Revival – What is it?

Revival means “to wake up and live” – in the Old Testament this concept comes from a word that means “to live” with life finding its source in God.[1]  The New Testament equivalent word means “to live again.”  It is used to describe the prodigal son who was “dead” and has returned to the father and is “now alive” (Luke 15:24, 32).  The idea of revival is likened to a slowly dying fire that is rekindled (2 Tim. 1:6) or to a plan that is producing new shoots and which is “flourishing again” (Phil 4:10).  As William B. Sprague put it, revival is being experienced “wherever you see (spiritual life) rising from a state of comparative depression to a tone of increased vigor and strength.”[2]

By these definitions we are experiencing revival here at Grace Church.

What should we expect in the coming months and years as we experience continued revival? In the wake of revival we should experience life abundant overflowing with love and the power of God resulting in a wonderful assurance of sins being forgiven with the feeling that the heart is clean and the soul is free.  We should expect prayer to “pulsate with the fragrance of heaven”[3] and for love to fill our hearts with singing and praise in our private lives and in our corporate worship.  We will experience a genuine fellowship of the Spirit as believers are brought near to Jesus our Head, and thus we will experience an environment in which minor differences are resolved as we commit to our larger common mission (Matthew 28:18-20).

We should expect the society we touch to feel the impact of our renewal.  The watching world will be intrigued as they see sinners moved to seek the Savior, as they observe restitutions being made, as they hear about broken homes being united, and the inevitable result is moral standards will improve, integrity will make its way into government, justice will prevail, and righteousness will begin to sweep the land.[4]

This may be a grandiose perspective to some, but who is to say another great awakening can’t begin here in Seattle? How can it begin? Prayer.  May you take a moment, drop to your knees, and ask that the revival continue in you.  Each time you feel like the Lord is distant, drop to your knees and ask for a new spiritual shoot to begin to grow.  Each time you are in that desert place, drop to your knees and ask the Lord to bring fresh rain to your soul.

GODSPEED


[1] Timothy Beogher and Lyle Dorsett, editors.  Accounts of a Campus Revival: Wheaton College 1995.  Pp. 14-15.

[2] Ibid., p. 24.

[3] Ibid., p. 15.

[4] Ibid., p. 16.

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