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Revive Us Again

What is true revival? What does it really mean? How and when will revival occur? What is the result of true revival?

True revival is initiated by God and not men. It is a sovereign act of God. Only His work can be called a revival. A revival is a revival only after it has happened! We can pray for a revival but we cannot plan to make a revival happen! And we cannot manipulate events or programs to ensure that a revival will occur at such and such a place and in such and such a time!

Acts 2 was initiated by God. The 120 didn't know what they were waiting for until the Holy Spirit descended. They didn't plan for it to happen. When it finally happened, church history began!

Many supernatural signs and wonders are observed and recorded in revivals. However, visible manifestations are not necessarily a proof that the revival is genuine. Counterfeit manifestations are characteristics of false revivals. Any movement, which places physical manifestations as its central focus, is often not a true revival. The result of true revival is true repentance, returning to God and His Word!

The word "revival" has been overused and misused. Almost every special meeting is called a "revival" whenever a special evangelist preaches or a powerful revivalist is onstage. To many Christians, a “revival” means having an unfathomable, highly emotional and power-packed meeting, a miracle rally or a prophetic or apostolic impartation gathering.

Concerning true revival, God desires to revive the spirit of the humble, and the heart of the contrite ones.

Isaiah 57:15
For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

2 Chronicles 7:13-14
13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

When we, His people, who are called by His name, will humble ourselves, and pray and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven, and will forgive our sin and heal our land.

Psalm 85:6-7
6 Will You not revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?

7 Show us Your mercy, Lord,
And grant us Your salvation.

The word “revival” is from the Hebrew word "chayah." It means to bring back to life, to restore to consciousness, or to restore to a previous condition. For example, a dying patient is revived to life from death or a drowning man is revived to consciousness from unconsciousness.

Likewise, spiritual revival is a restoration, rejuvenation or renewal back to godliness after periods or years of spiritual neglect, compromise or indifference. Basically, people have forgotten about God and are not interested in Him anymore! Revival is a heartfelt return to God and His Word.

Isaiah 55:6-7
6 Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

True revival is not about getting people saved! Getting people saved is called evangelism. Revival is getting those who are saved return back to God! To be revived again. To return back to their first love! To be restored back with God! It is not an emotional or sensational feeling. It is a firm decision and desire to come after Christ daily, deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus! Revival is not about churches filled with people but it is about people filled with God.

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."

Evangelism will always follow revival. When the people of God are revived, they will witness and evangelize wherever they go.

Acts 2:40-47
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”
41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

As God desires to revive the cold, lukewarm or backslidden believers, we need to pray and intercede for Him to turn the hearts of His people back to Himself.

Before resuscitating or reviving any person, numerous factors need to be considered - Should CPR be conducted? What is the medical history of the person? What are the types of medications and equipment available for the resuscitation?

Similarly, when God revives us, He will consider the conditions of our hearts and our churches. There are various types of revivals. What kind of revival God desires to send will depend on the conditions of our hearts and our churches:

1. The Loveless Church (Rev. 2:1-6)
1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.
4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

2. The Persecuted Church (Rev. 2:8-11)
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,
‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:
9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

3. The Compromising Church (Rev. 2:12-17)
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

4. The Corrupt Church (Rev. 2:18-29)

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.
25 But hold fast what you have till I come.
26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father;
28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

5. The Dead Church (Rev. 3:1-6)
1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,
‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

6. The Faithful Church (Rev. 3:7-13)
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:
8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

7. The Lukewarm Church (Rev. 3:14-22)
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

Today, there are many defeated Christians who believe that they will not able to rise up again. Many discouraged Christians who daily wallow in self-pity, unforgiveness and resentment. Many backslidden Christians who keep falling back into their old ways and habits of life. Many depressed Christians who will not forget those things which are behind, and reach forth unto those things which are before, and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Only God can send forth a revival. He alone is the Source. It is what God will do if we humble ourselves, seek His face and wait upon Him, repent and return to Him and His Word.

Finally, may this hymn “Revive Us Again” spring up in our souls once more:

Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.

Written on: 18 July 2017