If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, you’re a follower of The Prime Example of Revival – the great creeds drawn from the Bible tell us how he was alive, he died, and he lived again by the power of God’s Spirit. If you’re not yet a follower of Jesus Christ then you’ll struggle to understand why Christians get excited about revival until you ‘get’ what Jesus meant when he said:
‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ - John 11:25-26
When a person becomes a follower of Christ, he describes it as being ‘born again’ – this is not revival, it is new birth, or an ‘awakening’ to God. This is why Christian Revival refers to when the church is sluggish, seems to have lost its way and needs to be revived. Consider the branch that seems dead and then new growth comes with flowers in a fresh season . Then again, picture in your mind a dry desert before an outpouring of refreshing heavy rain leading on to the desert bursting into bloom. When the Church has an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, life comes in a similar way and spills out into the wider community.
‘The desert and the parched land will be glad, the wilderness will rejoice and blossom’ – Isaiah 35:1
‘Glorious periods of revival and of re-awakening have often followed periods of great drought, great deadness, apathy and lifelessness in the history of the Church’ - Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones
‘When is a revival needed? When carelessness and unconcern keep the people asleep’ – Billy Sunday
Lloyd Jones’ analysis was that without the awakening associated with Whitefield and Wesley in 1750’s Britain, the social and moral unrest was such that riots and revolution would have broken out as happened in France. ‘The Church was so filled with life and with power that the whole of society was affected.’ Crime rates, social behaviour, mutual respect and times of well-being have often occurred following times of revival in history. Yet at Pentecost, when the early Church was first filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, there were times of persecution. These were also times of great boldness, wonders and many coming to a living faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, the Anointed Saviour, Son of God.
Ezekiel was the prophet who saw a valley of dry bones and was called to prophesy to them that they would live! Those rattling bones! A miracle happened before Ezekiel’s eyes as God gave them flesh and then breathed life upon them.
Do you need a personal revival?
‘In an instant I felt I loved God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, and I felt a love to all mankind and a desire that all might be saved’ – John Fletcher 1799
‘Revivals begin as God’s response to the heart-cries of His people, not only praying for the lost, but facing their own need of spiritual revival’ – Colin Whittaker
‘Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation’ – Psalm 85 6-7
‘The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail’ – Isaiah 58:11
Before we can pray or hope for a widespread revival, our own hearts must be quickened or ‘strangely warmed’ as John Wesley famously said. If you long for revival, ask God that it may start with you.
‘The story of Christian reformation, revival, and renaissance underscores that the darkest hour is often just before the dawn, so we should always be people of hope and prayer, not gloom and defeatism. God the Holy Spirit can turn the situation around in five minutes’ – Os Guinness
‘I discovered that no revival comes if we don't preach the Word of God under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. If we only have the Great Commission and only the Holy Spirit, we have power without purpose, or purpose without power. It is a package deal, and that is what God honours’ – Reinhard Bonnke
‘The times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord have at last dawned upon our land. A spirit of prayer is visiting our churches. The first breath of the might rushing wind is already discerned, while on rising evangelists the tongues of fire have evidently descended’ – C H Spurgeon 1860
‘Stir your heart towards a great desire for revival in your own life and in the church as a whole, so that we might confidently believe that we shall see a great awakening not only in this land but throughout the whole world’ – Colin Urquhart
‘Those wo seek God for revival must be prepared for God to work in his own way and not according to their programmes’ – Duncan Campbell
‘Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!’ – Isaiah 64:1
God is the one who alone can revive but he wants us to be part of his revival in our personal lives, in prayer, in faith, in life, in hope and in purity. So help us Almighty God – breathe your living breath of life upon us.
TAGS - revival, revived, new life, hope, new start