Today 14th of August is my birthday, and the only thing I am certain of in my mid-twenties is that I Need a Revival. But what does it mean to be revived? How can one be revived and when?
Many people think of a “revival” as an enigmatic, intensely passionate religious gathering.
The word “revival” frequently conjures up images of a vintage tent gathering with a charismatic evangelist with a hoarse voice shouting “filler-words” like “Hallelujah!” “I bind, I cast. I bind. I cast!” “Holy Ghoooooost Fire!” And sure, the phrase “sow a seed” can be expected.
Revival is a Biblical concept and can be seen in Isaiah 57:15 (ESV): 15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
In Psalm 85:6-7 the psalmist asks “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.”
What is a revival?
The Hebrew word chayah, is the root of the English word “revival.” It means “to bring back to life,” “to restore to consciousness,” or “to restore to a prior condition.” The drowning victim was miraculously saved, for example.
As used in the Bible, it means a restoration, rejuvenation, or renewal of interest after spiritual neglect, oblivion, or obscurity.
A revival is not evangelism, as many people think though it can lead to revival. A revival is:
the personal renewal to spiritual life in an individual, or among a group of people. It is an “at-one-ment,” a heartfelt return to God and His commandments.
When do we need revival?
We need revival when we no longer love God and have the zeal to serve Him as we once did. We need it when we lack concern for the lost and the suffering in the world. It’s necessary when we hide or cover sins and are unforgiving. When we become filled with pride and animosity toward other Christians.
WHAT KIND OF REVIVAL WAS RECOMMENDED FOR THE SEVEN CHURCHES IN ASIA?
We need to go to Revelations 2-3 and see what Jesus wanted of the Seven churches.
- Jesus rebuked the church at Ephesus, saying, 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first (Revelation 2:4).
- He rebuked the church at Smyrna because some of its members tolerated apostate believers among them who were really instruments of Satan (Revelation 2:9).
- In the church at Pergamos some of its held on to “the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.” and also to “the teaching of the Nicolaitans” (Revelation 2:14-15).
- The church at Thyatira was rebuked because some of them had listened to “ Jezebel, who calls (called) herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” (Revelation 2:20-21).
- To the church at Sardis, Jesus said, “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” (Revelation 3:1-3). They lacked spiritual life and power. He said, “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die” (Revelation 3:1).
- Christ praised the Philadelphia church’s members for their devotion but cautioned them to be watchful and to hold fast lest somebody steal their crown (Revelation 3 :11). This strongly suggests that there would be people who would try to undermine their faith by whatever means.
- Christ urged the Laodicean church’s members to repent, though they believed they needed nothing (Revelation 3:17). They had a lukewarm, neutral, compromising, or accommodating attitude.
We should/must ask ourselves if any of these warnings apply to us. Each caution ended with “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” These warnings apply to us today.
HOW CAN WE HAVE REVIVAL?
In order for God to revive us again, we need to:
- Confess our need for revival. There will be no revival until we admit that we desperately need it.
- We must believe in the possibility of revival. The Psalmist in verses 1-3 reminds God of what He has done. God had been favorable. He restored the fortunes of Jacob. He forgave the iniquity of His people. He covered all their sin; He withdrew His wrath; He turned from His hot anger. That He did all this in the past shows the possibility of a future revival.
- We must recognize the source of revival. In verse 6, the Psalmist says, “Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?”
- We must do what is necessary for revival. The psalmist asks for a revival in verse 6 so that “your people may rejoice in you.” Sin is the biggest obstacle to resurrection. Are you right in God’s eyes? Do you engage in sin? Are you following the Lord’s commands in your life? Face this head on!
- We must remove the obstacles to revival.
MY PRAYER TODAY
My prayer today is the words of two beautiful songs about revival. Revive us again by W. P. Mackay (1863, 1867), and I need a revival by T. Hope. Here is a the song as sang by the Celestial chorus choir, molyko Buea. You can find the music sheet here.
Verse 1. Lord I pray that you Ignite my soul with passion for your word. Most of us at baptism we were very passionate for God’s word but with time, it waned. I want to think of this as a re-ignition of what was already there.
A lot of the things going on today are scary. All we can say is “Take all my fears away, Lord, strengthen my faith in you.”
In verse 2, the composer, like me confesses to be lost without God and to being nothing without God. He calls on God to speak forth His word, which will bring a revival.
I need a revival Lyrics
Verse 1: Ignite my soul with passion for your word, Lord I pray to you, Open my eyes to all I’ve been blind to so Ill walk in you Take all my fears away Lord strengthen my faith in you oh I pray to you Lord
Revive my spirit and soul
So that I will not depart from your ways
Revive my spirit and soul, that is my desire
Great is your Holy name mighty to save send forth your Spirit Lord
I need a revival
Verse 2: Burdened by pain discouraged by the world Lord I come to you I’m lost without you I’m nothing without you I depend on you your word is life and spirit speak forth the word my God Oh I call to you Lord
Revive us Again lyrics
Verse 1: We praise Thee, O God!
For the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died,
And is now gone above.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.
Verse 2: We praise Thee, O God!
For Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior,
And scattered our night.
Verse 3: All glory and praise
To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins,
And hath cleansed every stain.
Verse 4: All glory and praise
To the God of all grace,
Who hast brought us, and sought us,
And guided our ways.
Verse 5: Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.
Personal revival: that means individuals getting right with God.
Home revival: that means families getting back to the place they need to be.
Church revival: that means to be doing the work Christ ordained (Mathew 28:19-20).
Revival—a returning to God—is not turned on and off like a water fountain, but if we meet God’s conditions, He will bestow it upon us. He wants us to be renewed!
Like the Psalmist in Psalm 71:19, I pray that the Lord, who has:
made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth, you will bring me up again.