The question has been raised, in light of the Asbury University revival or move of God’s Spirit, “My brother, how can we keep the revival fires going here in America?” I’m not certain that I am qualified to answer this question, but if there is an answer, I know Who has it. Before I personalize any answer, allow me to visit God’s Holy Word.
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:7-10)
Beloved, in submission, if you will draw near to God with all your strength and perseverance, He will draw near to you. Believer, you know God is with you and in you, but when you move closer to God as in dying to self-reliance, He make His Presence strong on you.
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (Revelation 2:1-4)
Even in the midst of serving the LORD with great enthusiasm, we can lose sight of the reason we serve. We can do well for all the wrong reasons. Our good becomes self-serving religious ritual. Jesus came to replace these things with Himself. He would rather we spent all our life sitting on a rock loving Him, than doing well with empty motivations.
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12)
“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.” (Psalm 86:11)
Brothers and sisters, we need to recapture the fear of the LORD in our hearts. We must be awed by Who He is; awed by His Holy Presence. We must give Him our undivided attention. He must become our singular focus while moving through this world. Our allegiance to Him must be unparalleled. Our worship is lacking the fear of the LORD.
The rekindling of revival fire depends on three.
One is the deep inner desire of the individual child of God; he must be hungry. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. –they know that they are spiritually empty.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.—they are troubled in spirit over their own sin.
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.—they are humbled before their Holy God.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.—they are hungry at last for all things God. They are tired of faking their way through this evil world. (Matthew 5:3-6, with elaboration by this author)
Another of the three has to be the church gathered intentionally to encourage and help one another in the pursuit of righteousness. In Hebrews 10:25, we are admonished to continue a strong, loving, encouraging fellowship as believers to keep us one and all walking in the Spirit and the Word. We sadly lack the holding each accountable in the American churches, as we are instructed.
Here is what it should be like: In Rwanda and Uganda, Africa, the longest known revival took place. This is how the Holy Spirit kept the revival fires burning among the people. When a believer encountered another believer along the way and sensed the inner light of Christ was beginning to dim, the question was raised from the first, “Are you walking in the Light, my brother?”
Allow me to share yet another passage of Scripture relating to the church:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
Pay attention to these particular words in verse 9: “You”—“Chosen Generation”—“Royal Priesthood”—“Holy Nation”—“Special People” Each of these words are as collective, communal pronouns which refer specifically to the corporate body of Christ.
So many believers are hanging on by a thread, the skin of their teeth, while singing about their “victory in Jesus!” As Christians in this world, we need to capture our identity in Christ as being, not primarily individuals or individual churches/denominations, but one of being a “Holy Nation” . . . a “royal Priesthood” . . . that we may be one in Him! We need to become God’s collective pronoun . . . a Royal Priesthood! The Priestly work is intercession!
“And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.” (Leviticus 6:12)
In the Old Testament, the priest was an intercessor; he would go between the sinner and his Holy God. That is the role of the New Testament church; a Royal Priesthood that intercedes for others. I say, “Church, take on your God given role as an intercessor for the church and the unbelievers of the world; fan the flames of revival and spiritual awakening; Pray On!”
And the last of the three, though certainly not the least of importance, is the Holy Spirit within each believer.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)
In a way that we cannot fully express, the fire of revival comes from the Holy Spirit. He is the Fire! He is the Spirit of Revival! He is the Spirit of Renewal! He is the Spirit of Awakening! He is the Spirit of Prayer!
Beloved, be filled with the Spirit; walk in the Spirit; pray in the Spirit! Submit to God! Draw near to God and He will draw near to you! Pray On . . . and On!