The word revival says that something is alive but is about to die; it struggles with life and needs awakening.
If you’re not a Christian, you don’t need revival; you need regeneration. If you are a Christian, there is a good chance that during your Christian life, you will need a few revivals.
Revival happens when God visits His people and wakes them up spiritually. It can happen on many levels. For example, revival can happen at the individual, group or community level — and even the national level. One of the most famous revivals was the Great Welsh Revival at the turn of the 20th century, when more than 100,000 people came to Christ in five months.
This revival was so powerful, they closed bars and pubs because people stopped going to them. They closed prisons because there was no one to put in jail. Amazingly, mines had trouble getting mules to work because so many miners converted to Christ and the mules only worked while cursed. The whole nation of Wales experienced revival.
The best definition of revival from the Bible is in Acts 3:19, where Peter says, "Repent, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out and that times of refreshing may come from the Lord
When revival comes, great things happen. God’s people have a new passion for prayer, worship and God’s Word — you won’t have to beg them to come to church. You see renewed, even ruthless confession of sin and renewed commitment to holiness. Many of the things God’s people used to tolerate in their lives will not be tolerated anymore. You will see an increased burden for the lost and an emphasis on evangelism. Great numbers of people coming to Christ usually follows revival.
Revival cannot be manufactured; rather, it is heaven sent. God can’t be forced to send revival by anything we do.
We are prone to let our love for God grow cold. The Lord fills us up with the Holy Spirit and he starts a fire in our hearts, but after a while, that fire doesn’t burn as hot as it once did.
Ask yourself if these apply to you:
• Prayer is no longer a vital part of your life.
• You have grown content with your Biblical understanding and you don’t hunger anymore.
• You don’t anticipate church gatherings.
• Pointed spiritual discussions embarrass you.
• Certain sins don’t bother your conscience.
• Divisions in fellowship don’t bother you.
• Injustice and human misery rarely cross your mind.
• The loss of people without Christ never crosses your mind.
• You never think about or sense God’s presence.
• A desire to praise the Lord rarely wells up in your heart.
Are you thirsty for more of God than you have been experiencing of late?
I believe that God will light the fire when you get on the altar. The heart can be rekindled with the fire of the spirit’s presence.
I don’t know how or when God will send revival to America, but open a way for God to come into your heart.
Ask God to light the fire — to rekindle those feelings you once had.
The Rev. Albert Corey is pastor at Oak Ridge Assembly of God in Crestview.