Today’s American believers are crying out to God for Him to send a revival to America, hoping a move of His Spirit will change our nation’s rush toward the abyss. The recent outpouring of the Spirit in West Virginia among high school students has given many a glimmer of hope, but what will happen if God sends a major revival? Will it end America’s problems with sin?
Hey, just so you know: I’m all for revival and any move of the Spirit that God wants to pour out on America. Revive us, O Lord!
But let’s open our eyes and understand that revivals tend to be shallow works in the Body of Christ. People just have to put up their sails and blow along on the winds of the Holy Spirit. They don’t have to work much to be around the presence of God. People get saved. Many renew their faith in Christ. Miracles happen. New revelations become everyday occurrences. And so forth.
Yet, what has usually happened after the revival fires have burned out?
In the Businessmen’s Revival of 1857, six percent of America’s total population – or one million people – were converted to Christ. But even with this, the Civil War began just three years later. The deep roots of sin were not dealt with in the revival and six hundred thousand men died.
The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905 touched almost every person in Wales. Bars were closed. Jail cells emptied. Miners no longer swore in the workplace. Churches were open twenty-four hours each day to handle the crowds. Two years later, everything returned back to the former ways.
The Azusa Street Revival of 1906-1912 restored the spiritual gifts to the Body of Christ, but it also tore down the racial walls. Blacks and whites, led by Pastor William Seymour, worshipped God side by side. Yet, when the revival ended, blacks and whites separated once again into black churches and white churches.
God has a divine purpose in His revivals and moves of the Spirit, but it never replaces the individual believer’s responsibility to make godly choices, pursue holiness, grow in sanctification, and seek the Lord with a whole heart. This is what Jesus referred to when He said:
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23 NLT)
Jeremiah discovered this important lesson as the revival fires ebbed.
(Continued in Part 8…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)