Where does revival start? I awoke this morning with this thought rushing through my mind as a mighty river of the presence of God. I desire revival for myself, my family, my church family, my nation and the nations of the earth. I simply want more of God – today, right now!
But where does revival start? As I tossed and turned in the attempt to return to sleep, my mind became more and more focused on my need, our nations need and a world-wide revival. So as I prayed I asked God. His answer came back immediately and clear: “It starts with you.”
Revival is as familiar in our mouths as a household word. We are constantly speaking about and praying for a “revival;” would it not be as well to know what we mean by it? – Charles Spurgeon
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines revival in these thoughts:
1. An act or instance of reviving: the state of being revived: such as: a) renewed attention to or in something; b) a new presentation or publication of something old; c) (1) a period of renewed religious interest; (2) an often highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings.
2. Restoration of force, validity, or effect (as to a contract).
These thoughts indicate an instance of something becoming popular, active or important again. They indicate a comeback, reestablishment, reintroduction, restoration, reappearance, resurrection, regeneration or rejuvenation.
A new play in an old way is the thought that crosses my mind. But this morning I sensed God is stating something more than just man’s definition of the meaning of revival. God wants to move people from the old way to a new ‘play’ – a new dramatic performance of loving God in our personal daily lifestyle. A change in why and how we live for Christ!
We all pray for revival as if it is somewhere out there lingering as a storm. Why do we believe this and pray in this manner? Because we are dry and thirsty and desire something more than we are currently experiencing. I firmly believe God presently desires and stands willing to send His presence to fill our hearts with His love and to cover us in His love. This is what revival is all about – daily living each moment the Great Commandment and the Great Commission with the gold thread of the truth of the Word in immediate obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revival starts with me becoming completely surrendered to the will and purpose of God. Jesus prayed this prayer in the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives:
…saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:42b-44
Revival is not a spiritual meeting lasting for two to three days. If revival is to be experienced it must result from the proclamation and receiving of living truth – and must be lived out in our life every day, every moment.
Revival is not about life in the past – it is about life in the present tense – totally yielded to the purpose and will of God in and for our life. As Jesus was obedient to the will of the Father to go to the cross, we must become willing to go to the cross, allow God crucify to our flesh, commit our self anew to Christ, daily pick up our cross and bear the burden God has chosen for us to bear. Simply stated true spiritual revival is to crucify self to love Christ and to daily demonstrate His love to others.
Only a conscious choice made in obedience to the will and purpose of God for our life will bring newness of life and give us freedom in Christ to live with the almighty presence of Holy Spirit of God in our heart and upon our life. This is true revival. God desires to take us into new spiritual territory where we have never been before!
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? Show us Your mercy, LORD, and grant us Your salvation. Psalm 85:5-7
Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth. Hosea 6:1-3
Are you ready and willing to pay the sacrifice for revival?