Revival, What For?

Began my last blog with the intention of writing this one, but got
carried away in the moment sharing some of the God experiences in our
lives.  Monday Night Jam was truly special.

There are many descriptions of revival.  Some have said it's "God
getting tired of us messing it up so he comes down to do it himself." 
Others only relate it to a special set of church services.  Some feel
it can be manufactured by praying the right way, while others feel it
is a sovereign touch of God on the earth.

 

Church history is packed full of these special moments, though if
you break it down, we are talking about hundreds of amazing times of
revival in thousands of years.  There was some space in there that is
difficult for us to see if we weren't actually living through it. 
That's one of the things we need to understand about Scripture too. 
Some parts of the book of Acts, be it chapters or verses are actually
separated by years or decades.

 

I feel strongly that revivals and "Great Awakenings" happen much
more frequently than what is written down by historians or claimed by
churches and denominations.  There have been many Great Awakenings in
different parts of the United States since it's foundation, we are just
not far enough away from them to list them as "official."

 

After study and contemplation, I feel that revival is a special
movement of God on the earth in an unusual way.  It is usually
proceeded by God stirring many Christians in a region of the world to prayer and
purity in an unusual way. 

However,
revival cannot be conjured up by human passion and
desire. Some people believe it can be, but I agree with others who feel
it cannot.  Friends and I in college used to say "live sold out for
Christ and other will see you and call it 'revival,' but we will simply
tell them 'we are living out New Testament Christianity.'"  There is a
distinguished two fold moving of the Holy Spirit.  First, a Christian
walking in tune with God's plan for their lives, saving the lost,
healing the sick, changing the world.  Second, at special times in
special ways God does even beyond this.  The latter is revival.

But what's
the point of revival?  Strange miracles?  Sometimes strange miracles
occur, but I feel the majority of the
miracles should be solidly Biblical (ie - healings and miracles we see
from the Scriptures).  Also, miracles don't need to be presented in
creepy ways.  Miracles can be presented in a normal, excited way, with
the emphasis being on God and the lives touched, not on the man or
woman of God in leadership.   

Hopefully true revival will be beyond leadership, although God
sometimes uses proven leaders, men and women full of faith and the Holy
Spirit to usher in such a movement.  It is vital for leaders to remain
humble, accountable and to find ways to stay whole and rested during
the time of extended services and meetings.

One
of the issues that occurs when God is doing something
significant and powerful in a congregation or city in the way of
revival is that Christians sometimes get off course, by focusing on
miracles rather than on Christ and the salvation of the lost.  True
revival is
characterized by strong emphasis on the Bible, Jesus, Christians
repenting of sins and growing deeply in their faith and non-Christians
finding Christ.

The result of True revival is always
Christians encouraged in their
faith and non-Christians finding Christ in powerful ways.  In most
revivals there is greater unity among Christians (relational healing),
and gifts of the Holy Spirit taking place more frequently than usual
and a reform of personal holiness in the general society/surrounding
community.