By Glenda Ward
God’s power surpasses all others and its most forceful expression is revival. There is no power like it on this side of Jesus’ return. True revival must begin within the people of the church as an increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation (1 Peter 4:17). “Revival” means to “bring back to life,” to “restore to consciousness,” or to “restore to a previous condition” or renewal of spiritual interest after spiritual neglect. Revival happens when God’s people are prepared. It happens when we are ready for it with tender hearts and humble spirits. We can’t orchestrate widespread far-reaching revivals, that’s God’s work. Revival begins within the church, people coming under deep conviction and crying out in confession and repentance for their sins.
A Revival does two things. It always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church and it causes the conversion of men and women. Because when our hearts are tender, we humble ourselves and weep before Him, and God hears our cries. Revival is birthed within a heart of humility. Humility is the first action God’s people must take to experience revival. Without humility, we will not pray to seek God’s face and turn from sinful ways experiencing a pure heart. We must fall before God in humble repentance for our sin, gratitude for His goodness, and dependence on His Spirit’s strength. The same humility that is necessary for the lost to find salvation is necessary for the saved to experience revival. The proud fail to see their sin as God sees it, a truth that was illustrated by the life of Saul. “A true revival is nothing short of a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and making God and His love triumph in our heart and life.”
We only have a heart of helplessness without our dependence on God. God can only work in our lives when we realize our need for Him. The same Word that proclaims “without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5)”, assures that “with God, nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). When we stand before God, convinced of our inability to serve Him on our own, but yet we are fully persuaded of His far-surpassing power to work in and through us as we yield to His Will; it is our dependence on Him that equips us to courageously fight the battles He has given us to endure while falling on our knees in desperation before Him. A coming revival must begin with great and earnest prayer! A place in a quiet corner, church members gathering together at special times to spend in prayer, in a closet, or behind closed doors personally or within a designated group setting. Bowing in humility we realize we do not deserve any of God’s goodness! But, with a heart of gratitude, God will give and will continue to give every single blessing we need to bless others and to be strengthened in His glory. “For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee” (1 Chronicles 29:14). A revival is a new beginning in our hearts and the hearts of church members of obedience to God.
There is a law of sin that dwells within our flesh. We are weak but also a deciding link. One way leads to God and everything that is truly good. The other way leads to evil (sin, Satan, the flesh, spirit of worldly sin, and everlasting death). We must die to self as we are a product of sin. We have to humble ourselves and put aside those parts of ourselves that we know are not of Divine Persuasion and transform those dark places into light: the Light of God. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;” (Romans 5:8-9). There are forces at work that are trying to prevent our acceptance of God and His truth in His Word. We are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Romans 5:11). When we recognize our fleshly pride asking God in prayer to strengthen us to serve Him with humility and renewing our mind daily through God’s Word we can become more like Christ. (Read Romans Chapter 5). With God’s strength, we can overcome!
Spiritual life includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it involves a search for meaning in life which, only God can fulfill. It is a journey toward seeking God’s face through His Word and prayer. It is our special place with our Heavenly Father, a place of importance to our beliefs and faith in Jesus Christ. Strength of heart and strength of mind must be instilled in us while a growing path toward absolute faith is encouraged.
The fields are full; the workers are few. You can be the spark that ignites the revival! Revivals don’t just happen! No, God must be involved; but it starts with one or two. A personal revival has to begin with absolute faith in the individual’s heart, mind, and soul. Whatever is not from faith is sin! It is sin that blocks the Holy Spirit in the human heart. Without our obedience to God, there will be no personal revival when the Holy Spirit speaks to us about the condition of our heart. There is a reason God brings conviction and we must confess our NEED for Revival. It is our opportunity to repent and be revived in righteous living. It is a renewal – a fresh inflow of life, love, and the power of God. When revival breaks out, God breaks in. The gospel finds new people who need God in their life and Christians find new ways of presenting Jesus to those God puts in our path. Revival may start small with two or three but it thrives in a crowd. Revival happens when God’s people are prepared. It happens when we are ready with tender hearts and humble spirits. Revival often begins with people coming under deep conviction. Pray that people will listen and come under God’s conviction crying out in confession and repentance for their sins. Revival does not occur outside the realm of prayer. As our world slips into darkness pray that a small spark will start to build in someone that has turned on the Light, God’s Light. Pray that it not only starts in our hearts but right here in our community.
God is wanting to send revival, but He needs channels of believers, Christians. Revival is the outflow of the Spirit of God through the regenerated spirit of man (see John 7:37-39). God took strong men and women to pieces and put them together again for His glory. We are an earthen vessel. Our purpose is to display God’s power. The transforming power of God is also the transferable power of God. The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus’ followers at Pentecost (Acts 2) and has since been available to all who believe in Jesus as their Savior. If we receive revival, you and I are to be ready to receive the full blessing of God and to be channels through whom that blessing can flow. Please pray that our church will receive a revival and that we may see what God can do?
Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County. She is the mother of five grown children. Glenda is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She writes Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. Also testing the field in tributes, individual memorial writings, etc. You can read more good Christian news from Glenda HERE.