What is Revival?

I often lament, whether during a sermon or via social media, about the social and political decay of our nation. I read stories about teenagers who gun down a visitor to our country because they are bored or about war hero who is beaten to death by young men who at sixteen already have criminal records. I try to lament in a responsible manner, as I offer us the solution to these stories of depravity—the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I express my grief about the condition of our world understanding that we live as fallen human beings who have rejected the commandments and promises of our Creator. We live among the ungodly and should not be surprised when they act in accordance with their nature. Some, dare I say many, preachers have taken to condemning sinners to Hell long before the Savior has done so and have abandoned these fallen creatures to their sin and unrighteousness. Our Redeemer has not yet turned His back on our nation or her people, but we know that time is ticking away as the snowball that is history tumbles quickly toward its ending point.

What we need are not more or less laws, more or less government, more or less education, or more or less tolerance. What we need is revival—revival in God’s Word. However, before a resounded “amen” is heard in response to this statement, we would do well to consider what revival is. I believe it is imperative that we do not misunderstand the thing we so often say we need. Revival is not when the drunks stop drinking, the drug addicts get clean, the adulterers become faithful, the prostitutes switch jobs, the politicians retire, the gays go straight, the Pharisees embrace faith, the Sadducees grasp the resurrection, the atheists see God, the agnostics know God, and the Darwinists understand Genesis. Unfortunately, that how too many Christians define revival.
Revival is when God’s Word is preached, and read, and understood. Revival is when God’s people fall in love with His Word. This renewal that so many believers say they want occurs when we rightly divide what God has said and embrace It as not only the guiding light of our lives, but the foundation on which our very existence must be built. God’s Word is light in the darkness, rain in the desert, shelter for the homeless, asylum for the refugee, and hope for sinners.

When God’s Word falls on us It will accomplish all that He gives for It to do. It shall succeed in the thing in which He sends It. Friends, if we try to have revival outside of God’s Word, we have nothing—we have nothing on which to stand? We have nothing to be revived about. It might generate happiness. It might generate some type of manufactured, fake joy. Our church attendance might grow. However, there are plenty of churches, big and small, that do not live in God’s Word. They may be well attended. People may give. People may get excited. People might even do good things. But friends, that is not revival. Revival is you and I listening to the word of God and It changing our hearts—it giving us directions, it leading us to where we should go. God sets His Word as the foundation for revival because It does not return empty or void.

​We wake up each morning in desperate need of revival. Praise God, He has given us His Word and It holds the key. My hope is you grab hold of His Word. Devour It as you would the finest meal. Savor It as you would an expensive desert. Let It consume you; all of your heart and all of your soul, and all of your strength, and all of your mind.

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