What is a revival?
Revival is not just an extra set of services. Yet, there is a serious need for personal revival for those who consider themselves Christian. Revival is not a once and for all effort. It’s not a once and we’re done campaign (tweet this). A lady once asked the famous evangelist Billy Sunday: “Why do you keep having revivals when it doesn’t last?” He replied, “Why do you keep taking baths?”
Scriptural revival is a process orbiting around the mainstays of prayer and repentance. Prayer is necessary for any great move of God. It precedes God’s outpouring of revival and should be a continuous force in the Christ-life. Habakkuk’s prayer (3:1-2) was for God to do it again. God had done it before, but Habakkuk wanted God to do it again. His heart is mirrored in the psalmist’s petition: “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” (85:6).
Salvation is more than saying a sinner’s prayer, for God has called you to right living. Therefore, I must declare repentance is necessary to the life of holiness. The Bible plainly admonishes: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). You should be more concerned about the separation of the church and willful sin than we are about the separation of church and state. Until this is conquered, revival will not come! God wants you reminded. Scriptural holiness means living a sanctified life. It is “possible for the sanctified believer to live a life of daily victory over willful sin” (teaching of John Wesley). Jesus preached: “unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5).
Absolutely “nothing is so much needed at the present time throughout all these lands as a general and powerful revival of scriptural holiness” (The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition, Vinson Synan)! Genuine revival comes from God, although there are certain conditions you must meet. You should be raising your sails to catch the wind of His Spirit. Our churches need revival, so what can you do about it? How do you prepare for it?
Think about some sails you need to raise to receive the revival the Holy Spirit wants to blow upon us. In addition to prayer and repentance, you must raise the sails of God’s Word and His Work. And let us not forget the sail of assembling ourselves together with other believers for worship.
First Samuel chapter seven records how Samuel urged the people of Israel in what they needed to do, to return to the Lord. His message was one of repentance and prayer. They received the message and began to serve the Lord only. Samuel called a prayer service in Mizpah. There, he drew water and poured it out before the Lord. Israel’s most significant activity of that meeting was the confession, “We have sinned against the Lord.” God accepted their repentance and forgave them. Yet the enemy was attacking even during a move of God. But God intervened and helped His people drive the enemy back. God gave them victory, peace, and they recovered all the enemy had taken from them. Samuel set up a stone of remembrance and called it “Ebenezer” – “Hitherto, hath the Lord helped us.” In other words, this marks the place where God helped us. At the altar and in His presence is where we have benchmark experiences that change us forever (tweet this).
God wants to blow the power of Pentecost upon His people, but you must seek to be sanctified. We must return to the scriptural holiness of heart, and our raising of these sails are signs to God that we are ready for the wind of His Spirit.
Are you ready for revival?