Revival is a word that is misrepresented and misunderstood in our day and age. It is not a week of meetings down at the church house. It is not many people walking an aisle and shedding many tears. It is not even when many people get saved and added to the church. These things are all good and certainly can be fruits of revival, but they are not what revival is at its core.
The word revival in its simplest definition means “to give life again”; as Christians, we know that the Lord Jesus Christ is our life, the Bible clearly tells us so (Rom.5:10, Col.3:4, Jn.15:4-5, Gal.2:20). And so revival is a returning to Christ, an enthronement of Christ upon the heart. It is a fresh surrender and love to Christ. Certainly this would involve removing the sin and apathy from our lives, and certainly this would lead to God being able to work through us to reach the lost, but these things are secondary when it comes to what revival is. Revival is simply the life of Jesus flowing through us unhindered. As Stephen Olford puts it “Revival is ultimately Christ Himself, seen, felt, heard, living, active, moving in and through His body on earth”. Amen to that! This is why we as a family are desiring to “Increase Christ”, because only Jesus is the answer to the problems we face as individuals and churches. Revival is not a means to our own selfish ends, but the source and aim of revival is Christ – He is all!
Any individual Christian can experience personal revival at any time; when he deals with sin and surrenders his all back to Christ in a complete dependence, then Christ will flow through Him by His Spirit (Jn.7:38). I believe as many Christians come back to Christ, living for His glory alone and living from the power source of His victorious life alone, then we’ll see many more fruits of revival in God’s church. God is still able to manifest His presence among us and give us times of refreshing (Acts 3:19), but we must meet the conditions of faith and obedience. I firmly believe we can still see large outpourings of God’s Spirit in our day if the church would repent of her unbelieving, unfaithful, apathetic condition. God and His promises have not changed – He will still pour water upon those who are thirsty enough for His presence (Is.44:3).
May we have pure and hungering hearts for the greater works that Jesus Himself promised (Jn.14:12)! May we see many spiritual victories in churches all over our land and the world, and as God’s people are stirred up and walking with Christ as they should, may it lead to a greater awakening among the lost around us!