For many years, the subject of revival has been on my heart. We are living in a time when the desire for revival is once again awakening in the hearts of believers. We hear many people speaking about an eminent revival, or stirrings that have already begun.
Charles Finny writes, “Men are only made conscious of God by the display of His attributes. They feel God when they sense His greatness, His love, or His wisdom. But in times of revival it is especially His power and His Holiness that are in evidence. It is these that bring that deep conviction of sin among believing and unbelieving alike. In times of revival a man is not only made conscious that God is there, but often it will seem to him that He is there to deal with him alone. He becomes oblivious of everyone but himself in the agonizing grip of a holy God. … Though the measure of the Spirit’s conviction will vary from occasion to occasion, and even from person to person, the explanation is always the same, the manifestation of God in holiness and power.”
Historically, in all true revivals, the sweet, tender presence of the Lord is tangible, but also evident are “His power and holiness”. We see a revival of true worship, a desperate hunger in the hearts of people for more of God. We see men and woman do business with God at the deepest levels of life. We see a hunger amongst believers for the lost to get saved. Witnessing to people and seeing salvations is as natural as breathing. It seems so easy and obvious. Of course, there is also opposition that comes, but we know that, “Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world”. The cost seems small in comparison as people are consumed by this Amazing God.
Prayer has preceded every true revival in history, and a strong prayer covering continues throughout the revival. The Lord always raises up prayers before He brings revival, which means that when the stirrings of prayer come in a real, deep sense and people respond, the door might be opening for an outpouring of God’s Presence through a revival. Of course, let us remember that revival is not an end in itself but a means toward an end.
Revival in the Hebrides.
Duncan Campbell says, “Revival is a moving of God in the community, and suddenly the community becomes God-conscious before a word is said by any man representing any special effort. I am sure you will be interested to know how, in November 1949, this gracious movement began on the island of Lewis. Two old women, one of them 84 years of age and the other 82 – and one of them stone blind – were greatly burdened because of the appalling state of their parish. Not a single young person attended the public worship. Those two woman were greatly concerned and made it a special matter of prayer.
A verse gripped them: “I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground”. They were so burdened that they decided to spend much time in prayer twice a week. One night they got on their knees at 10PM and remained on their knees until 3 or 4AM in the morning – two old women in a very humble cottage.”
Through a series of events Duncan Campbell was asked to go to the church. He decided he would go for 10 days. He describes the night he arrived, “…we got to the church about quarter to nine to find about 300 people gathered. I gave an address. Nothing really happened during the service. It was a good meeting. …a sense of God’s moving – a consciousness of His Spirit – But nothing beyond that. Just as I am walking down the aisle, along with a young deacon, he suddenly stood in the aisle and looking up to the heavens, he said. “God, You can’t fail us. God You can’t fail us. You promised to pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground – God you can’t fail us!
Soon he is on his knees in the aisle, he is still praying, and then he falls into a trance. Just then, the door opened and the local blacksmith comes back into the church and says, ‘Mr. Campbell, something wonderful has happened. Oh, we were praying that God would pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground and listen, he’s done it! He’s done it!’
When I went to the door of the church, I saw a congregation of approximately 600 people! Where had they come from? What had happened? I believe that very night God swept in, and in Pentecostal power and the Power of the Holy Ghost. And what happened in the early days of the apostles was happening now in the parish of Barvas.”
(To see more about his go to www.gospelcom.net/npc/Campbell.html. )
We read of the mighty acts of God during the Hebrides revival and the moving of God’s Spirit. I believe, in answer to the prevailing prayer of men and woman, that God was a covenant-keeping God. The revival continued for almost 3 years until the whole island was swept by the mighty power of God.
Let us be a people that ‘wait’ on God. Wait is an active word. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Let us prioritize our lives around the King and His Kingdom. Let us be a people of prayer like those precious old ladies that prayed until early hours of the morning. Let us go forward with hearts and mouths filled with worship for our King, knowing it is all about Jesus and His glory. Then may we live in a much-prophesied outpouring of revival and see the lost swept up into the amazing Kingdom of God. Nothing has greater value.