Earlier this morning I was talking to a group of Fire in the Night interns about revival, and my heart was stirred and encouraged as I was reminded of the Lord’s goodness and how He loves to move. So I decided to share some points from what we talked about to hopefully do the same for you!
- Revival fuels intercession – in more ways than one. First because when we believe that God wants to and will move in response to us crying out, it motivates us to actually cry out. Second because as we begin to see and experience revival, it causes us to cry out for more. It causes us to partner with Him and what He’s doing.
- Revival doesn’t always look like we expect it to. Revival really is such a broad term. In the church we tend to equate revival with nightly meetings at a packed out church or arena where people are getting saved, healed, delivered, etc. which is revival. However, that’s one aspect of revival, not the whole picture. By definition, revival is “an improvement in the condition or strength of something”. So while a large revival meeting can bring an improvement and strength to the church through increased faith, increased understanding of who God is, increased outpouring of salvation and signs and wonders, etc., all that stuff can happen apart from a large revival meeting. Which leads to my next point…
- Revival happens every day (or at least it can). If revival at its core is simply an improvement in the strength or condition of something, I can experience that every single day as I read the Word, talk to God, and grow in the knowledge of Him through those things. Psalm 119:107 tells us that the Word of God has the power to revive us. As I meditate on the Word and talk to God about it, about Him, I begin to experience revival in my heart. I begin to grow in the knowledge of Him, of His love, of my identity in Him, and the condition of my heart is improved and strengthened. That’s revival too.
- If I don’t recognize and embrace daily, personal revival, I can actually grow in offense and bitterness to God.That may seem a little overboard, but really it’s true. I can invest time and energy into praying for revival, but if my picture of revival is a massive outpouring that touches thousands of people and it doesn’t happen for months, years, even decades, I can begin to agree with the accusations of the enemy that God isn’t good, that He doesn’t hear my prayers, that He’s not really alive and moving today… the list goes on and on. It doesn’t take very long for those small accusations to completely reshape our view of God and ultimately our entire lives if we begin to agree with them. We must recognize that God is continually moving, and that it doesn’t always look like nightly revival meetings. In fact, it usually doesn’t! So if that’s all we’re looking for, we’re probably gonna end up really disappointed and confused. Does that mean we shouldn’t pray for a great outpouring? Absolutely not! But we must recognize revival in all its forms, not just the large outpourings.
- Revival (on a large scale) is hard work. Revival meetings need leadership – worship teams, ministry teams, etc. Extended periods of revival meetings can quickly become exhausting. Sure it’s exciting and boosts our faith and draws us closer to God and energizes us in the moment,but the human body can only take so much before it needs a break. Not only that, but what happens when thousands of people get saved during said revival and need to be taught and discipled in the ways of the kingdom? Revival is a long-term investment that requires long-term hard work. Sometimes I wonder if the Lord is waiting until the church is a little more prepared before pouring out His spirit in a big way again. And if that’s the case, what are we, what am I doing right now in the meantime to prepare for revival?
So in case you’re wondering, I really do want to see a massive outpouring of the Spirit that results in salvation, healing, deliverance, etc. But more than that, I want to know that I’m stewarding revival well every day. Am I recognizing, embracing, and thanking God for how he brings revival to my heart in the day-to-day? Am I growing in the knowledge of Him, allowing Him to mature and perfect me in love, and learning the practicals of ministry and discipleship so that I’m prepared for the influx of new believers that revival will bring? What about you?