In Psalm 85:6, David said to the Lord, “will you not revive us again; that thy people may rejoice in you.” The word revive here means to give new energy to or to bring back to life. David understands that as people of God, there are going to be times when we need a revival. There will be times when we need new energy and even new life to bring us back to a place of production for the kingdom. Revival is not about sinners getting saved, even though that should be the result of revival, but rather it is about the church regaining the energy that it once had. Rod Parley stated, “Revival is not about the sinner getting saved, but rather it is about the church getting saved.” Revival is about the people of God coming out of complacency and coming into a spiritual awakening so that the Holy Spirit begins to operate within the church in a way that brings deliverance to people in need. David understood that by nature, people tend to become lulled to sleep spiritually and from time to time, a fire need to be lit that would rekindle the flames of the spirit in the church.
Now we must understand what revival is and what revival is not. First of all, revival is more than just a chain of services where an outside speaker comes and preaches. Though there is nothing wrong with these types of meeting, they do not in themselves bring revival. Revival is more than fast songs, fast-talking preaching and people shouting. These things may all happen during a season of revival, but revival is more than that. Before revival can come to the community, it must first start in individuals. Revival begins when a hunger for more of God comes into the hearts of believers. When people begin to seek a deeper understanding and revelation of who Jesus is, and they begin to spend time in prayer and study. Through this, a hunger grows, and an overflow begins to take place, and people become excited and passionate about what God is doing. With every passing moment, they enter into a deeper walk, and that excitement and passion begin to flow onto others, and before you know, there is a full out revival taking place. So many times, we think that revival happens when the whole church get caught up, but the truth is that all revival starts with a small group or even one and then flows to others. Most of the greatest revival in the history of the church started with just one moment that was not even meant to be a great moment. Most would say that the Brownville Revival that went on for years and saw millions of people come to Pensacola Fl and receive the Lord started during a special Father’s Day service where guest speaker Steve Hill was only supposed to preach the one service. The truth was that a small group in the church had been praying for two years for God to pour out His Spirit on the church. Revival comes because people are hungry, and God honors that hunger with a fresh outpouring of His Spirit.
The problem that many in the church and even more so for us that have been in Pentecost for some time and have seen great moves of God, is that we can miss God’s outpouring because we think it should come the way we have seen it before. Many of us that have seen God do something great get caught up in the method God used and miss out because what He is doing today does not look like what He did yesterday. If the miracles of Jesus teach us anything, it should be that He does things the way that He choices and many times they are different than the way, He did it before. He may speak one time, and another time, He may choose to put mud in your eye. He may be asleep in the boat during your storm, but the next time He may come walking on the waves of the storm, but in both cases, He will claim the storm you are facing. The thing is that we cannot control how God moves; all we can do is be ready to move with Him and seek after Him to do it in our lives. Bill Johnson stated that many times, the very people that God used to initiate a move of God could miss out because God likes to use people that have no idea what they are doing. People that are dependent on God for direction on what to do next. When true revival hits, it turns everything upside down and shakes, and everything can be shaken. True revival makes religious people uncomfortable, and it even makes saint uneasy at times because they cannot predict what is going to happen. True revival manifest Christ and not men, and in doing so, it humbles all that are a part of it, and for many people, this is hard to handle. True revival brings change and that change rearrange lives, ministries, and churches. Like a burning fire, everything in the path of true revival is different, and noticeability changed.
The truth is that there is not one of us in the western church that does not need revival. No matter if you are at a church that is growing or a church that is struggling, we all need a revival of God’s Spirit. As we look at our country, we see that we are farther from God than we have ever been and the one thing that can change that is a revival that sweeps across our nation. The problem with any revival is that we have to maintain it. When you look at some of the great moves of God over the last couple of decades, you see where many of the places that God moved the most are not in a great spiritual collapse. The revival fire that once burned so intensely is now nothing more than a memory in the minds of a few. Yes, they accomplished a lot, and there is no doubt that people are doing great works for God as a result, but the fire of revival no longer burns. Why? Somewhere along the way, the revival fire was not maintained. The Levi’s were told to care for the fire and to make sure that it did not go out. Day and Night there were priest that did nothing but tend to the fire. Even when they traveled, they would place the fire in the pans and shake them as they traveled so they fire would not go out. Maintaining revival fire is much the same, in that we cannot lose our hunger for God. We must continue to seek after Him for even more than what He has given. When we stop seeking the fire goes out, and once again, we find ourselves asking the question David ask, will you not revive us again?