1996-05-20 - Revival
Psalm 85: 4-7, "Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your indignation toward us to cease. Wilt You be angry with us forever? Wilt You prolong Your anger to all generations? Wilt You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your lovingkindness, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.
Hey all, Sunday in Sunday School the class I normally attend spoke about Revival. While I missed this week, it is a topic close to my heart and I have been thinking about the topic much.
Sadly, Revival is not understood these days. Many think that we can plan for a revival and have a revival weekend at church. This might be called renewal, but a revival can't be planned because it is a spontaneous work of the Spirit of God. We can not plan for this. But we can pray for it.
So why has revival been absent from our land since the Northeastern Revival of 1858? Well, the simple answer is because God has not sent revival. But that is hard to apply to our lives. May I suggest that we are no longer a praying nation, and that this is why we have not seen revival in so long. I may be speaking to praying people here and may I suggest you meditate on the above passage. It speaks volumes.
Some may say that we have had revivals since 1858 and so I would like to quote some of what was said about the revival of 1858 in New York City. I am not aware that we have seen this, but I may be wrong. "In the city of New York...It has been characterized by united, fervent, and importunate prayer. God has appeared for the salvation of sinners, and multitudes have been converted to Christ. The revival has been confined to no part of the city, and to no section of the Church. Christians of various names have cordially united in the work, and God has blessed them all with the outpouring of his Spirit." Of the sermons preached they were all prepared with no intention of there being an outpouring of Spirit. The sermons preached were thought by the ministers to be "ordinary". And yet for a short time the Spirit was poured out upon the land.
Revival is a corporate experience when the people of God unite under the ministrations of the Holy Spirit. However, if we want to see revival happen in our lifetimes, it starts with us as individuals on our knees before the throne of grace. "If my people, who are called my people, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14) Here is the key, revival begins with us, in that God has promised these things in His word. There is clearly a work of God going on now in the nation of Korea, since it is still going on, we can't say this is a revival, yet. The most common description that I have heard about this work is that the people pray; night and day, day and night, in small groups, in large groups---They Pray. At one Church they have morning prayer meetings at 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8am. Each one is attended by over a thousand people. Is it any wonder that this church, in five years, has gone from 1000 people to 50,000? It seems this is no wonder, the people are praying. Should it be any difference with us?
Soli Deo Gloria,