When it comes down to it, at some point you have to put the hammer to the nail, the wrench to the bolt, the rubber on the road, pour the boiling water on the teabags! I mean you can’t keep talking about revival without engaging it or the things that make it happen. Revival is one of those things that’s really no good in theory, it only has value if you experience it for yourself. But what is revival anyway? I mean what do we want from God when we ask for revival?

REVIVAL IS:

  • 1. Revival is the restoration to God of what has drifted away, of has been lost to him because of neglect, sin, disregard, complacency or apathy.
  • 2. Revival is a resurgence of passion for God and for the things or God, including devotion, ministry, service and evangelism, and the development of a genuine concern for a deeper experience with God and his presence in our lives, leading to spiritual growth and maturity, as well as to genuine righteousness in how we live.
  • 3. Revival is an ongoing and deepening desire for intimacy with God at every level of our relationship.

THE PLAN

What is the plan? How will we implement the principles that we have uncovered in these blogs about revival? The plain answer at the moment is, “I don’t know!” Watch this space for the answers to that question. All I know right now is that in some form or another we will seek to implement and make use of the elements that we have identified before, fasting, prayer and standing firm. What I hope to get out of seeking God for revival… well here it is!

  • 1. Restoring Passion for God: Let’s begin with the first premise. Seeking God for revival is about restoring passion for God, especially where we have suffered spiritual loss or devotion to God has cooled down for some reason of another. If this condition lasts long it will see the devotional lives of God people dry up, their ministries fail, their service become drudgery and the church in decline. Passion for God fuel’s everything we do for God, and for the kingdom of God in terms of seeking to win the lost or preaching the good news of salvation to the world. Simply put without passion for God we are unmotivated, become spiritually vacant and powerless. Other corollaries to this are that prayer will become infrequent, the Word unfamiliar, and our children, following our example will adopt the assumption that the things of God are not important after all.

      GOALS FOR REVIVAL:

    • The first goal of seeking God for revival is to experience a return to passion for God, and for fellowship with God
    • The second goal for revival is to revitalize our churches, ministries and service to God with the power of the Holy Spirit
    • The third goal is to see the church become engaged in a serious effort at winning the lost through the gospel.
  • 2. Revival Inevitably Involves Sacrifice: We delight in the fact that Jesus paid the price on the cross for our sins, because we could not. He paid for our pardon and reconciliation to God (Col. 2:13-15). Paul indicates that at the same time Jesus paid our indebtedness on the cross (Col. 2:14), he also disarmed the powers and authorities of sin and the kingdom of darkness that enthralls humanity. There is a victory that has been won, that is waiting to be appropriated and enjoyed by those who God calls to salvation through faith in Christ. This victory is over sin, and it is also over the world and the world’s system opposed to the kingdom of God. Since we interact with the world every day, it is hard not to find ourselves discouraged and sometimes defeated. The point is that at times we need to return to the cross and to the throne to seek God for victory and deliverance from defeat and discouragement, or from apathy and laziness. This is the pathway to revival. But it will cost us something in effort and time. If we are not prepared to pay that price we cannot have revival, and revival will not come from attending a few really great services at church. Revival is not a change in the state of emotion, but a change in the state of consciousness concerning God will, presence, leading and power.
    • The first thing we have to determine when we set out to seek God for revival is what it will cost us, and whether we are prepared to pay the price. We have a certain amount of discretion in this determination. We are not controlled like robots by our church, our pastor, or our tradition. We must weight very carefully what we are prepared to do and if we vow it to God, deliver it up without complaining (cf. Ecc. 5:1-7).
    • When we talk about cost in this context we are principally speaking of the cost of time and effort spent in prayer, and what we are prepared to lay aside in fasting. We should make that decision ahead of time and then plan to stick to our commitment over the period we have set aside to seek God.
    • Cost and sacrifice is a matter of obedience to Jesus, who said we are to take up our cross to follow him. The one not willing to take up his cross is not worthy (of revival in this instance, will not find revival) (Matt. 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; 14:27).
      • Whoever wants to be a disciple of Christ must take up his cross to follow him – that is he must be prepared to sacrifice his own life for the sake of obedience to God (that is what the cross is (cf. Phil. 2:8; Heb. 5:8)!
      • The disciple who will not take up his cross cannot be a disciple (Jesus words not mine), meaning that without sacrifice and effort of some sort we cannot successfully become a follower of Jesus Christ! This implies that without a sacrificial yearning for God and a willingness to give us something to know him we will fail as a follower of Jesus Christ (Luke 14:27). There is no such thing as painless, cost-less discipleship… we must get over this notion!
      • Determine at what level of cost you are willing to pursue God, but do not boast or commit more than you are prepared to deliver! Remember you can always do more, but you do not want to fail because you promised too much. Be realistic and honest.

About the Author

Paul and Loala pastor the Wilmington First Pentecostal Holiness Church, where they have served for almost 20 year. They have two children who work and serve in the church worship department, along with their son-in-law. Paul is a graduate of Holmes Bible College (Greenville, SC), with a BA in English Bible and New Testament Greek, and of Global University (Springfield, MO) with an MA in Biblical Studies (New Testament Concentration).

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