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3 Signs of Biblical Revival

Is the Holy Spirit moving? Here’s how you can tell.
Greg Stier
Greg Stier
Raised hands is not a sign of true biblical revival, but these three signs are

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 4:31

As believers, we long to see God move powerfully among us, reviving hearts and igniting passion. But what should revival look like? How can we tell if spiritual ignition is real and in line with Scripture?

Here are three telltale signs of true, biblical revival:

1. The power of prayer shakes the building.

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.

For the early believers in this passage, it was a literal shaking. God gave them their own personal earthquake that hit only their building. There is no recorded damage to this property, but it surely injured the kingdom of darkness. 

When’s the last time this kind of shaking happened in a prayer meeting you participated in? I’m not referring to a literal shaking of the literal building (although that would be awesome). I’m referring to the corporate sense that our prayers are reverberating up to Heaven on a righteous Richter scale that’s shaking its very foundations.

I’ll never forget a meeting I attended at Cru headquarters, where I preached on this very passage at a gathering of national leaders. After I finished, the president of Cru at the time, the late Steve Douglass, came up to the stage with a somber look on his face. 

I thought I was about to get rebuked for something I’d said. Instead, he took the microphone and said: “I had prepared remarks, but I feel compelled that we should go to our knees and pray that God would shake this building and shake our hearts for the urgency of the mission at hand.”

We did just that.

The moments that followed gave us all a taste of Acts 4:31. I’ll never forget the beautiful, but heart-wrenching intercessory prayers uttered throughout the room.

May we all aim to turn our prayer meetings into building-shaking, Heaven-taking events.

This can happen only when we pray with clean hands and pure hearts (Psalm 51).

This can happen only when we pray in true faith (Mark 11:23) in the name of Jesus (John 14:13-14), based on the promises in His Word (2 Peter 1:3-4).

2.  The power of the Spirit shakes the believers.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit….

The filling of the Holy Spirit is when God Himself fuels believers.

The Holy Spirit indwells us at the moment of salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14). But just because He indwells us doesn’t mean He propels us.

We must give Him the steering wheel—and clutch, gears, gas, and brake.

This filling is a moment-by-moment yielding to His presence, power, and control (Ephesians 5:18). It’s a daily declaration of dependence on Him, as a member of the Trinity, to empower us and allow the life of Christ to flow through us (Galatians 2:20).

This “shaking” may or may not come with emotions, chills, or experiences. But it does come with power. From this power flows the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and boldness to proclaim the Gospel (Acts 1:8).

3. The power of the Gospel shakes the city.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

You can’t call it a revival if it doesn’t hit the streets. 

If disciples aren’t being made, then the Kingdom isn’t progressing.

Too many prayer-focused Christians lock themselves in a room, claim to get filled with the Spirit, but then never go out of their prayer closets to share the Good News.

But the first sign of the filling of the Spirit in Acts 2 is that the believers’ tongues are set on fire for the Gospel (3,000 new converts added in a day!).

If you want to experience revival, then follow the biblical pattern:

  • Pray passionately and corporately for it. 
  • Get filled with the Holy Spirit every day, throughout the day. 

And, as you do, live a life all-out for Jesus. Then go out and share the Gospel with everyone you can.

May prayer shake your church, the Spirit shake your soul, and the Gospel shake your city.

This is biblical revival!

Don’t settle for anything less.

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