How do we bring revival to America? to Australia? to Europe? to China? This is such an important question. As Christians we are commanded to make disciples of all nations and show the world our love (Matthew 28:19 & John 13:35). God said if we ask of Him, He will give us nations (Psalm 2:8). Our motive is that God doesn’t want any to perish but all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Our task is challenging and technically impossible, but He said we can do greater things them Him and He changed the world (Matthew 19:26 & John 14:12). We long to make this kind of impact in our world. We want revival to come. But how? How do we bring revival?
What Will Revival Look Like?
First, we should determine what revival will look like. I had an excellent post on this several years ago if you want more detail, but for now let’s just hit probably the main highlight: when revival comes Jesus will be in control. We may want to see big arenas with thousands of people converting to Jesus. We may think there needs to be lines of confession. We may feel to that money will be given to the poor or people giving their lives to the mission field. Maybe we assume we will know revival has hit when our President declares a corporate fast for God to relent from His judgement of our country. Any of this may happen in revival, but they also may not happen in the next wave.
Webster defines revival as a period of something becoming popular again after a long period of time. As Christians, when we use the term revival, we mean a period of time where Jesus becomes the topic of conversation for a majority in our population. For Ezra and Nehemiah, this appeared as sorrow over the neglect of God and then turned to a week long party (Nehemiah 8:9-12). For Jonah, it was a city-wide fast repenting of sin (Jonah 3:6-9). For Peter and the disciples, it appeared as a rushing, mighty wind and speaking in tongues (Acts 2:1-4). For Paul, it was turning a city on its head as local businesses started to fail (Acts 19:23-29). Each of these revivals looked different, and if we don’t realize this and recognize what marks a true revival, we may actually work against revival coming.
Not everyone likes revival. Jonah didn’t like the revival in Nineveh. Demetrius didn’t like the revival in Ephesus. The Pharisees didn’t like the revival during the time of the disciples. What’s to say you will like the revival God will bring to your country? Will we be open to whatever God wants to do? Will we be willing to appear foolish to the world in order for revival to take place?
Why Do We Want Revival?
It almost seems ridiculous to ask this question, however, we need to know the answer to give us stamina to endure the process of how to bring revival. Revival is all about Jesus, and if our desires or motives are based on something else, it will get exposed. People say that God will not share His glory – I tend to disagree. He gladly shares His glory to those who only want to see His glory manifest. Who’s glory are you promoting?
You probably are unaware of hidden motives encouraging your desire for revival. Invite God to search you and see if there be any offensive ways in you (Psalm 139:23-24). He will help keep your heart pure (Psalm 51:10). He will remove those motives that could lead you astray. He knows what you can handle and will lovingly keep revival from coming if you cannot stand under the pressures it will bring.
How To Bring Revival
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
I believe this passage from 2 Chronicles is a perfect place to direct our steps into revival. As you may know, it is often used for this regard. God gave this instruction to Solomon upon the completion and dedication of the first temple. God blessed David’s desire for a house of the Lord and came a filled the temple. God came, and this is what we desire in wanting to bring revival. God was so pleased, He wanted to give Solomon and us the instructions that would bring Him back in any time in the future. This passage gives us four commands: pray, seek God’s face, repent, and humble ourselves.
1. Pray: I understand there is a different order in the passage, but I want to start here because this is where most people start. Probably the biggest thing holding back revival is we are not praying for it. We don’t ask God therefore He doesn’t give it (James 4:2). Prayer doesn’t have to be long. He doesn’t want you to repeat ,”please send revival,” for several hours each day, but He does want you to ask.
Prayer is also more than asking; He wants us to listen. Prayer is communication with God, and communication is a two-way street. Listen to God’s heart for your country. Why does He think you need revival? What is He asking you to do about it? Who does He want you to partner with? God wants to partner with you. Listen to His lead.
2. Seek God’s Face: Seeking God’s face is different than prayer. You can pray without really getting to know God at all. Seeking God’s face encourages you to develop the relationship. What makes Him smile? You can read more on this step in the post: The Importance of Seeking God’s Face. For now, the main reason I will state is you can’t ask something for someone that you don’t want for yourself. You must want more of God in your own life to pray with any sincerity for your country. You will find power in prayer as you seek Him and partner with Him. Yes, He wants to bring revival, but as you seek His face, then you can gain His heart for your country, your people, and even for yourself.
3. Repent: As you start this process, you will begin to feel exposed before God. His holiness will reveal areas in you that don’t measure up. This is not to discourage you or make you feel bad, He is causing you to grow. He wants to prepare you to handle what He wants to bring through revival. He loves you and desires you to repent for your own benefit and joy.
4. Humble Yourself: This is often considered fasting as David said he humbled himself with fasting (Psalm 35:13). I believe this is partially the intent, but I also believe it is more. Biblical humility is seeing yourself as God sees you. Not thinking of yourself more highly, but also not thinking of yourself as anything less. In humility you live out of your true self, the way God created you to be. God doesn’t want to interact with your masks, pretensions, or false humility. He wants to talk to you because He thinks you are amazing.
I wrote more about this on Biblical Humility, but for now know that as you live out of who God made you to be, you will call others out of their fear to find that the way God made them is also amazing. Revival is more of Jesus represented in our lives, and we fully represent Him when we live out who were created to be. Then we can freely love and serve without manipulation but solely out of our love for God.
God loves your country, and He wants revival more than you do. Allow this to encourage you. You don’t have to convince Him. Seek out your Father who loves to give good gifts, and work with Him to bring revival (Luke 11:13). You will be glad you did.