1. Revival starts within.
In Luke 17:21, Jesus tells us, “The Kingdom of God is within you!” and clearly states that while people may try to tell us that the Kingdom of God is here or there, it really does reside within. I believe we go through many revivals, or returns to faith, throughout our lives and experiences as Christians. Without an inner revival, the outward signs of revival can never take place because the inner revival is the working of the Holy Ghost within us.
2, Revival demands unity.
We hear the word “unity” a lot today in a very wrong context. Many groups think unity means getting together and working on a project or discussing differences in belief. While I am the first to say that all denominations have some commonalities, we also have differences. It is essential that when it comes to unity we understand the essentials as outlined in Ephesians 4: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” In order for revival to work, these basics of faith must be a part of the lives and teaching of all involved in the revival experience.
3. Revival demands a price.
People like to hear about lots of people becoming Christians and enjoy seeing their church membership increase, but often churches who are seeking for revival never have it because they are unwilling to pay the price to have revival. Having and hosting a revival experience requires a great maturity from the Christians involved, and assurance of good motives: it requires people to pray, to seek God, to work out personal issues of prejudice, and open up the way for unconverted sinners to come to know Jesus and for backslidden individuals to come to the fullness of faith. Those involved must exercise self-control, discipline, and maturity in faith, walking in their Christian faith daily. Revival is far more than pretty music and a lot of people falling over. Remember the words of James 1:21-22: “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness,
and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
4. Revival is not necessarily mass conversion.
The big mistake of the world is to believe revival is actually a mass conversion or a mass flocking to a church or group to see what they are doing. Revival can be big or it can be small, since all revival really is is a turning of people toward the Lord. Revival of sorts happens every time someone comes to find Jesus Christ in their live, said best in John 1:12-13: “But as many received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
5. Revival cannot be scheduled.
Several years ago I saw a poster for a local meeting in which the participants were specifically coming together in order to start revival in the area on the first Sunday afternoon in November. Revival doesn’t work like that; we can’t schedule the Holy Ghost to show up and work in our orchestrations and hope then that revival will start. The disciples didn’t know when they gathered in that room that the great revival that followed was indeed what was to follow; they just sought God and trusted Him to do whatever it was His will to bring to pass. Psalm 143:10 reiterates this important point: “Teach me to do Thy will; for Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good…”
6. Signs and wonders are a sign of revival, but are not revival.
Joel 2:28-29 says: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days I will pour out My Spirit.” While these accompany revival and are a sign of it, notice that Joel 2:28 says “afterward.” If we look at verse 27, it clarifies that an inner revival shall take place first, and the signs follow, but signs and wonders don’t make the revival; they simply validate its experience.
7. Counterfeits can look like revival.
1 John 4:1 gives us important words: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Many groups out there claim signs and wonders but aren’t genuinely from God and therefore aren’t genuine revival which is evident in the fruit the movements spawn in that they draw people away from God, and Jesus Christ. Don’t be impressed by signs and wonders, be impressed by God and His Power to transform lives (which is the true fruit of revival), not false signs.
(c) 2006, 2015 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.