The term “revival” for the church can only apply to a living, breathing spiritual organism, not an inanimate object or a person who has no spiritual life in them. Revival, in spiritual terms, can only be applied to a living soul, who has some degree of spiritual life. Those who are spiritually dead do not need revival; they need to be born into the kingdom of God. They need the blood of Christ to be applied to their heart so they are born again because sin is only removed through the covering of the blood of Christ. The blood must be applied, not through some mystical thought process, but through faith in Christ’s death and resurrection. All other means of salvation is futile and dead religion.
Charles Spurgeon: “Many blessings may come to the unconverted in consequence of a revival among Christians, but the revival itself has to do only with those who already possess spiritual life. There must be vitality in some degree before there can be a quickening of vitality, or, in other words, a revival.”
The church today has generally side stepped the need for the application of the blood sacrifice of Christ as the atonement for sin and forgiveness of sin. Life is in the blood, naturally and spiritually. The shedding of the precious blood of Christ at Calvary must become an unwavering truth in the church today. We do not need more feel-good sermons. We need to be revived by the almighty power of the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit reminding us daily of the sacrifice that was paid for the redemption of our souls! We must understand the truth that Christ gave his life in order that we may live a daily victorious, overcoming, abundant life and each day true revival should flow in our life and in our churches.
The American church, for the most part, is on life support. A strong, healthy body does not need reviving – it is growing in strength and vitality. It has energy, vigor and is not lethargic, sluggish, indolent, idle and lazy. A strong healthy church must be measured by God’s celestial and eternal measure: the declaration of the cleansing power of the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit and immediate obedience to it, not the number of attendees at a meeting. Acceptance and obedient adherence to the entire volume of the Bible and the voice of the Holy Spirit is the divine standard demanded by a holy God. A strong commitment to Christ with a cry of repentance, fervent prayer and discipleship, including the study and application of the Word in daily life, will mark those willing to pay the price regardless of the cost to experience true revival.
A church in constant need for revival indicates the existence of much sin. The church should be an encampment of spiritual warriors, not a hospital of invalids. The church is called to be a holy temple built together by God in love for healing of the needs of humanity – first of all, spiritually, then their physical needs and their mental needs of love, acceptance, mercy, encouragement and restoration. Generally the church is America is in such a sad state of spiritual health that the present prayer and cry must be for revival. Why? Because many of God’s people who occupy a seat on Sunday morning are barely spiritually alive and need the breath of the Holy Spirit to rekindle the fire for the passionate presence of God within them – a revival. When the fire of a passionate pursuit of God has slowly become extinguished to mere smoke, we need revival!
Thus, there is a desperate need for spiritual restoration and resurrection life to begin to flow within the Body of Christ with a passion for Jesus and power of the Holy Spirit to dwell among us in order that we might lift up one another in love and enter into fervent prayer for others, including those who are lost and living in darkness and need a new birth.
Only in the river of the Holy Presence of God can the pearl of revival be found. A revival begins with the sovereignty of God. Renewed life and passion comes from God through the presence of the Holy Spirit. True revival changes the heart so we understand God is sovereign and holy. He alone sends revival and withdraws His hand when sin enters the outer court of our lives. The results of revival will extend beyond the walls of our life to the outside world; but revival, strictly speaking, is within the walls of the heart of God’s people – the chosen dwelling place of the Almighty. This is a different view of revival than many may hold.
This is what David prayed to God concerning restoration and revival after his spiritual failure and the response he pledged to the Lord:
Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You. Psalm 51:9-13 NKJV
I encourage us to pray this prayer for revival and commission.