“Oh, revive us (me) …then Your people can rejoice in You again.” Psalm 85:6 (TLB)
Congratulations for the blessing of seeing this 10th month of the year 2021. God blessed us with a “New Wave of Glory” in August, and “The Speed of Favor” in September. Now, it is the stewardship month of October, where self-assessment is required by the LORD. With all the blessings received this year, are we drawing closer to the Blesser, are we panting after God, or are we much more in love with the gift than we are with the Giver?
Revival can be defined as a spiritual awakening evidenced by a brokenness of heart. In Psalm 85, upon returning from exile, the Jews saw before them all the devastation and runaway inflation. Rising prices and unexpected expenses sapped their spiritual buoyancy, weighing them down, hence their plea unto the LORD in Psalm 85:6 saying, “Will Thou not revive us again?” The signs of spiritual awakening in any life include, but are not limited to, a broken heart, a contrite spirit, repentance from sin, and disengagement from spiritual slumber. Revival is a move of the Spirit that stirs the spirits of men, driving their commitment to Kingdom advancement. That is the reason why we are talking of revival this month; to stir up our spirits.
Haggai 1:14 says, “So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God.” From this portion of Scripture, it is evident that revival time is work time, and not play time. Revival starts only with the people of God who are called by His name, gathered in His house, dependent on His Spirit, and armed with His Word. Think about it – revival is not for the sinner but for the saint, as sinners need regeneration and saints need revival! (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
- Why We Need Revival (excerpts from Pastor (Dr.) Akin-John’s leadership daily series)
Many of our churches have become Religious Centers (Revelation 2:3; Matthew 23:27-28). Too many denominations and churches that started so well in Christ have gradually deviated to religious systems, dogmas, beliefs, and values. Genuine Christian churches lapsed back into religious order (traditions of men) through:
- Abusive, dominant, despotic, and secular leaders.
- Grieving the Holy Spirit of God (Isaiah 63:10).
- Loss of heavenly vision and purpose.
- Gradual drifting away from God.
- Neglecting the whole counsel of God.
- Religious but unsaved associate leaders.
- Reinventing the church by human ideas.
- Whitewashing sin, evils, and ungodliness.
- Non-discipling of converts and people.
- Uplifting order, systems, and ceremonies above the word of God.
- Ordaining unsaved people as pastors.
- Leadership tussle for titles and positions.
- Quenching the fire and the Spirit of prayer and intercession.
- Gospel of prosperity, worldliness and secular motivations and pursuits.
Considering all “Christian” growth rate, Islam (1.9%) indeed is growing faster than Christianity (1.2%), but evangelical Christianity growth rate (2.6%) is faster than Islam (1.9%) and twice faster than Buddhism (1.3%) and Hinduism (1.2%). Source – Operation World 2010.
Though there has been tremendous growth of evangelical Christianity in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the last 30 years, there has also been a simultaneous remarkable decline of true Christianity in Europe and North America! Once vibrant, living, and vital churches are gradually losing life, losing their fire and imbibing the religious spirit.
- What are the Marks of Revival?
- Genuine Repentance: Today, the word repentance is no longer in the vocabulary of many. We rather use confession of faith to cover our confession of sin when we sin. Joel 2:12-13 says, “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil.” Repentance, repentance, repentance!
- Heart Pants after God: It is important that your heart pants after God and the interest of His Kingdom. Psalm 42:1 says, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.” Today, many people have left pursuing God to pursuing ministry. You can succeed in ministry and not make heaven. Be careful! If God could use an ass, then He can use any human being. Matthew7:21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’” May none of us end our journey in hell.
- All Resources Focused on Pleasure in the Things of the Kingdom: Nothing else matters to you but to use all your resources (physical, mental, financial, etc.) for God. Psalm 102:14 says, ” For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof.” Today, many ministers’ budgets and prayers are focused on how to get a car, build a house, make a name, be recognized in society, and to rank higher than others. The minister who sits in a corner as a prophet to take offerings from people, or to manipulate people to give yet his hands are empty come offering time, is not in revival. He says, “lift up your offering,” yet his hands are empty. Such a one will remain a beggar for things. In Haggai 1:14, the Spirit of the LORD stirred up the people and they went into the work of the LORD.
- Being Consumed with Undying Passion for the Salvation of Souls: We are saved to see the unsaved saved. Our primary assignment, as we will see fully later, is to love what God loves, and to do what He called us to do.
The essential primary call into ministry is to win souls, to rescue people from the kingdom of darkness and bring them into the kingdom of God. I cannot imagine closing any church service without making an altar call. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 makes it clear that God has called us to the ministry of reconciliation.
- Revival Time is Work Time: Revival is for those whose shoulders are prepared to bear the Ark of God, not finding alternate human routes around God-given assignments. 1 Chronicles 15:11-15 tells us why things failed for the Israelites at that juncture. The priests were to bear the Ark on their shoulders, but they felt they were too advanced to use such an archaic method. So, they made a cart to carry the ark. The end result was that God killed the inventor of that idea and the cart failed them. David became afraid and inquired of the LORD. He was told that the priests needed to sanctify themselves and then bear the Ark upon their shoulders. Listen to me, if the assignment you claim God has given to you does not tax you, it cannot make you. Revival is taxing; it will cost you something. Even in the Kingdom, nothing is free. The availability might be free but possession is not free. You must pay a price for it.
- Urgency in Prayer: “Revival tarries because we lack urgency in prayer.” A famed preacher entered a conference the other day with these words, ‘‘I have come to this conference with a great burden for prayer on my heart. Will those who will share this with me, please raise their hands; and let none of us be hypocrites?’’ There was a good response. But later in the week when a half night of prayer was called, the big preacher went to bed. What a hypocrite! Integrity has passed away! All is superficial! The biggest single factor contributing to delayed Holy Ghost revival is this omission of the travail of the soul.
- Not Stealing the Glory that Belongs to God: Finally, revival tarries because we steal the glory that belongs to God. Listen to this and wonder: Jesus said, ‘‘I receive not honor from men…How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?’’ (John 5:41,44). Away with all fleshly backslapping and platform flattery! Away with this exalting of ‘‘My radio program,’’ ‘‘My church,’’ ‘‘My books[…]”“Oh, the sickening parade of flesh in our pulpits: ‘‘We are greatly privileged, etc.’’ Speakers (who are there really by grace alone) accept all this, nay—even expect it! The fact is that when we have listened to most of these men, we would not have known they were great if they had not been announced so!”
Revival time is work time. Revival is for those who are selfless and not position-conscious; those who are willing to give all the glory to God, and are ready to tarry in the place of prayer (Philippians 2:5-9). It is for those who are ready to decrease for God to increase (John 3:30).
- How to Awake From Our Slumber For Jesus to Have His Church Back (Matthew 4:17)
- Genuine repentance and turning to Christ.
- Spiritual warfare and intercessory prayers.
- Preach the gospel of the Kingdom.
- Call people to the true worship of God.
- Welcome change and demand transformation.
- Emphasize the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
- Seek the LORD for the renewal and revival of the Church.
- Take a strong stand against sin and unrighteousness.
- Seek for input of the Body of Christ.
- “A baptism of holiness, a demonstration of godly living is the crying need of our day. —DUNCAN CAMPBELL
We must pray, desire and pant after God like the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:10 – “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;” Numerous blessings await anyone who knows Jesus, and spends time reading, studying and meditating on the word of God. The Apostle Paul prayed that he might know Jesus the more because he knows that doing so would bring a lot of blessings.
- In the 1800s Gypsy Smith, a great revivalist was asked how to have revival. He said, “Go home, lock yourself in your room, draw a circle around yourself with chalk, and ask God to start a great revival within that circle!
- The more we know Jesus Christ, the more we want to conform to His image in words, thoughts, actions and in grace to ensure suffering like He endured unto the death on the cross. 2 Timothy 2:12-13 says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us: If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.”
If we can imbibe these teachings of our LORD, “…[we] shall be strong, and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32.
- God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, thank You for Your amazing grace, Your mercy, and for daily and monthly loading us with Your benefits.
- We plead the Blood of Jesus for cleansing, restoration and sanctification of our souls and spirits, in Jesus’ Name (1 Corinthians 6:11)
- Father, make us sensitive to You and to the things of the Spirit. Give us such a desire to be cleansed from sin so that we will not hinder revival in our lives or in the lives of others, in Jesus’ Name.
- “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me… Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Psalms 51:10, 12) in Jesus’ name
- Get a piece of chalk. Go into a room all by yourself. Draw a circle. Get down on your knees. Father start a revival in this circle, in Jesus’ Name.
- “ So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed” (Acts 19:20) _ Let your Word grow, grow mightily and cause it to prevail in healing the sick, setting the captives free, bringing souls into the kingdom in Jesus’ name
- “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” (Psalm 42:1); Lord cause my heart to pant after you, your will, your kingdom, love for the brethren and work in the servive of the Master – help me Lord/3x, in Jesus’ name
- Father, help me to know You and the power of Christ’s resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death,” in Jesus’ Name (Phil. 3:10).
- I come against every demon, spirit, and power from the pit of hell resisting revival fire in my life and home, in Jesus’ Name. “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” (Zechariah 3:1)
- Father, more of You – “I want more of You, I want more of You Jesus; The more I know You the more I want to know You; Jesus more of You…”
- ” I am hungry for your Presence, Lord – come down O Lord! Holy Spirit, come as the fire and purge our hearts with sacrificial flame; let our whole souls an offering be to our Redeemer’s Name!