I want to be upfront and honest with you about a question that is burning on my heart and it’s simply this:
WHAT IS REVIVAL?
Coming from a pastor who is dreaming and living for “revival” in his city and a prophetic voice who preaches at revival services in the United States and around the world, it seems somewhat odd to be asking this question but I have to tell you, I can’t get it out of my mind, heart, and soul lately.
Conversation after conversation with well known leaders in the body of Christ, experiences after experiences at revival meetings, and all of it leaves me more uncertain about a definition for revival than when I started out searching for one many years ago.
I’m taking a risk and perhaps crossing some religious boundary lines,but something or maybe someone is telling me that a majority of people are quite confused about what the word “revival” actually means or what it perhaps looks like.
As I continue to stay up night after night seeking the answer, I personally find myself going back to the Scriptures and crying out to the Father saying, “Show me what revival looks like according to Scripture!” Now while I have not received a definition of revival personally, I have found and studied what I would consider 7 major revivals in the Old Testament. They are:
1. Revival in Jacob’s Household (Genesis35:1-15)
2. Revival under King Asa ( 2 Chronicles 15:1-15)
3. Revival under King Jehoash ( 2 Kings 11:12; 2 Chronicles 23,24)
4. Revival under King Hezekiah ( 2 Kings 18:4-7; 2 Chronicles 29:31)
5. Revival under King Josiah (2 Kings 22,23; 2 Chronicles 34, 35)
6. Revival under Zerubbabel (Ezra 5, 6 with Haggai and Zechariah)
7. Revival under Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 9:9; 12:44-47)
After studying, praying through, and considering all these moves of God from the Old Testament, I have concluded that there are characteristics that have marked revivals according to Scripture and all of them have helped to bring me peace. While I still cannot necessarily give a crowd or leader a definition of “what is revival?”, I can certainly tell them specific elements I see occurring in these moves of God in the Old Testament. The 10 characteristics are:
1. Moral darkness and oppression over the nation were present when revival broke out.
2. Revival started in the heart of one yielded vessel of the Lord and that person became the catalyst for mass amounts of people to repent of their wickedness and turn back to God.
3. During revival, the Word of God was foundational and the preaching of it came with power and authority .
4. Every revival resulted in a return to the worship of Jehovah God.
5. Destroying and tearing down the idols of the culture were highlights of revival.
6. There was a clear and precise separation from sin that marked every revival.
7. Revival brought back the offering of blood sacrifices.
8. Almost every revival restored joy and gladness to the people of God.
9. National prosperity always followed revival.
10. A message of repentance and a call to some form of prayer was always issued during revival.
After much prayer and consideration, I’m finally going to move on from trying to define “revival” and simply look for characteristics of it according to the Scriptures. I believe with all my heart that when these 10 earmarks begin to take place in a nation or city, we are witnessing a time in history like much of the Old Testament when a nation and city returned to the Lord. I believe with all my heart that these days are quickly coming upon the body of Christ.
The Unknown Dreamer,