It is with great delight, that I welcome you to the month of June our month of Revival. It is my prayer that God in His mercy will revive you. You will agree with me that we all need revival. Since the aggregate of the smaller unit defines the larger component, it stands to reason that our society, community, nations and continents surely need revival. The scripture is full of prophets who saw the need for revival of Israel and by extrapolation the world. Thank God they did not shy away from it. While the Psalmist asked God ”Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” Psalm 85: 6. Hosea is giving God ultimatum “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.” Hosea 6:2, The approach of Habakkuk is what we all need now- Prayer “O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy “ Hab 3:2. Notice the reason why they are asking God for revival -That we may rejoice … that we may live…that we can experience mercy. As the individuals, nations and regions and even the church are gasping for breath because of our sins and the evil consequences that we daily face, let us return to God this month following the prayer of Solomon to get God to revive us again. At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. 14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land 2Chr 7:13-14.
This month be motivated by the words of Leonard Ravenhill in Why Revival Tarries to join the vanguard of revivalist or revivalist-to-be when he said: “No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”
I see the rain of revival falling upon you this month. The breath of the Holy Ghost will quicken your spirt, soul and mortal body in Jesus’ name.
What is Revival?
Revival is an improvement in the condition or strength of something. The word “revival” is from the Hebrew word chayah and means “to bring back to life,” to “restore to consciousness,” or to “restore to a previous condition. As stated in the Bible, it means a restoration, rejuvenation, or renewal of interest after spiritual neglect, oblivion, or obscurity. Revival is when Christians are lifted out of spiritual indifference. Revival is when men and women are convicted of their sin and they cry to God in repentance. Revival is the earnest desires for more of Christ and his word in the life of a person who has been in church for years as a liability rather than an asset. Revival is when you have boldness in witnessing for Christ.6. Revival is when people crave to live a life of purity, integrity and holiness instead of wallowing in sin, gluttony, reveling and ungodly life style that make God want to vomit. Revival is when there is lots of conversions, joyful worship, renewed commitment to mission. Revival is when God heals our land of plagues, insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping when the people perpetrating these heinous crime, because of the prayer of saints, intercessors and watchmen over the nations return to God and become tools in the hands of God and better citizens for their nations.
Revival is renewal, of hope, I read that in Nepal during this week 874 have committed suicide, due to COVID 19. Revival in marriage is when a couple that were at each other’s throats reconcile, breathe a fresh air of love, forgive each other and rebuild their dilapidated home so that their children can rejoice again.
Revival is when that prodigal spouse comes home, that prodigal child returns home. Some years ago we held the International Gathering of Eagles Conference in Toronto with the theme “Return To Your Maker”. After the conference I asked one of the attendees from Nigeria what she gained from the conference. She narrated how she was going through a complicated and bitter divorce and I said – “Return to your husband” The message resonated with her. Even though it was the husband who sued her to court, and she could not see how things could be resolved. She obeyed, went home and continued to pray. After six months the case was thrown out and the marriage was restored.
Revival is when that backslidden member in church returns, and becomes better more useful to the Lord and the church. The story was told about Martin Luther, when he was overwhelmed with life, said God is dead and stopped going to church. The wife dressed up in all black: dress, shoes, hat, gloves and a black pair of glasses on Sunday. The husband asked “where are you going”? “Where does it look, I am going? I am going for the funeral of course” “Funeral, who died”? “God” said the wife.” God died and we are doing his burial today” “No, God cannot die” he said! “If God cannot die, why are you backsliding and saying God is dead”?
City or national revival is characterized by mass repentance of people. In the days of John Knox the brothels and clubs were closed. Few people went to prison due to a significant reduction of crimes in the society and some prison facilities were shut. May God bring revival in our days again and again!
Revival is needed when the nation is in turmoil. When here is law and order breakdown. When the nations are in pain. It is an evidence that the church is sleeping.
Revival is needed when human beings are hopelessly on their way to hell and they don’t know. When the born-again children of God are living careless and unholy lives. When God’s covenant family, from time-to-time drift into a kind of lifelessness and lethargic backsliding. When corruption, bribery, is the order of the day. When there is no more accountability, transparency, dependability, no trustworthiness all over the world. When integrity is far from the land. When people commit sin as if it has no consequence.
Revival is needed when those who should be teaching in the church are themselves are in spiritual kindergarten. “Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God.” Heb 5:12
Revival is needed when God in annoyance allows plagues and pestilences, the likes of COVID-19, to kill 3.53 million people with170 million people affected globally. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 2 Ch 7:13
How do we get revived again?
The classic book of Leonard Ravenhill Why Revival Tarries comes handy- (I recommend it to all the readers of this article) I quote “Oh that believers would become eternity-conscious! If we could live every moment of every day under the eye of God, if we did every act in the light of the judgment seat, if we sold every article in the light of the judgment seat, if we prayed every prayer in the light of the judgment seat, if we tithed all our possessions in the light of the judgment seat, if we preachers prepared every sermon with one eye on damned humanity and the other on the judgment seat—then we would have a Holy Ghost revival that would shake this earth and that, in no time at all, would liberate millions of precious souls.”
R.A. Torrey, a friend of Dwight L. Moody, was a great preacher and evangelist in his own right. He gave this prescription for revival during a February 1917 address at Moody Bible Institute:
“Let a few of God’s people, they don’t need to be many, get thoroughly right with God themselves—the rest will count for nothing unless you start right there; then let them band themselves together to pray for a revival until God opens the heavens and comes down. Then let them put themselves at God’s disposal to use them as he sees fit.
That will bring a revival to any church, any community.” Let’s review: (1) Get right with God, (2) get together with other Christians and pray for revival and (3) make yourself available to God, especially in winning souls.
Whether we get the large group to pray according to Ravenhill or smaller group according to Torrey the starting is you and I. Jesus said to the church of Ephesus, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Rev. 2:4–5).
In these verses we find the three R’s of getting right with God, the three R’s of having a spiritual revival personally. First: Remember. Were things different before? Was your faith stronger before? Remember that. Second: Repent. Change your direction. Do a U-turn. And Third: Repeat. Do those things you used to do. Remember from where you have fallen.
Brethren, all the calamities befalling us have a solution- Revival- Let us from the pulpit rally round the church to prayer again. Let us follow the simple process of “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” 2Chr 7:14. The greatest barrier to revival is sin. Let us forsake sin and return to God in prayer. The following people brought revival to their generation, you and I can bring revival to our generation. Joseph Ayo Babalola, Joseph Seymour, John Knox, John Wesley, William Carey, Benson Idahosa and many more. During my flight on a recent trip I read in God’s General by Roberts Liardon, the story of John Wesley. How fire engulfed their little Epworth parsonage and the parents were able to get all the children out except John Wesley, when he was five and half years old. It took two neighbors climbing on each other’s back to rescue him! I don’t know how many death God has delivered you from so that you can orchestrate a revival for your generation- are you going to waste that opportunity?
Result of Revival
Read Psalm 85: from verse 6 Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?7 Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.8 I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways.9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, so our land will be filled with his glory. The rest of the psalm, and notice several results which are mentioned: salvation (7); peace (8); glory (9); harmony (10); increase (11); provision (12); Psalm 37:23! (13). let’s look more closely at verse 7. Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation. Salvation in the land: Everyone in your household will be saved- Canada will be saved Jamaica, Muslims, LQBTQ2 Community, Buddhists, Confucius, Hindus will be saved. No more sickness in your body- Anxiety Go- Depression Go. Suicidal tendency go. Death will go.
Conclusion: The man who can get believers to pray would, under God, usher in the greatest revival that the world has ever known.” ― Leonard Ravenhill. Revivals don’t last forever. They have a beginning, middle and end. A revival is a little bit like an explosion, kind of like starting car. But then sometimes we lose the momentum and we need another revival and then another one. We need revival now. Let the revival begin now with you and I!