What is Revival?
I’ve had revival on my heart for the last several weeks as I know many of you have, too, but I had a moment today where I had to ask myself, “Just what is revival? What is it I’m looking for to happen?”
It’s not that I don’t know what revival is or even what I am asking the Lord for during this time, but…I don’t know…I just had a moment…, “Lord, remind me again.”
I have experienced church revival before, very powerfully—in a life changing way. And though I truly do know what the word means and have experienced it before, I still felt compelled to look it up…the exact definitions.
Here are some of the words and phrases used by dictionaries: restoration to life, an awakening, improving strength, something becoming active again, reawakening of fervor, renewed interest, and more.
Honestly, when I read the definitions, it gave the feeling of death…that something had died or the life had been drained out of it, and that which had died or been drained was being brought back to life or restored.
Then I had to ask the Lord, “Did something die in me? Do I need to be awakened, my strength improved, to become active again in some spiritual ways, reawakened in fervor…?” And truthfully, the short answer is “yes”.
When I did a little digging on scriptures about revival, what I found did indeed seem to be connected to the idea that someone or something was either physically or spiritually dead or they were completely devoid of strength…but mostly…because of sin. Take a look at a few:
“And it will be said: ‘Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.’ For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:14,15
“…revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” Psalm 80:18b-19
“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
When you look at these scriptures in context, sin was very much the issue.
Is it possible that we need a time of revival because—whether we are aware of it or not—our strength and fervor for the Lord has been dulled or even squashed because of a lack of repentance on our part? Is it possible that our sins—little, big, or secret—are actually the cause of our “blah” attitude and lack of growth?
Today, as we begin our time of revival services, let’s pray and ask God to reveal our sin to us. Let’s ask Him and allow Him to break our hearts over our sin. If we truly want to hear from God and see things change, we must have repentant hearts, and the blessing is, as Isaiah 57 said, God lives with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit.
FBC Aztec Member