O’FALLON, Ill. (BP) — Perhaps the greatest need of our day is revival. I’m not talking about a series of revival meetings, though that might be needed as well. I’m talking about a genuine revival in the lives of Christians that brings spiritual renewal, vibrancy and power. What a difference it would make in our day if revival were stirring in individuals and churches and beyond!
I’ve experienced touches of revival in my own life and church, and it whets my appetite for more. Christian leader, wouldn’t you like a fresh touch from God in your own life, your own church and your own ministry? Wouldn’t you like to see a move of God that changes the hearts of believers and impacts beyond to our culture? Here are three reasons why revival still matters.
We tend to drift from God.
I’m not much of a sailor, but I do know that drifting doesn’t take any special effort at all. It is easy to drift from the shore. And it is easy to drift from God.
We get busy, distracted or preoccupied and drift away. We get rebellious, sinful or selfish and move away from God. It is easy to do and can happen with us hardly noticing.
Note that we drift from God, not toward God. Getting closer to the Lord involves intentionality. Drifting away from God can happen without any recognition or premeditation at all.
In revival, believers come back into right relationship with the Lord. In revival, there is a recognition of our sloth or sin or self-centeredness. We need revival because we tend to forget about what matters most. We tend to lose sight of God’s perspective. We tend to grow stale in our religious activities.
Revival draws us back to a close, intimate relationship with the Lord.
Revival brings new life, joy, effectiveness.
Getting right with God is not to our detriment. Though there is sorrow in recognizing our sin, repentance doesn’t result in our loss. Revival involves the recognition of judgment, but it leads us to restoration.
Revival is in our best interest. It leads us to the fruit of the Spirit and the joy and peace that come with walking with the Lord. Though revival can start with pain, it leads to healing and purpose.
Many Christians have come to see the Christian life as drudgery. They see faith as good, but boring. They think of obedience as right, but tedious. Revival corrects that wrong thinking. It reminds us of the joy of our salvation. It gives us new meaning and purpose as we see God’s glory and goodness. Revival leads us to new effectiveness and enthusiasm. Revival is what our soul is longing for!
Revival impacts church, community, culture.
One of the reasons we need revival so much is because of the impact revived Christians have on those around them. When churches are revived, they are more effective and focused. The revived church is more committed to evangelism and discipleship and fellowship. But revival has an impact beyond that.
We often decry the state of our culture, and rightly so. Our culture is increasingly coarse and crude and rebellious to the truth of God. But revival has an impact on the surrounding culture.
Revived Christians and churches can be used by God to bring a spiritual awakening to the culture at large. It can open the eyes of the lost to the realities of sin and the priorities of faith. It can cause the lost world to see their need for the Lord. Often, revival has even resulted in large scale recognition of the need for biblical morality in the culture at large.
Perhaps you have recognized your own need for revival. Will you join me in praying for revival in our lives and churches in this generation? Ask the Lord to send revival to your own life and to change you where you need changing. Be willing to repent of any wrong activity, attitude, or motive.
Let’s pray for a sweeping revival in our generation. Revival still matters!