“It was in 1904. All Wales was aflame. The nation had drifted far from God. The spiritual conditions were low indeed. Church attendance was poor. And sin abounded on every side. Suddenly, like an unexpected tornado, the Spirit of God swept over the land. the churches were crowded so that the multitudes were unable to get in. Meetings lasted from ten in the morning until twelve at night…” (This is a quote from A.W. Tozer’s”Out of the Rut, into Revival.”)
Tozer continues: “Nothing has ever come over Wales with such far-reaching results. Infidels were converted, drunkards, thieves and gamblers saved; and thousands reclaimed to respectability. Confessions of awful sins were heard on every side. Old debts were paid. Mules in the coal mines refused to work being unused to kindness. In five weeks, 20,000 joined the churches.”
That indeed was a great revival. Dare we dream that God will bring revival? It has been prophesied! But while revival is something many Christians would love to experience, it is in itself a means to an end. We are about the work of the King and His Kingdom. We want to reach the lost and see them saved. We desire for God’s glory to be seen in our lives and in the life of the church. We desire to display His splendor.
We have two vital ingredients to live in genuine “pre-revival” atmosphere. We ‘own’ the reality of the coming revival in vision form, and we have prophetic words from heaven to assure us such vision for true revival is not an empty dream. However, there is a third essential part. While we cannot see revival by applying formulas, we can prepare our hearts by seeking the Lord and praying in simple faith and expectation for a divine vision of revival to be manifested in our midst.
Let’s remember Daniel, who read Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years of captivity for a disobedient people (Dan. 9). He did the math and knew the appointed time of release was approaching. What did he do? Did he stop praying and seeking God because he believed God’s words? He could have said, “I can relax, because I know it will happen. Jeremiah is God’s prophet, so the results is inevitable, and I’ll wait for it to happen” No, he began to pray with fervor and devotion, and the chapter records on of the most powerful prayers of repentance and surrender in the bible. Today , we know the final outcome of our conflict. God wins! But do we forsake the biblical practices to which God can called us? We dare not!
Again and again, God has given us the promises of Isaiah 54, which exhorts us to make our tents larger and to expect God to add to His family. We have heard many times that God is bringing growth. We have seen it in part in our churches, in the lives of people, but we need to make all the necessary adjustment to facilitate what God is going to do. We are in the middle of change. That is a wonderful place to be, but a vulnerable place to be. So let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and embrace all that He has for us. Let us continue to press in, wanting only His highness purposes unfold for His glory in the coming months.
How will we prepare? Consider Psalm 32:8: “I will instruct you and teach in the way you should go; I will counsel and watch over you.” It is God who will instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. We need to keep our focus on Him. “Come follow me and I WILL MAKE you…” We need to position ourselves in such way that we can be stretched, changed, and matured. With this in mind, I would suggest that we once again take a sober look at ourselves and ask, “Am I positioned for growth and are we as a church positioned for growth.?” Are we preparing for God to move? Do we anticipate His revival power to flow amongst us?
There are many keys that we can help us poison ourselves for growth but let me close with one thought: In Hebrews 3:12, the writer, speaking to Christian believers, warned agains “an evil heart of unbelief” – not the failure to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, but a careless unbelief that prevents us from entering into God’s promises. And in 4:2, he goes on to speak of God’s Old Testament people in the that they believed the 10 spies’ doubts and refused the faith-filled report of Joshua and Caleb. He says that they had “good news” preached to them (it is the word for “the gospel”) – good news of deliverance and victory to enter the land of promise – but it did them no good, as it was not “mixed with faith.” We have vision, and, in God’s grace, we have His words of promise. Let us shun unbelief and receive His word with active, receptive faith! Let us ignite the vision of God with faith.