Some have call these spiritual phenomenon, The Awakenings, which began in the seventeen hundreds. More recently we see the Toronto Blessing and The Lakeland Revival. It seems like the most common name we use is indeed “Revival.”
We hear songs crying out for revival, we hear sermons about revival, videos all over Youtube, ministry names announcing revival, books about revival, etc. Nevertheless, there are common questions amongst us. What is Revival? Is this word in the Bible? Should we be praying for revival? These questions are asked by the many. I myself have pondered as to the origin of this mysterious word.
I used to pay no mind to revival, disregarding it as another religious term with no Biblical foundation. It is very easy to be conformed to whatever our current Christian experience is; after all, we do have the tendency to believe that we are not that bad, that our local churches are doing fine. We can find ourselves happy with our local church programs: Children Ministry, Missions, Men’s Ministry, the Worship Team, Prison Ministry, etc. The more we do, the better we feel!
For many of us that have never experience revival, it is very easy to just ignore the reality of it. We read about the power of God in the Bible, we hear the dramatic testimonies, the miracles, the transformations, etc. but we don’t see those things manifested in our lives, our families or our local churches. So we do what is normal for us to do; we adapt to the status quo.
Should we be praying for revival? Well, if you don’t understand what revival is and if you are one satisfied with your religiosity and the way things are, you will not even find the need to pray such a prayer. However, if you get a basic understanding of what revival really is, you will never be the same again, you will pray for revival as if your own life depends on it…literally! And in reality…it does!
Through the years we have heard about many revival-like events: The Great Awakenings that brought the truth of the salvation by grace alone. It is through those powerful moves of God that we now have a group of Christians that are known as Protestants. It started with a small group call the Moravians and it literally spread all over the world.
The eighteen hundreds gave us the holiness movement that placed a great deal of emphasis in living sanctified lives.
The 20th century started with the Pentecostal movement that literally exploded all over the world through Bishop William J. Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California.
In recent years, we had The Toronto Blessing in Canada, the Brownsville Revival in Florida and Lakeland Revival also in Florida. Nonetheless, how can we connect these events to God’s Word? What is a Revival specifically?
Revival can be synonymous with: revitalization, resuscitation, renewal, restoration and others. Revival means to bring back to life. Many have a problem with even praying about revival because they don’t see themselves as dead. “Why do I need revival if I am not dead?” Is the fair question many ask.
In a Biblical sense, allow me to offer the following definition: “Revival is God’s manifested presence in a heart, in a group, in a church, in a region, in a nation and even in the whole world. Revival is the result of God’s Shekinah glory.” Shekinah is defined as: God’s dwelling place; it is the place of God’s manifested presence. The Shekinah glory of God is what brings forth revival! Without God’s manifested presence we are indeed dead!
The idea that God can walk in a room and everything will continue as, business as usual, is a faulty and fallacious assumption of God’s power and nothing further from Biblical truth. The men of God in history did not go unnoticed for they were filled with God. Perhaps, the correct way to address all these arguments about revival is to agree to the following:
We are nothing without God’s power.
We need His Shekinah glory.
We must agree to pray for God’s Shekinah glory to manifest.
I will go as far as saying that the story of God’s people and the church can only be written around His glory. Anything and everything outside of His glory is a demonic counterfeit.