I believe the world is ripe for spiritual revival. Songs are being sung about it, conferences are being named after it, people are praying for it and church services are seeking it. But, what is ‘revival’?
I loved reading about and studying historical revivals as a teenager. It intrigued me reading books, absorbing the stories, and watching videotapes about it. To me, it was so fascinating to read about and watch footage of God moving in people's lives in such a dramatic and transforming way. Many different revivals have broken out over the years and many different leaders have been involved. Revivals aren’t defined by a system, a certain leader, or a location. There seem to me to be two very simple things that happen in the midst of a revival that stands out above all for me. These two things are so simple and pure but I think that’s what makes them so powerful. This is what I’ve learned about revival:
REVIVAL IS ABOUT FALLING IN LOVE WITH JESUS
There have been many styles, eras, leaders, and experiences of revival but it always leads to the same thing - People falling in love with Jesus. There is something so pure and majestic about people encountering God afresh or for the first time. Experiencing the fullness of God's love and presence in a way that transforms people so greatly they give up their time, resources, gifts, and abilities, focus and attention and allow the things of this world to shrink as they focus their life completely on Jesus and his good purpose. Revivals have shaken cities, nations, leaders, and people the world over but they always leave people the same way, more in love with Jesus.
REVIVAL IS ABOUT HELPING OTHERS FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS
I love that in revival people who experience God's incredible love for them can’t help but tell others about it so they can experience it too. Every great revival has spilled out to others from the abundance of what God was doing amongst people so full of God's love they couldn’t help but tell all the people they could about it. Revival spreads like wildfire, touching the dry places of people’s lives and sweeping through communities with a momentum that can’t be attributed to man but must only be attributed to the Holy Spirit touching hearts and changing lives. People carry a fire for God that burns so brightly it draws others to it.
In revival, God's church runs towards the lost with desperation to bring them to the love of God. The lost are receptive to the love and light of Christ and the transforming power of God brings salvation, filling lives with contagious joy and peace. The message of Jesus spreads faster than the methods or structures of the church and the people carry a wildfire, raw, and passionate spirit that’s like a matchstick alight, igniting hearts wherever they go. God's Love and light shine so brightly people come running to it.
WHAT IF WE STEPPED INTO REVIVAL?
We step into revival when we fall in love with Jesus afresh and when our love for God begins to overflow in telling whoever we can about God's love for them. Revival is never forced, coerced, or pressured upon a person. But instead, you willingly and gently lean into His love and let him lead and transform you. As we fall in love with Jesus again and help others to do the same we are on the edge of revival. And just perhaps, as we take the next personal step in this direction, we might just fall into the refreshing river of revival together in our generation.
“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” - Psalm 85:6