O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2
This thing we call revival, is it a reality or fantasy? I remember something that happen some years ago, when I was in Bible school. I was a member of the Central Executive Council of the Joint Campus Christian fellowship of the Kwara State. In our inaugural meeting knowing fully well that the glory of the fellowship needed to be revived, we arranged and plan programmes that we felt can bring revival among Christian students, particularly in our Tertiary Institutions in Kwara State.
As we began to work towards the realization of our objectives, we all know that the quest for revival requires a lots of sacrifices, so we organized a programme that will cost some amount of money. We all agreed to pay some stipulate levies and individuals were contributing their quota. Among the executives we have two of us who are student Pastors myself and a friend from the same theological college. We were highly regarded among other students because we are Pastors in training
In one of the meetings, we were given lists of those who have contributed for the programme and I discovered that my so call friend had not contributed his quota and I called to challenge him telling him that we are supposed to lead by example but I was shocked at his response, He said and I quote:
‘’My brother, let us stop wasting our time and resources on our so called quest for revival. Everybody knows that the word revival is just a Holistic Language used to motivate people to be more proactive in whatever we want them to do, but in the real sense it is not achievable. The quest for revival has been before we were born and will still be even when we are no more. Why are you stressing yourself? It’s just a fantasy.’’
I was so surprised about his response because he is a man you will always respect especially when he preaches, and many time he has preached about the end time revival challenging people on the urgent need for revival at this time. This is why Iask this question and will still ask again
This thing we call revival, is it a reality or fantasy? Are we the vessels God is using for the end time revival or we are just furerunners to prepare the way for those who are to bring revival?
The matter of revival has been a day to day love song in our setting, society, denomination and generation, we read books, listen to messages, and watch films etc. about revival on daily basis and it seems there is nothing new anyone to tell us about revival again
But the issue is, if revival is real and achievable and we are truly praying and hoping for it, with the assurance that God, to whom we pray is able to bring revival, what then is delaying revival in our time? How do we prepare for the genuine revival that God has promised the end time church?
Definition of key words
Preparation is the act or process of making something ready for use and it involves plans, arrangement, training, experience, equipment etc. so to prepare is to provide things that are required for an activity to take place.
When something is genuine, it means it’s real authentic, true, not a fake, not in pretense not a camouflage, not an artificial etc.
Revival: The word revival can be described as the reawakening of our faith and spiritual life and activity. While the English word revival does not occur frequently in the Bible, a number of revival can be traced and the revival work of God’s spirit described.
Both the Hebrew word haya which means to live, to recover or to come to life and the Greek anazao which means to be alive again to come to life again, to spring into life or to be revived indicate to come back to life from death
There are histories of revival both in the Bible and other historical records. Out of these revivals, great spiritual leaders came to the fore front, whether they are human instruments or the products of them. Nevertheless, genuine revival, following the Biblical patterns are the work of God. God sent revival produces spiritual revolution and emotional fervor
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT REVIVAL
- One who has never live before does not need revival. He needs to be born. Revival is a wakening call to those who are spiritually slumbering or dead
- One who is already alive does not need revival. He needs to grow. Waking a man who is actively alive is a waste of effort.
- Revival is for those who were once alive but are no longer alive and they need to be alive so they need to wake up and come back to life. Revival suggest that there was a location but there is a dislocation and there is a need for a relocation.
STEPS TO PREPARE FOR GENUINE REVIVAL
1. IGNITE THE PASION OF REVIVAL IN YOU
A lamp is never a light until it’s enlightened and passion is the driving force. Until a vision is turned to action it remain a friction. Revival will remain only a potential without passion. The starting point to ignite the passion of revival in you is that you understand and accept that you personally need revival.
You have to get information about revival be it historic or prophetic. God has truly promised an end time revival and you must know what it takes to be part of the fulfillment of God’s purpose in order to put in your best. Walk with people with passion for revival and pray that God should ignite in you the fire of revival.
2. MAKE YOURSELF A CANDIDATE FOR ENDTIME REVIVAL
The best way to cause revival is to be revived because it takes your waking to wake other. The church is fast becoming a mere religious center. Where people come listen to Bible stories, pay their dues (Tithe, offering and some other contribution) and leave. Many people came as a sinner and still left the same way. Many came with depression and confusion and leave more confused. J.D driver said what is the purpose of going to the river,when there is no water to fetch?
We now plead with people to come to church. The church now plan on strategies to entire people to come. The desire to seek God has gone down to the minimal level. The few who attend churches attended either because of what they will gain (in which if they are no longer gaining it they will quite the church) or because they like their congregational style (when they no longer like it they will quite the church) or because they like the Pastor and want to encourage him. The church is no longer seen as the house of God where people feel His presence and have encounter with Him. Jesus said my house shall be called the house of prayer. Our so called house of God, is it truly house of prayer? The programmes we organized in our Churches; does it make people to believe God the more or fear the Devil the more?
There is an urgent need for revival in the contemporary church and history has told us that to kindle a wild fire of revival, it must start somewhere, so I challenge you to let it start with us. We can no longer allow things to continue the way it has been or else we have no record to break and have no history to make. If you do not remember, let me remind you that history favors those who are record breakers and impact makers in their generation, not passive spectators who always wonder what happens. The world is no longer interested in our definitions and explanation. Even Paul said the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power (1Cornthians 4:20)
Christianity cannot be defined without the supranational act of God. And to see God in action, we must ignite our passion for him. People who see God in action are those who are disparately hunger and thirst for him. Those who are ready to go extra mile. Those who are ready to stand for Jesus irrespective of what other fall for. Fire came down in the upper room when the disciples tarry in prayer and communion with high expectation and in one accord. Revival fire break out in Scotland when John Knox express his hunger and keep praying ‘’Give me Scotland or I die’’ The revival in 1930 broke out in Nigeria when a group of people gather themselves with that passion and keep praying for the supernatural act of God for over ten years.
We cannot experience the expected revival if we do not wake up to genuine service to God. Our hunger for the fullness of the Holy Spirit must come back alive. We should no longer be comfortable with the Devil spreading his spirit through cultism and immoral acts. It’s high time we come back to the point when we tell God we won’t go until we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We must come back to our life of commitment and total dedication to God and his service, a life of genuine evangelism and soul winning, A life of commitment to the standard of God’s word. A life that challenged others to come to Jesus. So, the end time revival start with you.
3. BE AN ADVOCATE OF REVIVAL
After being revived, share what you have with others. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 said that “you are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deed and praise your father in heaven.
One of the best way to prepare for a genuine revival is to be an advocate for it. Speak about it to everyone you meet. Pray for revival, starting from your immediate environment, and ask God to spread it all over the world. The end time revival is supposed to be a global revival which is not limited to any locality but it has to start somewhere.
If we are truly expecting the end time revival and we place value on it, then, we should be ready to pay the price. And the price to pay is the process we have to go through, while the process starts from our preparation and the preparation will have to start now. Are you ready?