Saturday, February 26, 2011
While most Christians realize that genuine revival is not simply something you pencil into a calendar, we still hope and pray that revival will fall from heaven. But if revival is not merely a calendar event, then what is real revival?
King David of Israel was one of the first to use the term. In Psalm 85 the king begs the Kings of kings to bring salvation to the people. Listen to his question: “Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in Thee? Show us thy mercy, oh Lord, and grant us thy salvation.”
The word revive means “to restore to life or consciousness,” and in our revival services we are asking the Lord to bring us back to life spiritually. There are critics of revival that say, “They never had revival services in the Bible.” While that is true, in 21st Century America we have made ourselves so busy that we need to be shaken up spiritually to keep from getting lukewarm, and a good way to do that is by setting aside time for nightly meetings.
As a pastor in student ministry for more than six years now, I know full well how summer camp brings revival and bonding to a group. In a similar way revival services can bring a closeness to the entire church family as we are moved spiritually.
Another element to keep in mind is the pastor. During revival services he gets a break from his routine, and instead of feeding the flock himself, he gets fed along with the flock. This can bring a spiritual restoring of life to a man that is giving his all to his congregation that may give him fresh Holy Ghost power to preach for months to come.
So we are not being arrogant and assuming that God will send revival simply because we scheduled one, but the remnant of God, like David, is asking God to revive His people, and to bring salvation to the lost.
But we cannot make the mistake of thinking that we have done our part just because we booked a speaker and sat on a pew. The most important things we can do are pray and repent if necessary. The best formula for revival is found in II Chronicles 7:14, where God says, “If my people who are called by my Name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
If we will do those things then God can truly heal our desperate land. And when He does, look what David said would happen: “Surely His salvation is near them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before Him; and shall set us in the way of His steps (Psalm 85:9-13).”
Will you join with David in begging God to “revive us again…and grant us thy salvation”?