Contemporary Commentary: Revival!

Saints appreciate every sacrifice to advance God’s cause and to propagate the glorious gospel reaching the lost in these perilous times. We give God all the glory and rejoice over one sinner that repents. However we make the honest confession that there has been much preaching and laboring for years with little fruit in this vast continent of North America. This is humbling and searching!

Changes have taken place and modern thinking has invented “the quick-fix” in evangelism. The machinery runs with plenty of activity, games, and excitement but we lack heaven-sent and Spirit-filled visitations. Are we content with the status quo? This leaves us with a major question: Is there not a cause? We need to face reality in our barrenness. We need to get back in this materialistic society to honest confession with Holy Spirit praying. We need revival!

Revival is almost a forgotten word in our vocabulary. While found in Psalm 85:6, Psalm 138:7, Habakkuk 3:2, Ezra 9:9,10, and Isaiah 57:15, it is not found in the N.T. but implied in Ephesians 5:14 (ESV“Awake 0 sleeper, and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” This suggests that revival commences with the Christian’s being awakened from sleep! We need to reinstate this refrain again!

Consider first, the meaning of revival. Its meaning is clear: “to be awakened” from lethargy, formalism, sleepiness, and deadness. We somehow become content with the status quo and the quip that we are in last days and don’t expect anything but ones and twos here and there saved. With this attitude this is what we will receive. Just keep the machinery running; after all the Lord is coming! We need a genuine awakening in heart and soul. We need honest confession before God, waiting and wrestling in Divine Presence, longing for heaven-sent visitations where man is nothing and GOD is everything! No short-cuts! No new methods! No human skills, rather a pursuit of God in prayer! We will not let Thee go except Thou bless us. Revive us again!

The motivation for revival springs from a devoted heart, fully committed to our God. The whole person is on the altar for God – no retracting, no turning back, a full surrender. This is the “victorious life,” not an easy cushioned life of ease and worldly pleasure! “God deliver me from the dread asbestos of ‘other things.’ Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame” (Jim Elliott). We need to die to self, George Muller-like, die to all self-ambition. We live in a day when it is the bigger homes, bigger cars, bigger jobs. We become settlers instead of strangers in our world, but we are never satisfied. We should ask,” Why are we not seeing revival in our day?” Have we forgotten that we belong to heaven’s society, followers of a rejected Christ? We sing, “All for Jesus, all for Jesus, all my being’s ransomed powers.” Easy to sing and yet we like it here. The world is not such a bad place; we can enjoy some of its pleasures and pursuits, but to say good-bye to the world is not necessary. Galatians 6:12 has the answer for every believer. Another has said, When God measures a man he puts the tape around the heart not the head!” There were godly men and women of the past who witnessed revival with great blessing, but at great cost. They were ordinary folks of like passions as we, but their hearts throbbed for Christ and the vision of a perishing world enabled them to do the impossible! Their motto, “Give me souls or take my soul.” Their hearts were aflame!

The miracle of revival unfolds in Biblical history and it is there we get the flavor of what revival means. Past revivals awakened towns and cities; nations were moved with mighty visitations from God. Lives were changed! Homes changed! Taverns closed! Gambling dens vacated! Streets filled with praise! May these meditations alarm, alert, and awaken us to realities in an unreal world. We need our God to intervene in power and conviction. Can it happen? Are we too negative? Are we willing to pay the price? Let us bring all the tithes into the storehouse and prove our God. Is God still the God of miracles? What do we expect? Nothing? Or a little blessing? Or great things from a great God? The subject is a challenge. The late Mr. Ramsay would often say publicly, “We are a miracle audience.” A sinner saved through the Redeemer’s blood is also a miracle. May the wonder of it never leave us but give birth-pangs with a fresh incentive to see a miracle visitation from God in our day. The great fear for North America Christianity is “the fear” – fear that we are deaf to the tramp of the feet of sinners on the road to Hell. We are playing while sinners are perishing! Could it be that we need restorationbefore revival will visit our land? There is a clarion call to purity, honesty, and transparency! These are virtues most necessary, but the major component is “the revival of prayer.” Let a few Spirit-driven souls take to the sanctuary to plead, persevere, and pour out their heart-throbbing to our God for REVIVAL, then we can expect a Divine movement from Heaven to earth. True confession of our sins in the presence of holiness is an awesome reality (Isaiah 6:5). The brother or sister weeping and wrestling with God in private will join other prayer-warriors in the collective gatherings of the saints, and results will come sooner or later. We are skillful with our generalities, but specifics are another thing! Call the problem by name, be real! We can have theology (a very important aspect of our Christianity) and be as dry as chips! Revival is a living and dynamic reality. Our prayer meetingswill become alive! The emphasis then will be a return to spiritualactivities not sport activities! Intimate fellowship with Christ with a total committal to His Lordship will answer the restless youth and indeed answer to us all. Galatians 6:12 is the most effective weapon as to the world and self, but prayer is the most effective weapon for revival Let us count the cost in view of eternity! Let us remember that we are not permanent residents but passers through (pilgrims) in this world.