The simplest and best definition of revival is: a new beginning of obedience to God.
Revival always begins in the heart of an individual(s) with a deep conviction of sin, a complete dependence on and gratitude for God’s grace, and an ever-deepening conviction of all of humanities desperate need for our savior, Jesus.
There is no revival in a city, much less a nation, if it doesn’t first start in the heart of people already belonging to God, His church.
Once revival breaks out, if it’s true revival, it spreads like wildfire within the church, as a new beginning of obedience to God–by God’s people–and then spreads to a city, a nation, and beyond.
The moral character of a nation can be changed seemingly overnight, not because of some dogged religious rule following but because with true revival, people’s hearts are literally gripped by God, and their desire becomes wholly for Him, and His plans and purposes on the earth.
R.A. Torrey (1856-1928), a famous revivalist, writer, and pastor, gave a prescription for revival. He believed it would work in any church, in any city, anywhere in the earth. He believed this because in his lifetime he saw it happen, over and over again.
He held church services and preached in meetings in every part of the English-speaking world, as well as in China, Japan, and India.
“First, let a few Christians (they need not be many) get thoroughly right with God themselves. This is the prime essential. If this is not done, the rest that I am to say will come to nothing.
“Second, let them bind themselves together in a prayer group to pray for a revival until God opens the heavens and comes down.
“Third, let them put themselves at the disposal of God for Him to use as He sees fit in winning others to Christ. That is all!
Sounds a lot like 2Chronicles 14:7 doesn’t it…
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Revival is a new beginning of obedience to God. Hence, revival hinges on people who will put themselves completely at the disposal of God. People who will follow after God and live obediently to His will no matter what, until His desires become their very own desires, putting aside their plans to see His plans on the earth, despite any cost or inconvenience this incurs.
Will you be counted as one who will do this?