Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
We are in the midst of what is commonly referred to as revival season or "meeting time." For those churches who still hold services known as "revival", many of them do so in the spring and fall of each year. As I meet and talk with other pastors I am finding more and more who have abandoned the practice of a series of services in order to seek revival.
As I considered the tragedy associated with that, I had to stop and question why many have given up on the practice. I suppose, in one regard at least, they may have reached a proper conclusion. Of those who no longer engage in "revival" services, most attribute their abandonment to a lack of interest and genuine revival. We would all have to agree that we are in desperate need of revival in America, but it seems as if we continue to pursue revival with the same results.
As we stop to consider genuine revival and the lack thereof, we must take a moment to consider our pursuit. As I said, we continually "pursue" revival, but we never seem to achieve the result we desire. May I suggest that our pursuit is likely much of the problem. We have come to the place that revival has been reduced to a series of meetings where we come together for a set number of services, with little personal preparation on our part, and expect the Lord to show up and do something marvelous in our lives. The problem is that most view revival as an activity more than an attitude. We can be as busy as we like, and even attend "revival" services on a regular basis, but until we determine in our hearts that we genuinely desire God to move in our midst and transform our lives, we will continue to be busy with no real change or lasting results.
Now, don't misunderstand what I am saying. I for one still believe in having a series of meetings in order to stir our hearts and draw nigh unto the Lord. If we are to experience real revival, attending the house of God and hearing the Word of God is the best place for that to happen. However, if we are to experience genuine revival, we must develop a hunger for the things of God. It will come through an attitude more than our activity. We must be willing to admit where we are with the Lord, confess our sin, genuinely repent of sin (literally turning from sin and forsaking it all together) and seek the Lord with a sincere heart. We could hold "revival" services every night of the week for months on end and it would profit little unless we are willing to develop a heart for revival.
Many today have given up on revival in America. Many say that we will never experience revival again. I suppose that may be true, unless, God's people seek Him with a proper attitude that creates a genuine desire for revival. God has not changed. He is the same God who blessed former generations with revival and I know that He would send it our day as well. The question is not whether revival is possible, but how much do we really desire revival? If America is to experience revival again, it must begin with the children of God. The church must get revived in order for real change to come to our individual lives, our churches, communities, and even our nation as a whole.
Do you desire revival? Would you like to have a closer walk with the Lord? Do you desire the presence of God to be so real in our midst that souls would be saved? If so there must be conviction to draw them to the Lord. The church has lost her power and we no longer experience real conviction in our services. Genuine revival would restore much of what we've lost. I pray that we will experience real revival and that it would begin with me!