Revival: The Wonderful Gift of God's Grace

Revival: The Wonderful Gift of God’s Grace


Psalm 80:19

Revive us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”


“What, then, is the essential to Recovery and Revival? Surely a whole-hearted desire to be right with God, to stand before Him in an adjusted relationship[1]”.


Defining Revival

Revival is an all too often misunderstood subject. To understand what Revival IS, we need to briefly consider what it IS NOT.


A. Revival is not an evangelistic campaign

When many people think of Revival, they may think of a Billy Graham crusade or a month long prayer campaign. Revival most certainly produces preaching tours and powerful prayer meetings but those events are not its main characteristics. Revival is something much bigger. Prayer and preaching are the effects of a work of God, not the cause.


B. Revival is not a series of special Church meetings

What is frequently promoted as a Revival may be a sincere effort, but Revival is not something you can pencil in. Revival is not something a denomination can force through passing out flyers or building up anticipation. Revival is a sweet gift of God. He must unleash it. If He chooses not to, it will never happen.


So, what is a Revival then?

I would define Revival as a spiritual reawakening within the Church, through God’s grace, which expands to the outside world, saving many and reforming society along Biblical lines, for the glory of God. God’s glory is central to a Revival. A Revival which focuses on anything but a desire to see God rightly praised is NOT a Revival. Why do you think the Psalmist so heartily prayed, “Will you not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in you” (Psalm 85:6)? He was desperate to see His God worshiped! The Psalmist knew a true Revival is all about God.


In Revival, God gets His glory and we are healed in the process. God is rightly worshiped and souls are saved as a result. Our God is highly adored and society is changed in the aftermath. “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:4).


Expounding 2 Chronicles 7:14


“If my people”

The word “if[2]” in the Hebrew language is a beautiful word. It’s easy to gloss over such a basic word, but if we do, we’re robbing ourselves. “If” in the Hebrew is actually better translated as “when”. 2 Chronicles 7:14 starts off with an amazing Biblical promise: When the Church prays for Revival, Revival will come. God has promised to bring it about. How? He stirs the desire within us. He causes us to seek His face. He causes us to cry out for mercy. He causes His glory to be known in all the earth. We can rest in the promise of “when”. Revival IS on the way. It is coming. Will we be ready for it?


THE RAINS ARE COMING!!! Can't you smell the clouds? Lift your eyes from the badlands A dousing is falling now

Revival cascades Reformation squalls roar Sousing torrid canyons Leagues away from flood-doors

Drink! Feel it touch your tongue The savor of rescue The taste of life begun[3]


“If my people who are called by my name”

As I mentioned earlier, Revival is a spiritual reawakening within the Church, through the grace of God. The Church is made up of God’s own people. They are His special possessions. God, in His common goodness, provides life and some measure of blessing for all people, but His special saving grace is given only to His people. The Church are those who are saved by God’s name to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).


At times, the Church unfortunately relapses into a state of dormancy where it is hardly moved by the things of God. There is little genuine concern for the fallen world we live in. Reconstruction attempts cease. Reformation becomes mere myth or legend. Religion increasingly becomes a matter of cold logic, social acceptance, political correctness, and ritual, while it ought to be an issue of the heart. Hence the need for a reawakening.

Revival[4] implies renewed life. You can only renew or revive that which already possessed life. You cannot revive an inanimate object like a statue. It was never alive to begin with. Spiritual Revival is a resuscitation of God's people who have fallen into a state of ineffectiveness. It is the reanimating of a people who once thrived but have of late abandoned the narrow path to seek satisfaction and joy in faulty sources (Isaiah 55:1-2). So God, according to His perfect timing, graciously intervenes. He revitalizes His people so they will once again properly praise His name and work at impacting the world for His glory. The Church moves because it has been moved by His Spirit. “Judgement begins in the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17), so thus Revival must start with us before it spreads to the marketplace. We must be impacted before we can affect others.


Revival, as God unleashes it, shakes the Church from its senseless slumber and bursts open the catacombs doors of Sunday morning. The Church, drenched with the Holy Spirit, catches fire. The Church feels again. The Church cannot help but look to the multitudes of dying individuals in the ghettos and suburbs. The Church cares for the addict. The Church longs to see the nations rebuilt for the honor and glory of God.


“If my people…will humble themselves”

There is no Revival without a deep awareness of sin in the hearts of the Church. God is holy, we are not. God is perfect, we are dust. God is everything, we are nothing. He is ever faithful, but we have fallen miserably short of His glorious standards for our lives (Romans 3:23).


When Revival comes, sin is seen as the obstruction it is. Sin is seen as lawlessness. Sin is rightly assessed, but so is grace! God is righteous, but He is pleased to take back His weary children. He is pleased to welcome us back and to fill us with renewed joy, increased satisfaction, and renovated rejoicing. He does not leave His Church in relapse! He has promised to heal our backsliding (Hosea 14:4). He humbles us that we might run helplessly back into His reconciling arms.


Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you

(James 4:8-10).

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite[5] and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).


“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

.

Duncan Campbell, leader of the 1949 Hebrides (Scotland) Revival, wrote, “The great Revivals have taken place among...those who preach salvation through the miracle of the new birth and who emphasize God’s omnipotence and humanity’s powerlessness[6]”.


Revival is a Step One sort of affair: “We admit we are powerless over our compulsions-that our lives have become unmanageable”. ”If my people…pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways”

In Revival, God incites His people to fall before Him, embrace their powerlessness, turn from their worthlessness, forsake their arrogance, and find rest in His everlasting love. There is an immense hunger for preaching and prayer. The Word of God is mightily delivered and received with brokenness and confession of wrongs.


The preacher man cries out, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). The Church calls out, “O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy (Habakkuk 3:2). The multitudes plead, “Revive us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!” (Psalm 80:19).


Along with a hunger for preaching, there is deep enjoyment in praise and worship. Revival always produces new songs of praise to magnify our precious Savior. He is a singing Savior (Zephaniah 3:17) and delights to be delighted in with voices and instruments. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). One author during the Welsh Revivals commented, “Revival is bourn along upon billowing waves of sacred song[7]”.

The Church can’t help but glorify God by praying words like Alcoholics Anonymous' Seventh Step Prayer:


My Creator, I am now willing that You should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do Your bidding. Amen[8].


What is prayer but a joyful laying down of our burdens at our Saviors feet? What is prayer but a sincere seeking of the marvelous face of the one who gives us blessed new life? This conscience contact with God changes us and strengthens us for spiritual warfare. In Revival, sin is hated while God`s will is valued above everything else. “I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8).


“Then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land”

In Revival, God does not remain silent. He thunders! He shouts! He brings bodily healing and salvation for thousands (Acts 2:40-41).


Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence... to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence

(Isaiah 64:1-2).


In times of Revival, we’ll begin to see society rejustified along Biblical lines. Abstinence from compulsive behaviors[9] will sweep through the land as more and more souls find satisfaction in their relationship with Christ (Ephesians 5:18). Laws will be implemented which are based on the flawless Word of God, instead of the intuitions of dictators or Humanist philosophers. Prejudices will subside. Resentment will be eradicated. Unity will ring out through the neighborhoods. Social justice, as God defines it, will sought (Matthew 5:6). “Love God” and “Serve your neighbor” will be the atmosphere of the land (Mark 12:30-31). Selflessness will replace selfishness.


Do you know what else will happen during times of Revival? The literal earth will be healed! Farm lands will become fruitful again due to plenteous rains. Industry will be devoted to growing healthy foods to be sold at a reasonable price. All aspects of daily life will be positively affected.


Someday soon all of this will take place but it will not stop! Revival will just keep expanding. The Bible tell us, “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).


It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:2-4).


Revival conditions will prevail when Christ returns to judge those remaining rebels who refuse to embrace Him in faith and those who refuse to be embraced by Him (Revelation 20:7-15).


Prayer Requests


“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:2-3).


Join with Reformed and Recovered in praying for Revival and Reformation in the secular Recovery circles. Please add the following requests to your regular prayer times:


1. A massive turning of hearts and lives to Jesus Christ for not only earthly abstinence, but eternal Recovery

2. A turning back of the programs to their Biblical and far more successful roots

3. The planting of more Christ-Centered 12 Step Recovery groups

4. A greater Christian presence in the secular Recovery circles

5. A hunger in the hearts of God’s children to know Him more deeply and walk with Him more consistently

6. The boldness to declare Christ as the only to way salvation (John 14:6)

7. The general increase in successful abstinence from compulsive behaviors for all involved in the 12 Step programs

[1] Duncan Campbell. (2015). Revival in the Hebrides. (Kindle Edition). Retrieved from Amazon.com


[2] The Hebrew word for “If” is ‘im.


[3] A portion of a poem entitled “Living Water” (Rains Are Coming), originally published by The Remembered Arts Journal on 7/14/2017 (http://www.rememberedarts.com/?s=living+water).


[4] The main word for “revive” in the Hebrew language is chayah which means “be alive or be restored to life”.


[5] The Hebrew word here is dakka’ which literally means “dust.


[6] Duncan Campbell. (2015). Revival in the Hebrides. (Kindle Edition). Retrieved from Amazon.com


[7] William Thomas stead and George Campbell Morgan. The Welsh Revival. (Kindle Edition). Retrieved from Amazon.com


[8] Alcoholics Anonymous. Fourth Edition. (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2001), pg. 76.


[9] History has shown a clear spike in Recovery during times of Revival. When souls are satisfied (“fully filled”) in Christ, they inevitably turn from their favorite brand of compulsive behaviors.


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