Revival starts with the heart.
Jesus said in Mathew 15:19 “For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies” and in Luke 6:45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks.”
True revival begins when a person comes to a conviction of the condition of his own heart and cries out for repentance and forgiveness. Today in most churches we are focusing so much on the outward blessings of an individual and forgetting to reveal the condition of their hearts. Revival begins in a person when evil is uprooted from his heart and replaced with the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Our preaching and teaching of the Word must result in the inward transformation of an individual and lead him to fulfil his/her potential in Christ Jesus.
Creating an atmosphere for prayer and intercession.
The church is not a market place or a social club where we come to meet every week to discuss life, business, make relationships, and have events and conferences. There has to be an atmosphere prevalent in the building for people to come in and pray and intercede for the church leadership, city and nation. Jesus said “My House shall be called the house of prayer.”
Revival is absent where prayer is not present and revival is present where prayer never stops. The church that does not compromise on prayer will see the heavens open and the blessing of revival rain down on them. The church is like the outer court in the natural realm and the holy place and holy of holies in the spiritual realm.
Therefore if we can whip out man’s agenda from the outer court and create an atmosphere for prayer and intercession to happen continuously, then we are saturating the place with prayer. When people come into worship on a Sunday morning they will not find it difficult to enter into a place where they encounter God in a supernatural way and the Glory of God permeates the entire building, where His tangible presence can be felt. This is where miracles happen, faith rises in people, and it’s just Glory all the way.
Studying about the revivals of the past.
One of the ways to inspire the church is to study and watch the revivals of the past. I’m of the firm opinion that God does not do what he did yesterday, but we can pick up a few lessons from history in order the change the future of our churches.
One of the lessons that I’ve learnt from the revivals in the past century or so is the level of purity and innocence attached to it by the people. They have responded like children would respond to their parents. The church today must have a restoration of purity and innocence in response to what Heaven has to unleash over the churches that will result in revival. Sadly, we have become too sophisticated, and we have adulterated the movement of God with our own ideas and agendas.
Reverence and Obedience for God’s word
When revival hits your church, don’t forget your Bible. The source for revival is the infallible Word of God and it is its truth that sets people free. In an atmosphere where revival is present and the Spirit of God is moving, people get saved, healed, delivered and miracles occur. We must realize that what is happening is a manifestation of the Word of God.
Therefore, we must revere and obey what the Holy Spirit instructs regarding the Word of God. The early church set the right example for us in Acts 6:4 where the Apostles, in the midst of a great revival in Jerusalem, said “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
Revival as a lifestyle Monday to Sunday.
Revival is not just an overflow of worship, preaching and prayer on a Sunday morning, but it’s a lifestyle and culture of the church congregation who are walking with God in prayer every day, serving and loving people, and growing everyday to become like Jesus. Living righteously before God everyday is what brings revival into the church.
Invest in the next generation in your church to keep the fire burning.
Identify the next generation in your church and invest/mentor them regularly so that your church can keep the fire burning even after the current generation is gone. This calls for foresight and vision of the leadership in your church concerning the next generation. If we are living only for today and not investing in our tomorrow, then we cannot we leave a legacy behind for the next generation.
Being sensitive to the person of the Holy Spirit and Hosting Him every day.
The most important concept in revival is the sensitivity towards the person of the Holy Spirit. The more sensitive we are to the Holy Spirit, the better we can Host Him. Revival brings the power of the Holy Spirit, but we often forget the person of the Holy Spirit when we see His power move and change lives. If we realize there is a person behind the power, we will not abuse it and use it for our own gain and purposes. Remember, revival is the Holy Spirit’s agenda and not yours. Therefore Host the Holy Spirit everyday and walk with Him closely. Know and understand His ways because it will lead you to the presence and Glory of Jesus.
Let us know if you have more ideas about ways to bring a culture of revival into our churches. Please share your thoughts.