Over the last Council year we have been joining together to pray the prayer of Jabez. (IChron.4:10) In recent months I have sensed the Lord moving on my heart that our prayer emphasis for this Council year should be Psa.85:6. "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"
I believe that the same "Spirit" who inspired the psalmist to write these words will quicken us to fervently offer this prayer to our Lord on a daily basis.
Revival means to 'quicken, to strengthen, or to elevate life that already exists." After 102 years our denomination is still alive. However, we are at a critical point in our history when we must experience revival. We need to be revived and recommit to our basic Wesleyan/Arminian doctrine.
One of the evidences that revival is needed is when we lose the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Without it we don't have the strength we need to give birth to babes in Christ. The psalmist understood this and expressed the need for revival so the people could rejoice in the Lord once again. Revival must come first. When it does the joy of the Lord will come with it.
The kind of revival we need can only come from God. When the summer days are hot and dry one can water the flowers and the grass and it will help a little for awhile. When God opens up the windows of heaven and sends the rain, overnight, everything is refreshed and revived.
We live in a world that is literally on fire. All hell is breaking loose. At the same time vast segments of the church world are trying to discover what their message and mission should be. They are trying to re-invent themselves. What we need to do is repent of our backsliding and seek the face of God.
It is hard to imagine any situation being anymore bleak than the position the early church found itself in. Christ had returned to the Father leaving His work in the hands of uneducated ordinary men. They were left in a hostile and sinful world that had delighted in the crucifixion of Christ.
When the Spirit of the Lord fell on them they became like lions. Over night they became bold and powerful. They literally turned the world upside down.
Today, the church in North America is in desperate need of a fresh infilling with the Holy Spirit. We need a deep, genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will result in a real history making revival.
Lloyd-Jones in his powerful book on revival lists four things that will happen when revival breaks out.
First, "There will be a fresh sense of God's presence and power." Within the body of Christ their comes a fresh sense of God's power and glory. His presence is so real it's like one could reach out and touch Him. It's as if He comes right down into our midst. Without question we need a fresh awareness of the awesome power of almighty God.
Secondly, "There is a fresh commitment to biblical truth." A few weeks before Pentecost the disciples were in confusion and very uncertain about their future. They were discouraged and ready to return to their old occupations. But once they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they had a new understanding of the truth. Immediately, they began to do great works for the Lord. The words of Christ came alive within them. Now, they were so convinced of the truth they were ready to die for the cause of Christ. They understood their message and their mission.
When revival comes we won't be wasting our time debating inerrancy or how much of the Old Testament is simply allegorical. We will sound forth a certain sound. All fuzziness and uncertainty concerning biblical truth will vanish.
Thirdly, "The church is set on fire with the fresh joy of the Lord."
There was great joy and much praise expressed in the New Testament church. It was attractive and winsome. When the church is in a state of revival you don't have to beg people or manipulate them to praise the Lord. You can't stop them because they are so filled with the joy of the Lord.
It's not superficial or manipulated by the lights, the sound system or the music. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that emanates through ones personality. It's joy unspeakable and full of glory. This is a great need in our holiness churches today.
Fourthly, "The church experiences fresh power and boldness to proclaim the truth."
Peter is a wonderful example of this. He went from being fearful and denying that he knew the Lord to becoming bold and courageous. In spite of being threatened and beaten he preached the resurrection of Christ with holy boldness. When he was on longer consumed with selfish ambitions he became fearless.
My prayer is, "Oh God, do it again." "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?" (Psa, 85:6)
The things that happened on the day of Pentecost went deep. This was much more than a momentary emotional stir. It was a life changing event for thousands of people.
This is how God launched the New Testament church. It is how He has kept the church alive over the centuries. Right now we are in desperate need of another mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Will you join me this year in praying daily for a genuine, sweeping revival? Psalm 85:6 is our prayer theme for this Council year.
We need personal revival
We can have personal revival
We must experience personal revival
Our churches need revival
Our churches can have revival
Our churches must have revival
We will then rejoice in the Lord and give praise to the great I AM.