
The only way to true revival is through heart purity
Regardless of the claim to spirituality and revival made by churches today, we find divorce, all manner of strife, contention, heartache, jealousy, envying, malice and guile. The fact is that no “new” method, program or expression or Pentecostal experience is going to bring a God‑sent revival. The only method that will produce genuine revival is the one Peter said the Gentiles experienced, that which the Jews first experienced, heart purity. (Acts 15:9) Prayer with brokenness and personal holiness will bring true God‑sent revival.
No organization, discipleship group, home cell group, “how to praise and worship” conference, restoration movement, healing service, tongues doctrine or any other gift expression is going to bring revival. If the lifestyle portrayed is floundering in carnality, no one will see the true Jesus, even though they claim Christ as their cornerstone. There is a difference between carnality and immaturity. Carnality is sin; immaturity is youth. Carnality requires repentance; immaturity requires growth.
There is certainly a dire need today for unity, restoration and true Pentecostal power. But, this must come out of the fertile soil of holiness. The call is first purity—then praise; first repentance—then restoration; first consecration—then charisma.
Whether Charismatic or non‑Charismatic discipleship groups, home cell groups, prayer groups, praise groups, Bible study groups or restoration conferences each has the same need: genuine heart purity. This requires humility, repentance, sacrifice, faith, servanthood, prayer and absolute obedience to Christ. When this happens, there will be revival—true revival.
But, beloved, the Bible tells us not to look for great multitudes in this true revival. The true will be holy, but comparatively few. If a pastor does not honestly desire true holiness, his church will eventually take on his character rather than Christ’s. Let us see the day when the pastoral prayer is “God make us a church whose cry is to be holy of heart, blameless and unreprovable in Your sight. God, send us true revival!