GOD'S ESSENTIAL "R"s (3)
We now come to the third of God’s essential “R”s that of REVIVAL.
sadly, this word has been so misinterpreted over the years, here is some Biblical definitions of the word.
God’s quickening visitation of His people, touching their hearts and deepening the work of Grace in their lives. J.I.Packer
The sovereign act of God, in which he restores His own backsliding people to repentance, faith and obedience. Stephen Olford
The work of the Holy Spirit in restoring the people of God to a more vital spiritual life, witness and work, by prayer and the Word, after repentance in crisis for their spiritual decline. Earle Cairns.
You can’t revive something that is dead, but you can revive someone who is sick. Revival is all about people who are born again, but have let their spiritual life decline (cool off).
Too many say “we are in a revival” because people are coming to Christ, this is not revival, but the FRUIT (OR RESULT) OF REVIVAL. That is when the whole of the community is awakened.
some would say that when an individual believer is touched it is Renewal, and it is Revival when a whole church community is touched. Personally I see in the Word, individuals like the Psalmist pray for God to revive them. We will look at Renewal in another context.
God’s ideal is that we continue daily to keep our relationship with Him fresh and vital, but the reality is, because of many situations and circumstances this does not always happen and we need to come back to God in Repentance, let God deal with the cold ashes in our heart, and let the fire burn brightly and strongly again.
I have already said, that Revival is not people coming to Christ for Salvation, Revival and Evangelism are very different in nature, but they do issue from the same source and will begin to flow together. True Revival will always produce a desire to evangelise.
HERE IS AN IMPORTANT TRUTH TO CONSIDER
EVANGELISM, WHEN COMBINED WITH BIBLICAL DISCIPLESHIP WILL SUSTAIN REVIVAL.
In the past this has often not happened, there is a burst of evangelism, with little or no discipleship and both evangelism and personal revival starts to diminish.
I have a dream, that this generation of believers will be so revived, and not be caught up with some of the manifestations of revival, but will make the decision, that they will live and walk in the Spirit, in victory, in purity and in power, will fulfil the Great Commission, and Biblically disciple new believers, and by God’s grace maintain a personal revival in their hearts.
Peter in his 2nd Pentecostal sermon in Acts 3:19 told his hearers, Repent, therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out so that TIMES OF REFRESHING may come from the presence of the Lord.
Personal (or corporate) Revival is a time of refreshing from the hand of the Lord, sometimes some new and perhaps strange things may happen (as they did under Jonathan Edwards ministry in the Great Awakening, as I said above, don’t concentrate or build your life on manifestations, make your first priority, as the Apostle Paul said, “That I may know Him in the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death Phil. 3:10
LORD HELP US TO LIVE IN REVIVAL AMEN