With all the happenings down here in our small town, the question was brought to my attention, “What does revival look like? How will you decidedly know when a revival is taking place? What would be the signs? Is that what you see?”
Now, before we go any further here, I want you to take a minute and think about how you might answer those questions.
It’s interesting food for thought isn’t it? After I thought about that for a minute, I wanted to dig deeper into what revival really is. In June of this year, the Honey in the Rock website posted the following characteristics of revival:
- Revival is the sovereign intervention of God.
- God’sgrace is central when He moves in revival.
- God deals with His people in mercy rather than in judgment.
- We cannot organise, stage, plan or promote it.
- It is completely beyond the control of human beings.
- We cannot cause God to send revival, but He uses men as His instruments.
- It is distinguished by a deep thirst for the Word of God.
- Revival is a fresh hearing of God’s Word and a fresh obedience to it.
- There is a deep sense of the holiness of God and consciousness of sin.
- Confession and repentance will be genuine, deep and life-changing.
- The supreme biblical test is a lasting change of behavior.
- It will manifest in us the blessed fruit of love.
- Revival brings people into deeper love for Jesus.
- It does not last, but those whose lives were touched will be transformed.
- True revival never creates an atmosphere of self-centeredness.
I want to look at a couple for a minute. “God deals with His people in mercy rather than judgement”. Whever we are up against something and want to see revival come out of it, we need to be extremely careful not to bring anything that is against Scripture into our fight. What I mean by that is simply that instead of tearing down, we need to be above board in all things and thereby showing that we are true Christians.
“It is completely beyond the control of human beings.” God is the one who orchestrates and calls a revival. We cannot control it, we cannot create it, it’s all up to God.
Revival “is distinguished by a deep thirst for the Word of God.” If you aren’t falling on your face before God and you don’t desire to read his Word; if you don’t thirst for His Word as you would water, then you aren’t in revival.
“Confession and repentance will be genuine, deep, and life-changing.” Do you truly sorrow over your sin and desire real change?
“It does not last, but those whose lives were touched will be transformed.” Revival is for a time, but when that time is over, real, lasting change will be evident in people’s lives.
“True revival never creates an atmosphere of self-contentedness.” Is this fight we are facing all about us? Is it all about the physical but not one ounce about God? I do believe we should fight for our rights, especially these days when our Christian beliefs are being suppressed by the government, however, if God isn’t in it then it won’t last and is all about us.
And finally, I’ll leave you with this…if true revival comes, God can cause a true reformation (a renewal of the forms and structures of society and culture (Ligonier Ministries)).