“While lifting up their hands . . . they bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. . . . They read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading. Then Nehemiah . . . and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law” (Nehemiah 8:6-9, NAS).
Their first reaction to the Word was excitement and joy! They cried, “Amen, Amen, while lifting up their hands.” David said, “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord” (Psalm 134:2). But the Word soon brought them down on their faces. It is true repentance when we are brought to the ground by God’s Word. “They bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. . . . All the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law.” They trembled at God’s Word, then took it to heart and repented!
When a Holy Ghost revival comes, Christians don’t hold grudges; they don’t gossip or backbite or find fault. They are not trying to straighten out the church or the pastors. They don’t sit around like couch potatoes in front of the TV! No! They are on their faces before God, weeping, because the Word has smitten their hearts. They are not judging others or looking at others. They are being convicted by the Word for not measuring up!
In Romans 12:9-21 the apostle Paul describes the marks of truly repentant people. Paul begins by saying, “Let love be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; [hold fast] to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” (verses 9-12).