And, why is THAT revival meaning MORE powerful than Church as Usual?
Join me on the quest to find the answer as we journey through God’s Word in order to Live revived in His Light
Pastor, if you were looking for an editorial internet treatise on the meaning of Revival in the church, then yes you came to the right place.
But, as you read this encouraging blog post you will see the elements of revival spoken of by Jesus in striking contrast to the condition of the heart in many a believer and in the world as a whole.
John the Baptist, the promised Elijah returned the hearts of the children back to the Fathers, perhaps that included returning their hearts to the faith of the Patriarchs and to Jesus, whose day the Patriarchs longed to see.
There was revival in his day, but it took time to reach the world. It took the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then several decades of the witnessing of the Apostles for it to be brought to fruition with the world being turned upside down.
Jesus taught His revival meaning in John 3:3-21, where Jesus schools Nicodemus, and in the Olivet Discourse, and while we are at it; he preaches revival throughout the whole book of John. Those red letters are a fantastic treatise on Jesus as:
- The Way
- The Truth
- The Light
- The Life
- Lover of His people
- Bull dog to our enemies
- He is the vine & we are the branches
- We must be in him as he is in the Father
- He and we must suffer for his Kingdom, but…
- We will have help in the form of the Holy Spirit, because we are the beloved of the Most High God.
First, however I have a little revival quiz
- Does it take you a long time to feast on the word of God?
- How about prayer?
- Does your lifetime seem inadequate compared to how much adoration and praise wells up in your heart that you can’t contain for Jesus?
- Do you feel like you are in Jesus’ shadow?
OK. Question number three was a bit of a trick question. God has no shadow of turning. Right?
True enough, sometimes it takes a lifetime of praying for an answer from God through a lifetime of persistent prayer to qualify your answer to number 2.1 as a yes.
However, an affirmative answer for all of these quiz questions marks a greater intensity of sanctification in your life. A pastor’s walk and talk of THIS order of magnitude IS Matthew 16:24 pastoral devotion. Your earnest passion to be more like Jesus as a pastor is evidence of taking up your cross (to die daily and take up your cross) revival in your heart.
Why value the true revival meaning in our hearts over the status quo?
The answer to that question is simple. While you have been praying for revival to spark in your town, city, state, and well, you get it — Revival has sparked and spread like a “2 Corinthians 3:18 personally heartfelt wildfire already! The verse reveals how revival grows in your heart.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Jesus’ Revival Meaning is NOT a Temporary Emotional Experience
During my time in the US ARMY–I led a youth group, in which I began teaching about revival.
When I mentioned to the throng of teenagers in that jam-packed living room that we were going to talk about revival… I was met with a chagrined word of warning from the oldest of the group. He had been there way longer than I had. In fact I was only 21 years old myself (he was 18).
You can’t be serious. Others have preached revival, revival fires, revival meaning more than just a really good planned idea… You can’t set us up like that. But if you want to try. Be my guest!”
Having been a young US ARMY Barracks pastor underneath the authority of the Post Chaplain, I could relate to the need for spiritual mentor-ship and encouragement in a similar fashion to how Timothy needed it from Paul.
I went on to say in my talk with the youth group, blurting out,
The difference between organizing a revival meeting and a true outpouring of the grace of God in power over not just our nation, but the whole world is that the former, consists mostly of praying for revival and then forcing it to fit within the framework of a church campaign…. And the latter is when the walls fall down everywhere, because God has poured out His spirit in power.”
We then went on to go through the gospel message and practiced evangelism together.
I taught that youth group what to pray for. Here are the main points of those true revival lessons:
- Yahweh, the true living God in all His sovereign power and with His glory as the focus turns the world right side up. The rest of the world that are not saved cannot ignore the calling God has for their day to day lives. They either accept or deny His saving grace.
- Deep conviction of sin hits the flock of Jesus. The whole flock turns from their sin in genuine repentance.
- The reconciliation, faith building, and theological TRUTH of the Bible is hailed as unassailable, inerrant authority, without question over everyone’s’ life.
- God’s presence, power, holiness, and truth spreads out as a wildfire from the one that began in the believer’s heart leaving no land untouched to truly bring in the harvest.
The thing is that I didn’t plan this revival lesson. I trusted God to help me reach these young hearts and minds. The truth is that I was a nominal youth group leader at best. My heart was in it, but I only had a few real moments of reaching their lives for Christ in a deep and meaningful sense. B.t.w., I was a much better US ARMY barracks pastor than youth group pastor.
When I was a teenager I was different than many of these teenagers. I was in the art club, the philosophy club, and drank a lot with the “artsy fartsy & intellectual” crowd.
Only after surrendering my life to Jesus did I “witness to”, instead of “drink with” my friends. Jesus changed my art, my philosophy, and my life. The only thing many of these teenagers could relate to was no longer drinking with their friends.
I encouraged them to, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” — 1 Peter 3:15
It is that sincere readiness I told them that we,
… through Jesus and the Holy Spirit can be used by Him to overcome these dark times and thrive in His sweeping power to turn the world upside down.”
I want to encourage and exhort pastors to earnestly pray for revival through:
- Broken and Contrite hearts of repentance
- Jesus’ righteousness
- The power of the Holy Spirit
- Forgiveness in our hearts, and…
- boldness in our life for Jesus to proclaim the Gospel of Peace and yearning for the Return of our King, Jesus!
- Coming back, checking out, praying over, and discussing the comments and revival stories
Pastor, you have a sincere desire for revival. That is because when Jesus created you he already preordained in you that revival meaning we spoke about for revival per Ephesians 2:10. Because it is important to Him and His kingdom it is in the heart of every true shepherd of God’s people and kingdom.
Every new babe in Christ is an unspeakable joy, & secretly you relish the thought of hearing one day, “Well done good and faithful servant – My light broke through the darkness and souls were revived unto new life in my name.”
There is more than can be said about revival. Pastor, share your stories of praying for and glimpsing revival in your times that can be discussed in the comments below.