What is True Revival?
Revival is defined as an improvement in the condition of something or someone. It is to recover, to rally, to pick up, and to turn for the better. It's an upturn and an upswing. It's a reintroduction, a restoration, and a resurrection.
In order to revive something, it first has to have already existed. You can’t revive something if it was never there in the first place.
When we talk about revival, it’s not a subject for those who don’t know Christ. It’s for Christians— followers of Jesus. It is a reminder that there needs to be an awakening and refreshing in our spirit.
Revival should leave a legacy. Revival is meant to have lasting impact on a city, a community, a church, a nation, and the nations of the world.
One of my heroes, Oral Roberts said, "Revival is the revitalization of the church for a divine attack on society. Revival is marshaling of forces fatal to the kingdom of darkness. Revival is the enlisting, training, and empowering of the church as a prelude to evangelization. Revival is God's military tactic that concentrates His resources for a vital blow at a crucial moment."
Revival is God’s military tactic! This means that as we pioneer for revival, we must prepare for warfare. Revival in its true form is an attack on the forces of darkness. It’s a victorious way to drive out the enemy and take ground for the Kingdom of God.
We have seen revival in the past. Just by looking through the history books, we’ve had the Reformation, the Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening, the Jesus movement, and many more. What makes those “Revivals” historical? What sets them apart from just a really good church service?
God began to speak to me that true revival raises the esteem of Jesus. If Jesus isn’t lifted up, it's not revival. If a person, personality, location, or even a church takes the fame from God, it’s not true revival. True revival stirs up your love for God and your love for people. True revival happens more on the inside than it does on the outside.
Here’s the test: if inward change has not taken place, it’s not true revival.
How do you know inward change is happening? What are the signs? What is the fruit?
The fruit of revival is LOVE.
It's not a revival if you still hate your family. It's not a revival if you still have racism in your heart because revival breaks down prejudice. It breaks down bigotry. It destroys the divides.
Revival reinvigorates the life of a believer. Revival causes Christians to get excited about reading their Bible in the morning. Revival gets people excited to worship God. Revival draws people towards repentance. In order to usher in revival, we first must recognize our need for repentance, our need to adjust our thinking and align it with God’s thinking.
Revival's not meant to be carried by one person. It's meant to be spread and carried by a church and a congregation. Revival is meant for the whole church to carry inside their hearts.
I heard God say, "Paul, if you get revival inside of you, you can impart it inside of others."
Some of you already have it in your hearts, but we must stoke the fire. We must stir up the flames and then we must spread the fire.
I remember one spring, I was with a group of friends, and we were sitting around a bonfire. Throughout the evening, the flames began to shrink. It looked like the fire was dying. As the flames began to turn to ashes and coals, I took my prong and began to poke it. Suddenly, the flame came back up again. I threw another log on top and the flames began to surge.
Some of us need to poke at the embers in our heart. We have let the flame of revival die down. We need to WAKE UP: our spirit, our faith, our passion, and our love. We need to get that fire burning in our hearts again.
We need the fire of revival; this is not just for us, but for others as well! It can’t start with the lost; it has to start among believers. It starts with repentance. Repentance opens the door for the Lord to move, and that is when revival overflows into the streets, neighborhoods, and cities. I believe our country is ripe for revival.