by | Oct 19, 2017 | Christianity Today | 6 comments

Many of the things the church is doing today simply do not matter.  I am not saying they are not good, or impressive or successful—I am saying they will not save the nation, and therefore, they do not matter.

We know the times are evil.  What can we do about it?  That’s the number one question I get.  My answer is, we need stop toying, speculating and paying lip service to revival.  We need to seize a revival that matters.

But the real culprit today is false revival.  There is untold damage when we take a good meeting and marketing it as revival.  To call a good meeting revival is like filling a bath tub with salt water and calling it the Pacific Ocean.

I am not the one telling you your good meeting is not revival—history, and our culture tell you.  History says revival overflows church walls and makes deep impacts on society.  That is not happening.   When our culture swats away our church meetings and continues to careen in deeper wickedness—it’s telling us we are not in revival.

There is one thing—above all others—that is stopping true revival: We can’t find a pure motive.  We want it for all the wrong reasons.  If revival is our ticket to get church growth, emotional experiences, self-promotion, formulas, and wealth, our prayers are like nuclear waste to God.

The most famous verse on revival begins with a huge IF:  2 Chronicles 7:14 “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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

IF you truly yearn for the miracle that would stop America’s slide toward oblivion—IF you wish for an act of the Holy Spirit so real and widespread that it impacts, crime, injustice, addiction, and despair—then listen to this lesson from history:

In 1904, American leaders were enthralled by the revival in Wales.  Hundreds of thousands were converted, and the morals of the nation were transformed.  They wanted a revival like that in America.  But they tried to buy it.

These enterprising pastors and businessmen invested in massive campaigns.  They were dismal failures.  So much so, that the very concept of revival fell into disfavor.

Two years later, they realized their mistake.  Widespread brokenness gripped leaders.  Now, aided by a pure motive they cried out and heaven heard them.   One of the catalysts to this awakening was James Burns.

James Burns wrote a powerful book at the time entitled “Revival, Their Laws and Leaders” In 1909 he said, “To the church, a revival means humiliation, a bitter knowledge of unworthiness and an open and humiliating confession of sin on the part of her ministers and people. It is not the easy and glorious thing many think it to be, who imagine it fills pews and reinstates the church in power and authority.

 “It comes to scorch before it heals; it comes to condemn ministers and people for their unfaithful witness, for their selfish living, for their neglect of the cross, and to call them to daily renunciation, to an evangelical poverty and to a deep and daily consecration. That is why a revival has ever been unpopular with large numbers within the church. Because it says nothing to them of power such as they have learned to love, or of ease, or of success; it accuses them of sin, it tells them they are dead, it calls them to awake, to renounce the world and to follow Christ.”

America, at last, had found a pure motive for revival. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles (Azusa Street), and many other cities saw amazing things.  Denver, Colorado, and Portland, Oregon (Which are bastions of marijuana, atheism and runaway liberalism today) shut down businesses at noon so everyone could go and pray.  Millions went to prayer everyday across America.

Until our knees buckle beneath the horror of our nation’s sin and the blasphemy of our cheap grace fad our request for revival will be denied.  On the other hand, there is a great hope.

Two things happened to me that forever killed my doubts about revival.  One was Matthew 12: 20 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench,
Till He sends forth justice to victory.”  The other was when I was standing at the beach.

Jesus will not snuff out the least flicker of revival.  When anyone asks for revival from a pure heart, God says yes and begins the process.  He takes you at your word.  As I stood on the beach the gentle foam of the ocean lapped over my toes.  The voice of the Lord said, “this gentle wave is the cousin of the tsunami.”

The smallest flame in the smallest church will not be quenched by Jesus.  Given the proper opportunity, the Spirit of God will fan it into a raging fire of righteousness.  The gentlest wave can grow into a tidal wave before anyone who simply hosts God’s presence, obeys His step by step orders, and refuses to abuse what God is doing among them.

These two truths are exploding with me now.  I want them to blow up in your spirit.  exploded within me.  You really want revival?  Then what are you waiting for?


  1. johnwillis

    Revival has already begun, it may be now a small flame but real nonetheless. It may now be but a cloud the size of a man’s hand, but a flood is imminent. I have envisioned it, dreamed of it most of my christian life. As I grew older and my health began to fail, I thought the dream real but I would not live to see it come to fruition, but the next generation would witness it. That was before I staggered into a little church in Branson West in 2015 and encountered the God of my destiny. Branson revival lives, it is alive and well in the hearts of a core of us, and God used you to ignite that little flame and it is still burning. The enemy thought to put it out, to stamp it out before it grew out of control, he has failed. I see the body of Christ in Branson fully engulfed in the flames of revival like a house on a hill fully engulfed in flames visible from everywhere !

  2. Aaron

    I want revival but i have found that i cant work it up through mechanics or just having an evangelist come to the church.
    Its a desire in the heart that starts with getting real with God.
    I have to live a lifestyle of repentance.
    I like to be moved by another persons passion but somplace somehow that passion must become real in me.
    It seems to me that alot of people define revival as a feeling or a series of manifestations.
    I think those things happen in a move of God but real revival changes people.
    They become more honest with themselves about carnality in there life.
    More dedicated and mature.
    More compationate and humble.
    More concerned with the lost and willing to get involved in the lives of new converts.
    Revival has earmarks that are undeniable.
    Fellowship,personal conduct,relationships are impacted when God moves in our lives.
    Depth of charicter and an awarness of how our actions effect those around us.
    I need revival in my soul.
    Romans 15:1
    We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

  3. Aaron

    P,s im not knocking having evangilests come to town but there job is much more easy if a church is already in a state of revival when they arive.☺

  4. Carolina

    What did it for my husband & I finally, was when the last mainstream church we attended some 14 years ago, that constantly sought after Revival, suddenly dimmed the sanctuary lights to that of a nightclub, & turned on the colored spinning spot lights aimed at the singers, cranked up the new stadium sound system they’d had donated to the church, then at the musical trebly beginning right moment, pumped in vast quantities of artificial smoke from smoke machines around the stage platform, gaging the first 3 rows of our pews with smoky irritant. This was for a simple Sunday morning worship service. We knew then that the REAL deal was gone and so were we.I think we drove away and cried. Because we ever remembered the day in a previous church service not that long before, as we stood in the front row ministering place as we always did, and during simple high praise & worship with just our human natural voices hundreds collectively loving on Christ Jesus and His ever increasing glory…suddenly…a cloud kind of like smoke, all colored precious creamy white filled the entire room with a added scent an aroma, where we all were, there was bright candle like light everywhere and we all cried tears of joy together hundreds began speaking in their heavenly language, some interpreted and we ALL knew we’d been visited by HIS Presence with angelic attendees. Hundreds of us walked out that day & never forgot it, nor did we stay the same. That to us was the REAL deal a true Revival. Happened in Lenexa KS 1999.

  5. Jeff Hightower

    I would like to receive your email.

  6. spw

    The day the Lord saved my life, He lit a fire in my members and it only grows stronger as I go along. As I witness the truth of Jesus and many falsehoods of organized religion, worldliness in churches, false shepherds, false worship and beliefs that goes against scripture, I am mocked and accused of division and hatred towards the church and its leaders. God gives wisdom and discernment to those that seek Him and asks with a pure heart. God has granted me with heavenly gifts that He wants me to exercise even though I’m persecuted by the very people that claim Jesus, but do not walk accordingly within the church. As you said, revival comes with great loss, it keeps one in a repentant state and it keeps us seeking God every minute of the day. When true revival is burning within, an overwhelming consuming power takes residence and we cannot deny that our God, our Savior, our Lover of All things is in command of our very nature and being. When we have crucified our flesh at our cross of suffering and rebirth, Jesus becomes everything in us because we no longer exist in the natural sense. We have become new creations in Christs Jesus, our Lord.



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