Have you ever wondered why the word revival is never mentioned in the New Testament? The concept is not even hinted at. So why do we talk about revival as if God had a boiling bowl of instant revival up in heaven waiting to pour it out on his hungry, thirsty, eager people. All we must do is pray enough, cry enough, fast enough, wait enough, repent enough, call on His Name enough…
Okay enough. You get the idea.
It’s hard to imagine our heavenly Father with that overflowing revival bowl saying, “almost, almost, keep praying, keep screaming….okay….now here you go!” And with a flick of his wrist that bowl is poured out and an awakening sweep across the nation.
Actually, when you think about it, waiting for revival seems anti-New Testament. The call in the New Testament is to act, to do, to drive…not to wait for God to do something. The sole exception is Acts 1 and 2 when the disciples were commanded to wait and pray for the promised Holy Spirit in Jerusalem. After Jesus ascended they waited ten whole days before the Holy Spirit blew the doors open in the upper room and came to indwell each of them.
At that moment the early believers had everything they needed for revival. They had the instantaneous ability to choose to be empowered by the 3rd Person of the Trinity. At the moment of empowerment they were instantly “revived.” According to Ephesians 1:13,14 we receive the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation and He is there for good and to do good through us.
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possessionâ€”to the praise of his glory.”
The Holy Spirit brings with Him all of the necessary implements for personal revival. We yield to Him and the revival is on. There is nothing He is lacking in His toolbox and He makes them all available to us as we walk in faith. Check out Peter’s words,
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3,4
We have everything we need for revival.
So why do I go to Christian meetings and church services where preachers and worship leaders constantly call out for the presence of God and the power of God to come? Some scream, some sing, some wave banners trying to get God’s attenion. Sometimes it feels like they are more like prophets of Baal than prophets of God. They dance around the sacrifice, cutting themselves, screaming themselves hoarse all while trying to call down the lightning. Meanwhile the thunder is rumbling down deep in our souls. The Holy Spirit is ready, willing and able to consume the sacrifice when we, like Elijah, act in faith.
Maybe it’s because we refuse to walk by faith by living like that revival is reality. Are we indirectly blaming God by implying that He hasn’t poured out revival yet? Are we saying, down deep inside, that it’s His fault? We are if we are asking for something that’s already ours through the Holy Spirit. But instead of activating the Spirit’s work through us by faith (aka “revival”) we sing, pray and fast under the pretense of “waiting” on God to do something. Meanwhile He is waiting on us to believe that we have everything we need for life and godliness and to walk in the revival that is already ours through Christ.
If my little boy asks me for something to eat while he is holding the happy meal I just bought for him at McDonald’s at best he would seem ignorant and at worst he would be ungrateful. Are we any less ignorant and ungrateful when we hold the Happy Meal of the Holy Spirit in our hands (along with the free prize of revival inside) while begging God to bring revival?
We have everything we need for revival. Let’s live the revival that was purchased through the cross of Christ, energized through His resurrection and delivered into our hands at the moment of salvation through the Holy Spirit. Our only other option is to blame God for not bringing revival and that option is dangerous.
Enjoy your lunch and don’t forget to open up your free prize!