The greatest need for the church of today is an old fashion Holy Ghost Revival. Revival is a word that is heard all over the world in the body of Christ, it is declared from many pulpits and spoken amongst Christians, but many people confuse Revival for what it really is and they have an incorrect expectation of Revival.
Revival is not emotionalism, although there will be emotional manifestations connected to it. It is not to be confused with loud music, a big auditorium with thousands of people in it. It is not mass evangelism although this is very important and will be an evident result of Revival.
What is Revival? Revival is a renewal of spiritual life in an individual or a church, it is to come back to the life, love and passion for Jesus that we once had.
To revive means to recover, restore, make whole, quicken, repair, refresh. Revival is needed whenever Gods people have grown cold in their love and passion for Jesus. When apathy, complacency, ease and sin has set in, Revival is urgently needed. Revival is for someone that still has life left in him, it is not for the world, it is for that person that has known the goodness of God but is now lukewarm and has lost the fire.
This verse in Psalms 85:6
declares a cry that should be the cry of every Christian and church “Will You not revive us again”. Israel had grown cold and indifferent to God at the time of this Psalm. Something had to take place, they where being defeated by the enemy and felt the anger of God towards them, rebellion had crept in, so the psalmist in verse 6 declares “Will you not revive us again” in other words it's saying will you not restore unto us the former days, will you not give us an abundant life again and see Your glory. They where tied, burdened and defeated, they desperately needed God to intervene on their behalf and give them a much needed Revival.
We see some truths in this verse that point the way to Revival. Revival comes as a result of desperate prayer in desperate circumstances:
Will you not revive us again? You can feel the desperate cry in this verse, there is a plea about this verse and it is this kind of desperate prayer that gets God's attention. Leonard Ravenhill the great preacher of the last century said “There is no such thing as a prayer less Revival”.
In 1 Samuel: 1
we see a powerful passage of scripture that has everything to do with Revival. This is the story of Elkanah and his two wives Hannah and Peninnah. The Bible says that Peninnah had many children but Hannah had no children for God had shut up her womb. As a result Hannah was miserable and bitter and to make matters worse her adversary Peninah provoked her and caused her to weep year after year, making her attendance to the yearly sacrifice a miserable occasion.
It was Hannah's fruitlessness that caused her to weep and become bitter, and as a result she grew cold and defeated. Many Christians and churches feel they are fruitless and making no progress in the things of God, all the while our adversary is being fruitful and letting us know about it. Our adversary is the devil, the flesh and the world. Everything around us seems to be abundant and prospering, the fruits of the flesh seem to be so easy to produce and this causes us to weep and understand that we are not where God would have us to be, the praise that there once was has gone, the hunger for Gods word has disappeared, church life has become boring and lifeless, the joy of the Lord is not evident. Our adversary is becoming more and more prosperous in our lives and churches, the world is in the church, the holy has been changed for the profane, and there is becoming no difference between the world and the church. So the real child of God and the true church of Jesus begins to weep at what is going on around us, it seems like God himself has closed up the heavens and the only way that all this can be turned around is if we have a genuine, Bible based, Christ Centered, Holy Ghost Revival.
Hannah knew that her only joy would be to have a son, this son is a type of Revival because it is this son that will change Hannah from a weeping woman to a rejoicing women, it is this son that will totally change her relationship with God, it is this son that would be the first of many more sons, she had Revival
The Revival came through desperate prayer in desperate circumstances. In verse 10 -12 we see Hannah praying in such a way that Eli the priest thought she was drunk on wine, in verse 15 Hannah says in reply to Eli's accusation “No my Lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit: I have drunken neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before my Lord
” what a prayer, she poured out her soul before God. When was the last time you poured out your soul before God? As a result of this kind of prayer the Lord blessed her with a son and in chapter two we see a totally different prayer by Hannah than in chapter 1, she had been revived by God.
I believe it is time to get desperate in the body of Christ for a Revival, for it is a desperate time that we live in, there is so much ease and complacency in our midst, prayer no longer is a priority in the church and the Christian life. Sin and wickedness is rampant in our society and the church is at ease and in a comfort zone. We have great auditoriums and the latest gimmicks, programs and schemes but there is no Revival, our adversary is winning and it is time for the church to take back what is rightfully ours. At the root of every genuine Revival you will always see that there was a group of people or an individual that got alone with God, got desperate and began to cry out to God for hours, days and months until God responded.
Someone once said you realize how popular the pastor is on a Sunday morning by the attendance, and you realize how famous the Evangelist is on Sunday afternoon by the enthusiasm and attendance at his service, but you also realize how popular Jesus is by the attendance to the weekly prayer meeting.
It is time to get desperate in prayer 2 Chronicles 7:14
says “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”.
May we cry out “Revive us again oh God” this is what the church and the Christian desperately needs today more than ever before in the history of the church. Let's get alone with God in prayer for the revival that is so desperately needed. You can have revival.
Part 2 of this message will be coming to you next month. We will be putting this message on audio as soon as possible and it will be available on this website. Pray that the Lord will continue to guide us.