The Meaning of Revival
Have you ever stopped to think what revival is? Viv words are life-related. Vivid means “full of life.” A vivacious person is someone who’s energetic and lively. So with –viv- at the heart of revival, we know its meaning is life-related. The prefix re – adds “again” to the mix. If a person faints, we hope he or she can quickly be revived. The same is true when someone’s spiritual life is faint. Unfortunately, lack of spiritual life can be hidden for awhile. If we were to know, we would want that person to return to spiritual health and vitality because the longer in that state, the harder to revive. The suffix – al means “that which pertains to.” So the word revival is literally, “that which pertains to life coming back again.” It is reviving the living. So revival is for believers. Now, I have been a part of revivals where people have come to know Jesus Christ for the first time. New life begins to course through their veins. That alone can start a revival among believers.
Revival is just what David is asking for in Psalm 51. After a tragic spiritual fall, he longs for his former closeness to the Lord. “Have mercy on me, O God,” he pleads (verse 1). God does just that. He has mercy on David and brings new life in him. A proper understanding of revival makes it attainable for everyone. It first begins with the individual and spreads to the family, the church, the community, and then to the nation. What David experienced by his spiritual life being restored is something God desires for all of us.
God wants life in its fullness to be experienced on a grand scale. For instance, in Ezekiel 37 the Lord tries to open his prophet’s mind to the passion he has for revival among his people, the Israelites. To do this God takes Ezekiel to a most unlikely place – a valley of dry bones: “He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘O, Sovereign Lord, you alone know,’ then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! … I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life’” (verses 3-5).
You know the song, “The thigh bone's connected to the hip bone” and so on. Now I have that song going through your head. The point is that God did want to see revival in Israel, as He desires to see it in our church, our community, and our whole country. We don’t need to be convinced that we desperately need revival at every level. But it must first begin with the individual. We are accountable for our relationship with Jesus Christ. How invigorating it is to know that we can personally experience “life coming back again,” even if things around us are far from it. But oh, let me tell you, people will take notice. The things around you will eventually change or you will change the things that are around you. I am not talking about families breaking up. I am talking about habits, and some friendships that have dragged you down, will change or disappear. In order to sustain life, you have to be around things that will help you to grow daily in the Word and increase your faith in God. Your desires will change and you won’t want to do the same things you did before.
Read Ezekiel 37 and Psalm 51. Picture God’s desire for David and Israel as the same picture He wants for you and this generation. Read it over several times and allow the Holy Spirit to speak into your life.
Raymond Edman, a pastor in Pasadena, California, said over 40 years ago, “It is one thing to wish for revival, and yet it is something in addition to be willing for revival at any cost to come in any way through any means that God may choose.” Would you pay the price and set aside time to pray for revival with your church family? Starting , we will begin 7 days of prayer and fasting for revival. You have the choice to come to the church between or You can attend one or both each day. We will gather together to pray for revival to fall on our families, our church, and our nation. It only takes a spark to start a fire. Revival will come if we seek the heart of God together. Will you seek the manifest presence of God with me?
Joy in Jesus!