I’ve been involved in revival for a long time although for many of those years I missed naming it for what it was. You see, I once believed that revival is marked by a loud, exuberant, ra-ra, experience in the Lord, yet I’ve come to find that revival is a deep, quiet work of the Lord way down inside us. Often times this deep revival results in a move of the Spirit over us that brings in greater silence; we are simply in awe before our Lord, humbled and quiet in Him.
In cultures and settings where loud and exuberant is the norm, when the Lord moves people to silence I know that revival is happening. When prayer clients are brought to sober reality and silence before the Lord I know revival is happening.
The first mark of revival is repentance. An awareness and sorrow, a new understanding, of where our lives have not been in agreement with the life of God is a sure mark of repentance. It is, after all, evidence of God’s revelation and conviction, for not one of us can get to these things on our own. Rather, it is the Lord’s good hand that brings us into greater awareness.
Yet, by and large, we avoid repentance at all costs. We would rather carry chains of guilt and shame and regret slung over our shoulders, pretending that they are not there – we do not see them and others are not seeing them either. Yet at what cost do we deny this weight on our lives? God has come to set us free and to remove chains from our hearts and minds.
And it is here, in the removal of these things that we are brought to silent, respectful, worship before our Lord. We sense God’s profound presence and healing and freshening, nothing need be said, we stand in silence before Him.
Revival works it’s way deep through our entire beings. Not only are our hearts and minds freed, but our bodies and spirits are as well. Cells are released to work well once more, neural pathways are rerouted back to the original image that God intended, and emotional set-points are poured over with the oil of the lamb.
Where we once had triggers that would send us into tailspins we are now centred and calm, able to see beyond difficulties and around troubling reactions; we simply have the grace of God pressed in upon us and we do life and relationships differently. Revival does this work. It enters us into the presence of God and there we are transformed. The thoughts patterns that once did us in are removed and shifted to healthy thinking. The lenses by which we saw and understood the world have been completely changed, we see afresh and we understand anew. Revival does this.
And in Him we are made hungry for more of Him. And in Him we are entered into more of Him, refreshed, renewed, restored.