The simple definition of revival is God’s kingdom come and His will is done. We are given this as our sample prayer from Jesus (Matthew 6:9-10). His life and death were in effect to bring revival to the world.
Jesus Made the Way For Revival
Jesus removed the barriers that were restricting God from releasing more of His will on the earth (Ephesians 2:13-16). All of His hatred of sin was put on the cross keeping intact His holiness and revealing His greater desire to love and bless His people (Romans 5:9-11).
Jesus also gave us an example of what a walking revival would look like. He lived in constant communion with God, speaking God’s words and joining His actions (John 16:13, 5:19). Jesus’ words not only gave us principles to live by, they actually contained life within them (John 6:68). People to whom Jesus came in contact with were transformed, healed, forgiven, and made alive again (John 20:30-31).
Finally, Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit that we may have power to do all that Jesus did and more (Acts 1:8, John 14:12). Revival is not some whimsical desire of a few believers; it is what all Christians are created for. God wants this for us.
Revival is completely available to us.
We Are Not Convinced Revival is Available
I believe the main reason the majority of us are not experiencing revival is that we are not convinced it is available. Jesus has done it all, therefore the only hinderance is us. And, since He paid it all on the cross for our sins, our mistakes and failures are not our obstacles to revival.
The greatest thing keeping us from experiencing revival now has to be in our mind.
- We think we are unworthy.
- We think He will not come.
- We think we need to perform better.
- We think He doesn’t want revival.
- We think He only kind of loves us.
- We think it is not in His timing.
- We think we have messed up too much.
- We think we are not important enough.
- We think it is not according to His will.
- We think it is not our calling.
- We think it is too hard.
These are all lies. God desperately wants us to know these are not true. All throughout the Bible He is telling us how important we really are to Him, how His love is abounding, how He is working everything toward our good. Still, we have greater faith in these lies than the truths of the Bible. And, this lack of faith in what God wants to do, is restricting our ability to walk in revival.
Our Actions Reveal Our Faith in Revival
Imagine with me two very similar churches. They have matching beliefs and order of service. One of them has people slowly showing up sometime in the first half of the service. The other church has people pushing the front of the stage when the service starts. Which church is more likely to experience God during the service?
God can just as easily show up either place, but the faith is represented in the actions of those that show up. If Jesus was restricted in His abilities in some cities because of their lack of faith, we have to assume our lack of faith may be restricting the revival we hope to see (Matthew 13:58).
Revival is not limited to a church or Sunday morning. You can experience God in places and ways even when everyone around you is not. When I was in China, people would say it was a dark place. It was as if to them God was not as present there as in their home country. Expectations create your realities.
When you talk to the teller at the bank or the cashier at the grocery store, do you expect God to show up? Most of us would have to admit that we do not have faith in this and in turn don’t experience God in these places. I propose that lack of expectation is keeping us from experiencing more of God.
Bring Revival By Expecting Revival
If we would set our minds and heart on things above, we would experience more of heaven here on earth (Colossians 3:1-2). Our words will be infused with life. People will leave interactions with us with more hope and more joy.
Each of us has as much of the Holy Spirit as we desire. Those that have, more will be given (Matthew 25:29). Let us start focusing more on God’s kingdom come and His will done. The more we look for it, the more we will find it (Jeremiah 29:13). As we take steps of faith believing God for revival, He will show us the way. Just keep believing.