Every Christian I know and I imagine any that I would ask agrees that our nation needs revival. Where we end up branching off is in the meaning of revival. When you ask the average American Christian if America needs revival I venture to guess most of them want to see those serving in Washington DC get saved, along with all others who do not hold their worldview. While that is a lofty and worthy goal, that is not revival.
Some may think that to have revival all you have to do is have revival services. I know it’s easier to say “We’re having revival” than it is “We’re having revival services hoping for revival” but I do believe the former too often is confused with the latter.
So what is revival? Dr. Ronald E. Davies writing in Elwell’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology defines revival thusly:
The classic understanding is that of a period of unusual and heightened spiritual activity in a section of the church, brought about by a renewing and empowering work of the Holy Spirit, bringing a new sense of the presence of God, especially in His holiness, resulting in a deeper awareness of sin in the lives of believers, followed by a new joy as sin is confessed and forgiven. This is then followed by witness to others, both nominal Christians and outsiders, bringing them to a similar expression of confession, repentance, and faith.
This is a good definition with which to work. Our church has scheduled revival services for October 28-31. Yes, we will be holding our last evening on Halloween night instead of trick or treating or competing with the world celebrating a pagan holiday, but I digress. Last weekend some 40 or more men attended our men’s retreat looking for a fresh new stirring in our hearts to see God move in our lives before the revival services. Our women our having their retreat the weekend just before the services praying for the same.
What examples do we have in the Bible of revival. There are many and we will explore some of them in the next few days but an example of what happens to a nation when its leaders are godly is found in King Hezekiah:
“Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.” (2 Chronicles 29:1-2)
I want to encourage you to read 2 Chronicles 29-30 because this is where we will begin our journey of discovering what revival is and is not. I want to leave you with this verse as a preparatory prayer for our study:
“Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause your anger to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:4-6)
Revive me Lord Jesus, renew my spirit and restore my unbridled love for you. Amen.
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers