We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again. – G. Campbell Morgan
Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again. – Vince Havner
It’s true that (many) are praying for a worldwide revival. But it would be more timely, and more scriptural, for prayer to be made to the Lord of the harvest, that He would raise up and thrust forth laborers who would fearlessly and faithfully preach those truths which are calculated to bring about a revival. – A.W. Pink
Revival is the visitation of God which brings to life Christians who have been sleeping and restores a deep sense of God’s near presence and holiness. Thence springs a vivid sense of sin and a profound exercise of heart in repentance, praise, and love, with an evangelistic outflow. – J.I. Packer
Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. – A.W. Tozer
Trying to run a church without revivals can be done when you can run a gasoline engine on buttermilk. – Billy Sunday
You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it. – Leonard Ravenhill
In short, a transformed community is…
- A neighborhood, city or nation whose values and institutions have been overrun by the grace and presence of God
- A place where divine fire has not merely been summoned, it has fallen
- A society in which natural evolutionary change has been disrupted by invasive supernatural power
- A culture that has been impacted comprehensively and undeniably by the Kingdom of God
- A location where kingdom values are celebrated publicly and passed on to future generations
Community transformation is indicated when:
- Political leaders publicly acknowledge their sin and dependence on God. (2 Kings 11:17-18; 2 Kings 23:2; Jonah 3:6-9)
- New laws, curricula, and business practices are put into effect. (2 Chronicles 19:4-10; Nehemiah 10:31)
- The natural environment is restored to its original life-nurturing state. (Leviticus 26:4-5; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Ezekiel 34:27; Ezekiel 36:29-30)
- Economic conditions improve and lead to a discernible lessening of poverty. (2 Chronicles 17:3-5;Psalm 144:14; Isaiah 60:5; Amos 9:13)
- There is a marked change in social entertainment and vices as Kingdom values are integrated into the rhythm of daily life. ( Ezra 10:1-4; Nehemiah 8:10, Ecclesiastes 10:17; Acts 19:17-20 )
- Crime and corruption diminish throughout the community. (2 Kings 12:13-15; Nehemiah 5:6-12;Isaiah 60:17-18 )
- Volunteerism increases as Christians recognize their responsibility to heal and undergird the community. ( Isaiah 58:10-12; Isaiah 61:1-4)
- Restored hope and joy leads to a decline in divorce, bankruptcy, and suicide. (Nehemiah 12:27-28, Nehemiah 12:43; Isaiah 54:11-14; Isaiah 61:3-7; Jeremiah 30:17-19; Jeremiah 31:11-13;Hosea 2:15)
- The spiritual nature of the growing socio-political renewal becomes a hot topic in the secular media. (2 Chronicles 20:29; Nehemiah 6:16; Isaiah 55:5; Ezekiel 36:36; Acts 19:17)
- Overwhelmed by the goodness of God, grateful Christians take the embers of revival into surrounding communities and nations. (2 Chronicles 17:9; Isaiah 61:6; Acts 11:20-26)
This is a matter of faith, not triumphalism. There is, and will likely continue to be, gross spiritual darkness in the world. Our goal is not to make a new heaven and a new earth, but rather to create salty spots on the earth that stimulate a thirst for God. Like many salty appetizers, these temporal transformations point the way to a larger, more satisfying meal to come.
Read More – Transforming Revival – Article George Otis Jr
As they have studied so many real life stories across the past 400 years, and as they have visited so many of these places that are contemporary, I think I’ll defer to their records rather than my own theological imaginations, however ‘right’ I may feel they are.
Many across our beloved region will also have their own considered notions, balanced theologies and even intently sincere prayers for what they see ‘revival’ as really being, yet can we believe we’re living in the reality of ‘Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven’ unless there are visible and material signs that reach far outside of our church buildings, that go beyond our own individual limited knowledge or experience?
Please tell me it’s OK to yearn for more, to believe for infinitely greater manifestations of our God’s amazing power and glory here on earth, in our geography and generation?
(Habakkuk 3:2-3 “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy”)
We may well now get some emails in telling me to be more optimistic, that there are signs of genuine revival all around us, and we welcome them. This is meant to be a gentle provocative message to stir our thinking, and hopefully beyond that, our desire to conceive and pray, maybe all together again one day soon. Healthy discourse and debate can be good for us in such a diverse network…
Yet, when we can truly say and clearly see the evidence, the outcomes and the reality of what history (including Biblical accounts) testify, then maybe and hopefully ‘all will be drawn’ that little bit further into His Kingdom. That is what we hold out for. This is what we ask. That remains our raison d’etre.
The skies may be cloudless still, but we will keep looking for that cloud until the rain we feel in our hearts is literally falling from the skies, and we can all get soaking wet, no matter what our theological persuasion this side of the storm. We keep going, we keep praying, we keep singing, we keep believing, we keep holding out for ‘the more’ we sing about!!
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)
17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
“Our Father in heaven, amazing is your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven”
So, with all this in mind, we keep our hand to the plough with whatever and wherever The Lord of The Harvest has called us to thus far, but we also keep our eyes ahead to the day when He visits our beloved area in a way that utterly transforms everything we have ever known. Everything! We posture ourselves as did Elijah, with our heads between our knees in expectant prayer, but with the eyes of our hearts, we also see the rain falling from a cloudless sky! (having your head in the clouds can be useful after all then!)
May we not be found for too long overly content with the status quo, until the day when that status draws the power and the presence of The God of Revival in a way that releases His Willright here on earth as it is in Heaven in an unprecedented storm.
Until then…..the best thing we can do as we wait in eager anticipation and faith-filled expectation for that day, is to do this together, just as He told His early church to do.
To us, His latest church, He is still saying the same
Let’s keep believing (with umbrellas close by!)
On behalf of ‘Love Black Country’.