There is always much excitement in Christian circles when we talk about revival. It is something that every new church or movement claims to be the centre of their things. What makes it so exciting? Yet, why does it seem to never come? Why is it always seemingly far away?
First of all, revival is primarily FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST. The dead do not need revival, they need resurrection. The reason there is a tremendous amount of new converts during revival is because the church has woken up, and is doing her duty in the power of God. New converts are by products of a revival.
Revival is not for the healthy, vibrant person. The church is the army of God. Even though there is a medic unit in every army camp, it is indeed a great tragedy if ALL the soldiers are patients in the medic unit. Woe to that camp when their enemy strikes!
So, revival takes us to the state where we ought to be. It fans to life the sparks that are dying.
When a man is exposed to CO2 for a long time, he faints, and is in very dire condition. He needs to be revived, and revival in this case involves being given oxygen. Some of us have descended into worldly company, and have by them become so carnal that even after we have been saved from back sliding by grace, we need our breaths rekindled by the spirit.
When a man starves himself, and yet keeps going about his daily activities as though nothing is missing, it is no surprise when he collapses, and needs reviving. When we neglect the place of fellowship with the father, and with our brethren, is it surprising when we fall consistently and are in need of revival?
A man with cancer wastes away gradually as the cancer grows and masters his body, so that a vibrant, young man can be brought to nothing but a shell of himself by the disease, and he needs God to intervene in his healing. Yet we allow the cancer of complacency to master us and sap our zeal, and wonder why we are Christians of ‘in those days’.
Our eyes of faith squint and are dim, useful only for claiming houses and cars and money, and killing our enemies.
Our spiritual faces are clouded and filled with doubt and worries and anxieties.
Our tongues are useful only for “claiming the promises” of comfort and ease that we deceive ourselves to find in scripture; they are completely useless in declaring the good news, or in praising God.
Our spiritual limbs are insensitive, weak, and lethargic. We claim that He has done it all to mask that we are completely uninterested in doing anything for Christ.
Our nerves are dead. The word cannot move us. Worship cannot faze us. Prayer is an unbearable bore.
We hate sin so weakly that we might as well love it, and love Jesus so weakly that we might as well hate him.
And what is REVIVAL? It is produced by the spirit. Not by excitement, or crowd mentality, or gymnastics. Not by falling or not falling, shouting or not shouting, rolling on the ground or not rolling on the ground; only by the Spirit. And how does the spirit produce revival? Through the Word. The proclamation, acceptance, and PRACTICE of the Living Word bring revival.
Simplistically, when a Christian decides to take God and His word seriously, revival takes place in his life.