Revival Begins with You
By: Greg Laurie, crosswalk.com
Then we will not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name. (Psalm 80:18 NKJV)
Charles Finney, who was known to be a part of a great revival, said, “The experience of revival is nothing more than a new beginning of obedience to God.”
Any genuine revival that has ever happened in human history has brought about repentance in the lives of the people, a change in the community, and evangelism en masse.
We need a real revival today—not just an emotional experience and not just a tingle down the backbone. We need to see God work, because our nation needs it as never before. We don’t need some new thing. We don’t even need a “fresh word from the Lord.” Rather, we need to get back to the old things, to the very standards that God gave us, and we need to practice those.
I like what Jeremiah said: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls’” (Jeremiah 6:16 NKJV).
The early church, the one that Jesus started, turned their world upside down. They set the world on fire. But the church of today is much larger than the early church and has considerable resources, with incredible technology to utilize. Yet it seems as though the world is turning us upside down. Why aren’t we setting our world on fire? Because we need a revival. We need an awakening.
We talk about the need for revival in our country and about the need for change in the church. But we must each ask ourselves these questions: Am I personally revived? Am I living as a committed, on-fire follower of Jesus Christ?
If you are not, then you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
When I think about a spiritual revival, my mind goes back to the days when it meant a traveling evangelist came to town, set up a large tent, covered the ground in sawdust, and posted flyers on telephone poles. For the most part, that has become an event relegated to a bygone era, uncommon in this day and time.
Revivals moved into church buildings and for a couple of weeks, people received a fresh gospel message and an opportunity to renew their faith and their excitement for God. Eventually, two weeks became one until now most church “Revivals” run from Sunday through Wednesday. In some Churches, revivals have become a short burst of life in an otherwise predictable series of routine services.
Young people are hungry for spiritual awakening, the reality of the gospel, but when they don’t find it they lose interest altogether. Some say revivals have died due to a lack of interest. I hope that is not true, for revival is what we need more than anything. We need to recapture our first love, turn back to the God of power and might, the God of love who changes lives and heals broken hearts.
But one question remains. Are we revivable? Are we? If so, then how does it happen? What should we do? First, we must understand that revival begins with us, as individuals. The greatest revivals began with one concerned person who went to their knees and prayed for God to bring revival as a sovereign act.
We have God’s promise in the Bible that says, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me.” (Psalms 138:7 KJV)
From this and other scriptures, we know that the heart of God is to draw us close to Him and to have pure Holy fellowship together. No matter what we have done, or how far we have strayed from Him, His loving arms are outstretched to His children. When our relationship is right, there is so much peace that floods our soul that we must ask ourselves, why? Why do we stray and allow ourselves to become cold and distant from God?
A cold, indifferent world of sin will drag us away if we let it, but is it ever worth it? No. A relationship with our Loving Father is priceless and should be our first priority. Yet we take Him for granted because He is always there.
It’s time we turn back to God, repent, and ask for revival, for our families, our Nation, and ourselves. Yet the question remains, are we revivable? The same question is asked in the Bible as the Psalmist wrote,
“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalms 85:6 KJV)
Yes, we are revivable! God will breathe new life into us when we ask. It’s His will to forgive us, bless us, and welcome us back to our first love. He is so wonderful and His grace is unfathomable. He will not only bring us back to where we were, but He will take us to new places in Him.
If we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord He will lift us up.
“For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”” (Isaiah 57:15 NKJV)
Pray for revival. History shows that God has sent revival to countries in times of national crisis, war and economic stress. His word describes how He will look throughout the earth for those whose heart is toward Him. And to those loyal to Him, He will prove Himself strong on their behalf, and will actually fight their battles.
The Bible is replete with examples and proof that He wants to bless His people because He cares about each one. So, since we are revivable, pray for revival as if it all depends on you. It very well may.
By: A. W. Tozer
Our mistake is that we want God to send revival on our terms. We want to get the power of God into our hands, to call it to us that it may work for us in promoting and furthering our kind of Christianity. We want still to be in charge, guiding the chariot through the religious sky in the direction we want it to go, shouting “Glory to God,” it is true, but modestly accepting a share of the glory for ourselves in a nice inoffensive sort of way. We are calling on God to send fire on our altars, completely ignoring the fact that they are our altars and not God’s. And like the prophets of Baal we are working ourselves into a frenzy as if we could by violence command the arm of the Almighty.
The whole error results from a confused notion of revival and a failure to recognize the moral laws that underlie the kingdom of God. God never moves whimsically; His ways are never impulsive or erratic. He never sends judgment unless there has been a violation of His laws, nor does He send blessing apart from obedience to those laws. So precise are His movements both in justice and in mercy that an intelligent observer, aware of the circumstances, could predict with complete accuracy any visitation of judgment or grace God might send to a nation, a church or an individual.
Of this we may be certain: We cannot continue to ignore God’s will as expressed in the Scriptures and expect to secure the aid of God’s Spirit. God has given us a complete blueprint for the Church and He requires that we adhere to it 100 percent. Message, morals and methods are there, and we are under strict obligation to be faithful to all three. Today we have the strange phenomenon of a company of Christians solemnly protesting to heaven and earth the purity of their Bible creed, and at the same time following the unregenerate world in their methods and managing only with difficulty to keep their moral standards from sinking out of sight. Coldness, worldliness, pride, boasting, lying, misrepresenting, love of money, exhibitionism — all these things are practiced by professedly orthodox Christians, not in secret but in plain sight and often as a necessary part of the whole religious show.