August 10 – Revival

revival

While Ezra prayed and made this confession, weeping and lying face down on the ground in front of the Temple of God, a very large crowd of people from Israel—men, women, and children—gathered and wept bitterly with him. (Ezra 10:1)

Read: Ezra 10:1-44, 1 Corinthians 6:1-20, Psalm 31:9-18, Proverbs 21:3

Relate: Revival. What does that word mean to you? For some you might be wondering if it is a medical term. For others, you come from a spiritual background where you know what it means but it isn’t often used. Others like me might almost roll their eyes at the very mention of the word. I grew up in a Pentecostal background where the word was so overused it almost became cliche. We would talk and talk about revival. What does it take to bring it? What will happen when it comes? At least once a year we would hold “revival” services where a guest evangelist (a traveling preacher) would come and hold daily services for a week or so. I remember frequently going to the “revival” services of neighboring churches as well as those held at my own. If they were really serious they might just rent a big top and have the services on the church’s front lawn calling it a “camp meeting revival”. Sometimes God would move in a dynamic and tangible way for a few Sundays in a row and everyone would say the church was experiencing “revival”. During my first couple years of college I know more than a few people who had traveled across the country to experience the Brownsville revival near Pensacola Florida.

While that last one was definitely on a different scale than the others, most of the time when we were talking about “revival” what we were really saying was that God did a little something extra and we even got some goosebumps. Someone who was part of revival on a whole different scale than what we imagined wrote a bit about true revival. Duncan Campbell was an instrumental part of what is sometimes called the Lewis Revival, in other places it is called the Hebrides revival. He writes:

When I speak of revival, I am not thinking of high-pressure evangelism. I am not thinking of crusades, or of special efforts convened and organized by man. That is not in my mind at all. Revival is something altogether different from evangelism on its highest level. Revival is a moving of God in the community…

In talking about this revival, he mentions a time when he was preaching and when the service was over almost everyone left. Some were hanging around chatting outside the church. Others had begun walking home, but one postman was still inside the church praying. Suddenly, those outside could hear the anguished cry of this postman’s prayer. They heard him crying out, “Oh God, you promised!” Just like that, those outside found themselves rushing back in. In prayer and anguish they began confessing and repenting of their sin.

React: When revival comes, people abandon their work and entertainments to come meet God. When He shows up, dinners are abandoned at their tables. When revival comes, nothing else matters. In today’s scripture Ezra prayed. The people repented. Violently, emotionally, in a very “undignified” manner they repented. Then the community changed. That is revival. All of Ezra chapter 9 is his prayer. All of chapter 10 is the result. Everybody in the entire community was impacted, not just a few people in one or two synagogues.

Now if you are like me, you will be tempted to comment below about some fond memories of revival experiences from the past. I can remember more than a few times and services when God did some amazing things in my life, but is that revival like I am talking about here? If I started randomly talking to my neighbors would they be able to remember experiences like those during the Great Awakening, or Azusa Street, or Israel during Ezra’s time? Those were revivals. They changed the community.

Five times a day every mosque everywhere in the world rings out a call to prayer. I must confess that most of the time I don’t even notice it anymore. it has just become background noise, but when I do notice it, I pray for God to reach a million souls here in Turkey. People are getting saved here and there one at a time, but what I am praying for is true revival that would radically transform the very society. God can do it. He has done it at other times and places, but how much are we willing to sacrifice for Him to do it here. Is he looking for someone like that postman who would abandon everything else, set aside their agenda and cry out “Oh God You promised!” Will I be that individual? Will you?

Respond: 

Dear God,
Even though we long for revival, we long to see You move, we must confess that all too often we do not want it enough. Let us not be content with what we have always had and experienced. Let us not be content with just a special time or a faint sense of Your presence. Show up. Show up in our communities in such a way that people everywhere fall on their face in repentance. Show up in such a way that entire communities, entire cities are changed. Bring us, bring me to my knees. Send me, send us back into our prayer closets and prayer rooms and  don’t let us leave them until You have arrived. Dear God, send revival.
Amen

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30 thoughts on “August 10 – Revival

  1. We must pray without ceasing for a true revival in the world we live in, no matter where we are. Blessings to you and yours.

    From: THE RIVER WALK Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 10:11 AM To: annwrites75@gmail.com Subject: [New post] 7502

    Beejai posted: ” While Ezra prayed and made this confession, weeping and lying face down on the ground in front of the Temple of God, a very large crowd of people from Israel—men, women, and children—gathered and wept bitterly with him. (Ezra 10:1) Read: Ezra 10:1-44, ” Respond to this post by replying above this line

    New post on THE RIVER WALK

    7502 by Beejai

    While Ezra prayed and made this confession, weeping and lying face down on the ground in front of the Temple of God, a very large crowd of people from Israel—men, women, and children—gathered and wept bitterly with him. (Ezra 10:1)

    Read: Ezra 10:1-44, 1 Corinthians 6:1-20, Psalm 31:9-18, Proverbs 21:3

    Relate: Revival. What does that word mean to you? For some you might be wondering if it is a medical term. For others, you come from a spiritual background where you know what it means but it isn’t often used. Others like me might almost roll their eyes at the very mention of the word. I grew up in a Pentecostal background where the word was so overused it almost became cliche. We would talk and talk about revival. What does it take to bring it? What will happen when it comes? At least once a year we would hold “revival” services where a guest evangelist (a traveling preacher) would come and hold daily services for a week or so. I remember frequently going to the “revival” services of neighboring churches as well as my own. If they were really serious they might just rent a big top and have the services on the church’s front lawn calling it a “camp meeting revival”. Sometimes God would move in a dynamic and tangible way for a few Sundays in a row and everyone would say the church was experiencing “revival”. During my first couple years of college I know more than a few people who had traveled across the country to experience the Brownsville revival near Pensacola Florida.

    Whi

  2. I have very negative reactions when revival is called for. Let me explain: what we mean when seeking revival is mostly more superficial religion; more of what made us sick. I was in a city wide prayer event July 16 which was the anniversary of a terrorist event here in Chattanooga TN, the theme was the classic Chronicals 7:14, “if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their sin, then I will heal their land.” What I yearned for was to hear Isaiah 58, “Behold in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure and oppress all your workers…Is this not the fast that I choose; to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?…then your light shall break forth like the dawn…” It is best to read the entire chapter.
    I will not join in a prayer for continuing in the same old way but increase the volume. This is what I hear in prayers for revival. Face it, we do not want revival, we just want more of the same.
    BJ, you posted yesterday about holiness in the church an taking a strong stand on judging within the church. Our weakness on true judgment within the church is that we are so biased that we cannot judge impartially. In Ephesians and other places greed is placed next to sexual sins. We do not speak true holiness, and we do not deal with true social problems that are connected to our wonderful lifestyle. Isaiah speaks of true revival, which we do not want.

    • I counted seven times in this devotional where I wrote how a true revival will change the community. You are right. Isaiah 58 is an excellent chapter for demonstrating what that change would look like.

  3. I will bring my indictment to what I see as obstruction to revival in America:
    1- A large portion of American Christianity has blind devotion to the Republican party and to capitalism. This results in a permissive endorsement of oil companies and resistance to environmental issues. I agree that capitalism is a Biblical principle but there are socialist aspects of the laws of Israel; tithe was to be used as a social welfare system for poor. Also if capitalism becomes oppressive then it needs restrained. We get our good produced in countries where wages are extremely low. This becomes a moral issue for us because we benefit at cost of their suffering. We could require wages high enough to lift our of poverty rather than perpetuate poverty in those countries, but that would increase the price of our stuff. James says, “the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.” James 5: 1-6 deals explicitly with this issue.
    2- Race: in many ways is it understandable that our churches segregate by choice; we just prefer our own kind. But we could design integration starting with leadership. A church congregation reflects its staff. Just hire a racially mixed staff.
    Some laws perpetuate racial oppression. I propose that ex-felons be restored all civil rights of full citizenship: voting rights, gun ownership, and employment. Felons need to be restored into community not cast to the side. Ex-felons should be eligible to be police officers; depending on type of crime and passing exams. These laws have affected the community of color significantly.
    3- Immigration: in our support of being a lawful country we Christians ignore this crises. We are a country with two signs; Help wanted, and keep out. The Sabbath day commandment tells us that this special day of rest was not just for the privilged nobility but for the entire population down to the animals and the immigrants. We are also told that we should not have different laws for immigrants. Therefore our wages for immigrants should not be below the minimum wage and without benefits. Well, many companies benefit off illegal immigrants. Our Christian community must take the lead in legalizing those who are here illegally.
    Muslim immigrants do pose a risk in the distant future as they grow and impose sharia as they are able. But we need to take the lead in loving even those who pose a risk to us. We cannot loose this opportunity to love on Muslims. They are coming and love is our godly weapon.

    These are the issues of true revival according to Isaiah.

  4. Humbling ourselves before a loving, grace-filled, holy God and praying like that postman prayed. With whole hearts. It’s not going to be a strategy. It won’t be a flash in the pan. You’re right, BJ. God needs to revive our hearts, change us, that we might join together–as the family of God–and ask Him for what only He can do.

  5. I had a really terrible experience at a “church” once concerning revival. I was a new Christian and didn’t realize that people would actually appoint themselves as Pastors and this particular guy did just that. Very manipulative and he was trying to teach people that signs and wonders were the mark of a revival; and the whole time I felt like this guy was a complete charlatan. That was a great post … revival = repentance. That always comes first., and we had very little of that in that particular church. Newbies beware LOL!

  6. Your well-written article provides me with much food for thought (and prayer.) I have never actually been part of, near to , or affected by genuine revival (including, and perhaps especially, Brownsville). Of course, I do certainly agree that genuine revival has always been, and will be, Spirit-initiated, Christ-centered, Spirit-led, God-honoring AND fundamentally transformational ~ i.e. transforming individuals, homes, communities, cities, countries … the world. Conversely, as I believe you’ve essentially pointed out, any so-called “revival” that does NOT issue in authentic, lasting, fundamental transformation is not genuine revival. At any rate, enough of my thoughts; thank you for so writing so eruditely on this subject. God bless you!

  7. Perhaps we would see major changes in our lives, and in the lives of those around us, if we all as Christians started “evangel-living,” in other words, if we would live out the scriptures in our daily lives, they would testify to others around us, but so often we just show that we know the scriptures, and live totally differently than the scriptures would have us live. However God does have a people and He will revive them, just as a Morning Glory Unfurls. In other words we won’t see it happening until His good timing.

  8. Great words. Timely call to focus on what is really important. Revival has been a theme in my thinking this whole year. Thanks for this challenge to really desire what God desires and be willing to travail for it in the spirit. Old-fashioned term but the most apt I think.

  9. Let’s remember, revival begins with just one. Sometimes that one is seeking God alone for a long time before someone joins them, but we should never give up continually seeking God and sharing the gospel. I’ve been praying for revival for the last few years in my church, city, and nation, and each year I know we get closer and closer. On another note, a good study that my husband and I recently did on revival was “Refresh” by Michael Catt.

  10. My heart cries out but so often my lips are silent.
    What will I say when I stand before Him?
    Break my heart Lord break my will and bend my knees until my face is on the ground.
    Only let me cry out in tears of repentance and in travail for the lost and the backslider to return , to repent and be saved. Amen
    Not just words God, not just words.

  11. Reblogged this on Handicap and commented:
    This guy is right on, but I have one more thing to add. It only takes one person to start a movement. I think we need to start a movement, in fact I am praying that something happens to the whole wide world not just my country.

  12. Hello Beejai, I just had a look at your blog I’ve got to say your blogs have been thought provoking. In particular for me was the one: ‘What is legal vs what is right’. It was brief like most of your blogs but relevant. I just read your blog titled ‘Revival’, and I agree with much of what you said. I’ll just like to add that as much as it is vital to pray to God for a revival, that can’t be the only thing we do. We as Christians have a part to play. What we might consider ‘small acts’ of kindness and love as stated in Isaiah 58:7 and pretty much everywhere in the Bible result in what we could refer to as a revival as stated in Isaiah 58: 8,9&10b. As I often say, I believe there 67 books of the Bible. The original 66 books most people will never read, but the 67th is one read every day by most people and that book is us (Christians). It’s important for us as Christians that we be a good representation of the remaining 66 books, and let our lives show the message of love displayed in the Bible. Finally, I also noticed that you end all your blogs with a beautiful song Beejai, which I enjoy. So in that same spirit, I’ll leave you with a line from this beautiful song by Natalie Grant- ‘Be one’;

    ‘…why sit around and wait for a miracle to come when we can be one..’

  13. I appreciated this article. If you ever get the time, check out one I wrote several months ago. It is part of a series I did that, among other things, addresses the topic of revival, but from a slightly different perspective than yours. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  14. This. Yes, Lord. And my I have the courage to let it start with me. I have felt the stirring, the longing. He’s calling us out, drawing us near, to be set apart and sold out with no regrets.

  15. Ah to tell you I needed this and that the Lord just used you does not do this moment justice. Thank you for post and your encouragement. May the Lord continue to use you in mighty and unexpected ways.

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