Revival is all about taking a situation that is infused with spiritual drowsiness, desensitization, or coldness and exposing it to the God who restores life. Let’s talk more in detail about the kinds of revival: Personal, corporate, and historic.
Personal revival can be viewed as what happens when a believer who is struggling in spiritual darkness is ignited by the Spirit to renewed life and power in Christ. What does this darkness look like? This darkness can take the form of doubts or fears or apathy or despair. It can originate in the murkiness of our hearts or there can be demonic influences at work. Traumatic circumstances can contribute to it. Disappointments can feed into it. It leaves us marked with heavy weariness, or faith paralysis, or bouts of crushing sadness and hopelessness. But there is hope. God sees us, and He longs to revive us.
Why bother talking about darkness? Because revival is all about going from darkness to light and from death to life. If a person doesn’t even see or sense the wounds or emptiness or sins within themselves, how will one recognize when God revives their heart? If we think we are already pretty good Christians, sufficiently holy and wise and powerful, why do we really need God to set our hearts afire with His Spirit? Darkness is not an absolute requirement for revival to occur, but great darkness often precedes it because it presses us to a keen awareness, to see our own inadequacy and utter dependence on the Holy Spirit.A little humility goes a long way in the Kingdom of God. And this humility is the needed baseline from which God ignites all revivals.
So, how do we better prepare ourselves for a personal revival? This is what it takes: 1) an openness to God’s speaking to us, 2) confrontation with one’s personal sins, and 3) full surrender to the Spirit’s leading. There needs to be a genuine openness to hear from the Lord, words of encouragement as well as needed correction. John 10:2-3 reminds us that “the sheep listen to the Shepherd’s voice.” Also we need to live a lifestyle of repentance where we grieve over our own sins and confess them and turn them over to the Lord. Acts 3:19 tells us, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins might be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
Finally, we have to get rid of the stubborn insistence of doing things our way. We have to let the Spirit fill us. We have to fully surrender to His leading. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We need to submit to God, surrender to His Spirit, and stop resisting what He wants to do. We trust Him and start to obey.All these things position us in a place where God moves to personally revive us.
God’s work of revival is certainly not limited to personal revival. There are much bigger scopes of revival such as historic revival. Yet personal revival is the most accessible one to any Christian who continues to hunger and thirst after a greater touch from God today. God eagerly wants to heal you and restore you and bring fresh life to you again!